You May Say To Yourself: Deer God -- What Have I Done?

Chuck Grassley’s Postmodern Tweet-Lit Phenom: ‘Assume Deer Dead’

In an alternate universe: "Assume senator dead"Senator Charles “Chuck” “I now h v an iphone” Grassley (R-Xanadu) just loves him some Twitter. And he tweets with all the Nrg a man can bring to the task. But a true artist knows that he must grow. He must test his limits. There is a limit (140 bytes) to just how many insanely cryptic abbreviations a creator can get away with before it all becomes stale, even, dare we say it, banal. So rather than yet another story of taking a “pixtur” with “3 SixPak voleybal(jay’steam),” the man is branching out. He’s dabbled in engineering. He’s experimented with observational comedy. And now, he is exploring the frontiers of avant-garde narrative:

Have more chilling words ever limned the fluorosphere?

“Assume Deer Dead.” It’s practically a Chuck Palahniuk novel all in itself. It is awesome and manly and essentialist, man battling for his place in the universe, with success, in darkness. It is an “Easy Rider” for today. It is an epic in the making — we’re thinking Paul Verhoeven should direct. If this tweet has not been optioned and a screenplay greenlit by the end of the weekend, then Hollywood truly is the stinking cesspit of creative imbecility that John Nolte says it is.

It is not merely one Senator’s speculation about the outcome of an encounter between car and beast. Nay: It is literature itself:

  • Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Senator Carlos Hierbalia was to remember that distant evening when he and Federico hit a deer. He assumed the deer had died. The internet was so recent that many things lacked hashtags, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.
  • We were just outside of Dyersville on the edge of the prairie when the deer died. I remember saying something like “I think that deer’s dead; maybe you should drive….” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge deer, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
  • The deer are not what they seem

  • It was neither déjà vu, presque vu nor jamais vu. It was possible that none of what the Senator thought had taken place, really had taken place, that he was dealing with an aberration of memory rather than of perception, that he never really had thought he had seen what he now thought he once did think he had seen, that his impression now that he once had thought so was merely the illusion of and illusion, and that he was only now imagining that he had ever once assumed he had seen a naked deer sitting in a tree at the cemetery.
  • Along twenty Iowa hiways,
    The only moving thing
    Was the flying carcass of a deer.
  • If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where Fred and I hit the deer, and how I fixed the lousy fender, and how fast we were going that night, and all that Bambi kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
  • As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a deceased ungulate.
  • The deer was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The account of his death was Tweeted by the hand that held the steering-wheel. Grassley Tweeted it: and Grassley’s name was good in the Senate, for anything he chose to put his hand to. The old deer was as dead as a door-nail.
  • Listn: Sen. Grassley hz come unstck in time. Assumes deer dead. So it goz.

Assume deer dancing This is just to say
I hit the deer that was
too close to the side
of the road

and which
you were probably
would gambol through
the woods

Forgive me
It was incredible
So loud
and so thumpy

  • Grassley believed in the “Follow” button, the digital future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will drive faster, pull out our fender farther…. And one fine morning –
    So we beat on, deer against the traffic, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

[Twitter / #assumedeerdead]

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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      1. BaldarTFlagass

        One night a couple weeks ago, my sweet little doggies came in the house and Mildred's front legs were covered in blood. I discovered that they had killed a juvenile deer in the back yard. I rinsed the dogs off and brought them in for the night, figuring on burying the poor thing in the morning. But in the morning, it was gone! At first I thought it might be Ungulate Jesus risen, but found the carcass had been moved to the other side of the yard by some other critter that also tore it apart. Gross. I'm the kind of guy that retches when he smells a bad fart, so the cleanup was not the high point of my day…

          1. BaldarTFlagass

            Mildred and Gertrude are, respectively, a spaniel mix and a chow mix, both with very gentle temperaments; I guess the wolf gene isn't that far below the surface.

          2. mrpuma2u

            The deer is dead, but your hostas are safe. Did you mount the deer skull as warning to it's clan as to what happens to deer 'round these parts?

          3. Lascauxcaveman

            I used to joke to my old cats (who were both great hunters, but are now, sadly, passed) that they should run down some venison for me.

            My newest kitteh seems to be seriously considering just that, in this shot taken next to my carport.

