When driving through states like Texas and New Mexico, you see these little squished creatures every mile or so. I drove across I-10 through long stretches of flat open nothing several times. The only things that were different were the suicidal armadillos.

Most people don't know that armadillos can sort-of hop like rabbits. They can get a decent height when sufficiently motivated. One time, I was tooling across an open expanse of two-dimensional Texas with an 18-wheeler as company. My wife was in an 8-cylinder Maverick, and she went ahead to some town to get a hotel room for the evening. I stopped for gas in my GTO from hell, which drank petrol at a rate of 8 miles per gallon. As I pulled out onto the highway, I picked up the 18-wheeler. I had a CB radio, so I sent some greets. It was comforting to have a travel companion.

We cruised at 90 mph. It was getting late, and the sun was getting ready to sink into the earth. That was when I noticed a few live armadillos. They were off to the side of the road, but they were the first armadillos I saw with their insides on the inside. We drove on for a bit more when I saw an armadillo on the road ahead. That's one good thing about Texas highways, you can see what you're going to hit from a long way off. I was cruising too fast to swerve, but it saved itself. It popped past my passenger-side fender. I always thought that armadillos were slow, but they can get motivated quickly. Unfortunately for this armadillo, it popped right in front of the semi. It hit his grill and cracked something important. Steam bellowed from the wounded semi, probably par-boiling the armadillo in seconds. The semi pulled over, and so did I. The driver kicked and cursed at the armadillo until it was dislodged. Boney plates are no protection against inertia and physics. It was a nasty mess, and I prodded it off the road. We were out of range of the next town, so I went ahead and sent a tow rig back down I-10 to rescue the wounded truck.

I met up with my wife at the hotel. We went out to dinner, and on the menu was a sandwich called the armadillo (made with roast beef). I avoided meat that day, as I didn't want to think what a par-boiled armadillo tasted like.

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