By Dana Fontenot

Strange night.

There is a Halloween party taking place tonight for our local atheist and skeptics group. I get dressed up and leave the house with vague directions scribbled onto a piece of paper, directions that I will not be able to see once I start driving to the party. I am repeating them in my head so I won’t get lost. It is already getting dark and I am driving alone. I admit to myself that I will probably get lost, but I am optimistic that I will eventually find the place. After trying to follow my mental directions with no luck, I choose to just use my vehicle’s GPS to find the party location, even though the host of the party specifically told us not to.

Eventually, I realize that my GPS is steering me in the wrong direction, and I decide to pull over into a small roadway so I can find a place to turn around, put on my readers, and reread the directions to the party. As I slowly turn off of the main road, I see a group of three adolescent deer in front of my vehicle. They are in the narrow dirt roadway that I am turning onto and only about 10 feet away. I notice that one of them has a thick wire around its neck, trailing behind him for 5 feet or so. It looks like some sort of fencing material. Suddenly, this poor deer panics and runs directly into the main road. It is immediately hit by a vehicle, and to witness that in such close proximity is quite unsettling.  The person driving the vehicle that hit the deer pulls over to the side of the road, about 20 yards further up the road from where I am pulled over. I take this time to reposition my vehicle, so that my headlights are pointed toward the deer, and I call my husband to admit that I am already lost. The driver gets out of his vehicle, crosses the road, and starts walking toward the deer, flashlight in hand. I can tell that it is a man by his gait, but I cannot see him well until he walks into the beam of my headlights.

And there, in all of his glory, stands a clown.

A clown that begins to yank a bloodied deer carcass off of the road by a long wire around its neck.

I HAD contemplated getting out of the car to talk to him, but I was dressed up as a pregnant nun. I thought that our gathering on the roadside might cause another collision, so I just left. And no, I did not find the party. I was a very discouraged nun who just wanted to go back home.