  1. slappy_maxwell

    Tommy: "We hit a deer and his paw or what do ya call it?"
    Ma: "The paw."
    Tommy: "The paw."
    Jimmy Conway: "The hoof."
    Tommy: "The hoof got caught in that grill and I gotta, I gotta hack it off."
    Tommy's Mother: "Oo.. "
    Tommy: "Hey, ma, it's a sin. You gotta leave it there, you know."

    1. GemlikeFlame

      When you are a wing nut, everything you do, will do, have done, or even contemplated doing in this and any future or past lives is a fail.

    1. LibertyLover

      Also by putting animals on fenced-in farms so you can track 'em and then shoot them against the fence.

      1. Lot_49

        It's the ancient story of Man against Nature, with Nature fatted to sedation and trapped against a chain link fence.

    2. thisguy03

      My wife has run down two deer this year, Texas-style. Much to the detriment of her Volkswagen's bodywork.

  2. LibrarianX

    Idiot Grassley has just written the script for a brilliant Zombie movie in which undead deer chase his cranky old ass all across Iowa.

    1. mrpuma2u

      I especially liked the Williams Carlos Williams homage. Nice Dr Z. A scary personal admission, I know where Dyersville is.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      I think maybe he's hanging out with Fred Thompson, who is probably trying to convince him to get one of those AAG reverse mortgage things.

  3. Goonemeritus

    Well that’s a little better than my Sister-In –Law who claims she has” been hit by 4 deer”.

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Suicidal animals are a serious problem. We need to lace their salt licks with Prozac.

      I kid, but I swear I did have a rabbit jump into my car years ago. I don't know why, but it mattered to me at the time that it hit the car and not the other way around.

      1. Goonemeritus

        Truth is she is a perfectly lovely person but like most drivers she has a little trouble admitting culpability. One of my personal observations is that I very rarely run into anyone that has had an auto accident that was their fault.

    2. viennawoods13

      Hey. Twice we have been hit by a deer, coming bounding out of nowhere and colliding with the car. Besides, for insurance purposes you always say the deer hit you.

  4. mrblifil

    More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent deer collisions, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of deer.

  5. noodlesalad

    In the beginning, there was dark. And then there was the light of the headlights. And Grassley said "I assume that deer is dead." And there was a dead deer, and it was good eatin.

    1. prommie

      One time when Bill Cosby was driving along in his car, Captain America, a tree jumped right out of the forest and bit his car!

      1. Mittaplasia

        One time I drunkenly swerved to avoid a tree, totaling my car. Later I found that it was just the little pine air freshener hanging from the rearview. Bummer!

    2. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

      "Now who gets the deer? Me or the dog?"

      Philosophers and theologians have been trying to answer that question since the beginning of time and it will take past the end of time for us to ever have an answer.

  6. EatsBabyDingos

    Rearrange Chuck's name and you get "Gassy Chuckler." That is what I am going to be for Halloween. I will build a little church bench for only me, because The Gassy Chuckler should always sit in his own pew.

  7. PugglesRule

    Wow, Iowa deer must be pretty wimpy. If he'd hit a deer here in Wisconsin, it would have totaled the car and Grassley and buddy would have been calling a wrecker to come and tow them.

    1. shelwood46

      You are assuming it was a deer. I think ol' Chuck was assuming the deer part, not the dead part. Coulda been a dog, coulda been a young girl walking home from school.

  8. Generation[redacted]

    I saw the best deer of my generation destroyed by fenders,
    Starving, hysterical, naked, dragging through the farm roads at dawn

  9. SorosBot

    Besides "assume deer dead", I'm wondering about the statement that "we continued to farm". So did they get back on to a tractor and resume harvesting?

  10. noodlesalad

    Arjuna said: O Lord of lords, so fierce of form, please tell me who You are. I offer my obeisances unto You; please be gracious to me. I do not know what Your twitters mean, and I desire to understand of them.

    The Blessed Grassley said: Behold, I am become death, destroyer of the deer, and I have come to confuse all people.

    1. reliefsinn

      consider the sad case of chuck
      When driving, ran into a buck
      Oh my dear, he just came too near!
      While Fred opined, what the f***

  11. tessiee

    Once upon a midnight dreary
    While I wandered, meek and deery,
    Nibbling at the tender grasses growing on the forest floor;
    Suddenly, there came Chuck Grassley
    Who was driving very crassly,
    He ran over my poor assly,
    Now I'll wander… nevermore.

  12. BaldarTFlagass

    Round where I live, there are deer everywhere. Look, deer, there is plenty of land out there that does not butt up against the road. Stay the fuck away from the roads. And my neighbor's garden. Jesus, they're like rats, but with antlers.

    1. viennawoods13

      My car gets hit one more time and insurance will write it off for sure. I'm about to finish paying for the fucking thing, so deer: STAY AWAY!!

  13. SigDeFlyinMonky

    That wasn't the point man. Or the point deer. He could not remember how many points the deer had or if there ever was any point to any of this. He had taken a second look at the warm bleeding carcass and saw the note, wrapped like a message on a carrier pigeon's leg, attached to the left antler. Unfurled it read "Hinkley Ohio fifth precinct third booth Diebold upper left rear panel green switch flip twice." he realized that this meeting of buckskin and fender on a dark road had lost Mitt the election.

  14. Disassembly

    I want you to understand that Fred is my attorney. He's not just some dingbat I found on the strip, man. He's a foreigner. I think he's probably Samoan. But doesn't matter though, does it?

  15. prommie

    The deer, the old deer, she is dead;
    It sleeps well, the horned head:
    We poor lads, ’tis our turn I fear
    To hear such tweets as killed the deer.

    Apologies to Houseman

  16. James Michael Curley

    I hit a deer on my motorcycle once. Damn animal smacked me back and still got off with my motorcycle.

  17. weejee

    Yer photogs of the deer coven are most excellent Dok. Did they exorcise the ponies? If so, where should we send the check (yes check, being an olde)?

  18. Mittens Howell, III

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a withered old man in possession of a dead deer, must be in want of a wife.

  19. LibertyLover

    >>> and the story continues until Senator Grassley wakes up screaming with a severed deer head under the covers of his bed.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      "Senator Chuck you better
      Watch your speed
      Trouble a-head, trouble be-hind
      And you know that young deer / Just cross'd that road"

      (Sorry but I found I could sing yours to "Casey Jones" somehow)

  20. lotusflwr

    Jesus christ, this post was awesome in so many ways. I laughed, I cried, I may have even poo'd myself a little.


    1. Mumbletypeg

      Not sure what yours refers to — feel free to enlighten me after a while — but it evokes for me one of the most powerful scenes from among the really more amazing French films I've seen the past couple of years.

  21. BaldarTFlagass

    We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig… cow after cow… deer after deer… village after village… army after army…

  22. Abernathy

    A screaming comes across Dyersville. It has happened before, but there is nothing 2 compare it 2 now. Assume it is 2 late for the deer.

  23. Generation[redacted]

    Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking deer on this motherfucking road!

  24. PugglesRule

    It was the best of deer, it was the worst of deer. It was the age of tweeting, it was the age of Grassley tweets… we had everything before us, we had nothing but Grassley's tweets – and dead deer — before us…

  25. Esteev

    Deer prudence, won't you come out to be slain?
    Deer prudence, hit by a brand new Hyundai
    The sun is up, the sky is blue
    The bumpers smashed and so are you
    Deer prudence, won't you come out to be slain?

  26. BaldarTFlagass

    Obviously, Chuck didn't hang around long enough to see Jeff Bridges show up with Karen Allen and bring the deer back to life.

  27. FlownOver

    If you should strike a deer,
    Never fear.
    Down 136 you may head;
    First pull out fender rubbing tire, then proceed to village of Dyer,
    Where both you and Fred may assume deer dead.

  28. MacRaith

    Deer is the mind-killer.
    Deer is the walking death that brings total obliteration to my car.
    I will face my deer.
    It will pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will be lying in a spreading pool of blood.
    When the deer has gone there will be nothing but twisted metal wreckage.
    Only the deer will remain, laughing at my corpse.

  29. PsycWench

    I'm only capable of Dr. Seuss rhymes:
    I hit the deer, the deer was dead
    It had some blood upon its head
    I got out to check it, well I would have
    The deer then bit me. As well it should have.

    1. HarryButtle

      I wish I could remember the nursery rhyme from my childhood exactly, but here's what I do remember:

      There was a little man who had a little gun
      And his bullets were made of lead, lead, lead
      Something something something saw a little duck
      And shot him right thru the head, head, head.

      But I'm not at all scarred by it. Really.

  30. Chet Kincaid_

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by —
    And fucking Grassley creamed me with his car.

  31. UW8316154

    I left the scene, assuming the deer was dead. I continued to farm, oblivious to the stirring behind me….The deer began to gather and organize…

  32. LibertyLover

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode Fred and Chuck..
    "Forward, the Deer Brigade!
    "Charge for the farm!" he said:
    Into the valley of the Deer Dead
    Rode Chuck and Fred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made,
    Honor the Deer Brigade,
    Noble Chuck and Fred.

  33. Ruhe

    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a road runs through it. The road was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the roads are timeless deer. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
    I am haunted by deer.”

  34. An_Outhouse

    Pulling fender rubbings with Fred made a big mess in the car. No tissues, continued to farm dead deer.

  35. mrpuma2u

    Apologies to E. Dickinson

    I was riding south of Dyersville,
    in the car with my friend Fred,
    we ran into a deer,
    I assume that it is dead.

    Did anyone else ever notice that you can sing almost all of Emily Dickinson's poems using the melody from "The yellow rose of Texas"?

  36. proudgrampa

    I know Chuck Palahniuk.
    He is one of my favorite authors.
    You, Senator Grassley, are no Chuck Palahniuk.

  37. Lazy Media

    Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had smacked the famous deer of Dyersville. Many antlers did he break, and many were the fenders from whose tires he pulled from rubbing; moreover he suffered much by Internet while trying to tweet his own life and bring his companion safely to the farm; but do what he might he could not save his reputation, for it perished through his own sheer folly in tweeting illiterately; so the Webiverse prevented him from ever avoiding ridicule. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.

  38. gurukalehuru

    Also, too, I've read the whole thread which I almost never do because, really, pages and pages and there's so much other stuff to read but this thread is particularly brilliant and anyway, I'm really surprised that no one has pointed out yet that Assume Dear Dead is acronymical code like for ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder, a disorder from which deerkiller and tweetaholic may well suffer.

  39. Katydid

    Once upon a time and a very good time it was
    there was a moodeer coming
    down along the road and this moodeer that was
    coming down along the road
    met a nicens little man named chuck grassley…

  40. Katydid

    O Grassley! My Grassley!
    Our fearful trip is done;
    the deer has weather'd every smack, the prize we sought is none;
    the buck is near, its yowls I hear, the does are all exulting,
    while follow eyes, the steady keel, the big buck grim and daring:
    But O Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    where on the deck my big Chuck lies,
    fallen cold and dead

  41. PennyDreadful

    He was an old man who drove with Fred on a highway south of Dyersville and he had gone eighty-four days now without hitting a deer.

  42. NYNYNYjr

    So cool– that Dickens quote reads just like the beginning of a Raymond Chandler book. Kind of twists my mind.

  43. fuflans

    and of course, as you can find anything and everything in shakespeare, you don't even need to change nouns:

    'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
    As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
    To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,
    Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
    ''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part
    The flux of company:' anon a careless herd,
    Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
    And never stays to greet him; 'Ay' quoth Jaques,
    'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
    'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
    Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'

  44. Poindexter718

    Chuck accelerated. The Buick lurched.
    Bambi ate Buick grill.
    Bambi blood sprayed the hood.
    Chuck yucked it up.
    But Bambi wasn't dead and legged it into the brush.
    Mr. Hoover would not be pleased.

  45. TribecaMike

    "I have not sent these prophets, yet they have run with their message. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied." — God, or maybe Bill Clinton, Jeremiah 23:21, 3 p.m. EST.

  46. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Oh God said to Grassley, "Kill me a deer"
    Grass says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
    God say, "No." Grass say, "What ?"
    God say, "You can do what you want Grass, but
    The next time you see me comin' you better run"
    Well Grass says, "Where do you want this deer kill'd ?"
    God says. "Out on Highway 61"

  47. ttommyunger

    "…. before it all becomes stale, even, dare we say it, banal." BEFORE? Before, you say? Chuckles was born banal and had a relapse, fer Chrissakes!

  48. gurukalehuru

    I first met Fred during that long and weary break up with my wife and I was living at my Mom's place and Fred barged in and said "Whooooeeeee, man, you've got to teach me how to write, man, but first, there's this party going on in Dyersville, if you got the bucks, you can get some doe, man, life is happening all around us, whoooooeeeee!" I looked up at him and said "Sure, man, sure, let's go, but first I've just got to finish this tweet" and it turned out to be the best tweet I'd ever written.

  49. vodkabird

    Deer died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know. I had a tweet from the home. "Deer passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Yours sincerely." That doesn't mean anything. It may have been yesterday.

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