Friday, September 07, 2007

Question for the Australians

Who spray-paints roadkill green and why?

Up in the mountains last weekend we saw the usual mounds of dead kangaroos, wombats, possums, and so on on the side of the road in the early mornings. Then when I passed them again that evening, they each had a lime-green stripe spray-painted across them.

Theories various Australians have suggested, in order of decreasing plausibility:

  • The wildlife rangers use the paint to mark that they have checked the pouches for joeys.
  • Someone is counting them for some statistical reason, and they mark them as they go so they won't end up counting anything twice.
  • It's the newest trend in graffiti: using dead animals as your canvas.
  • They are being assimilated by aliens, one green stripe at a time.

What surprises me is that people don't know. If someone were decorating my roadkill, I'd be wanting an explanation.

16 Comments:

Ianqui said...

Oh, you know, the usual. Dead kangaroos and wombats. Totally normal.

(What percentage of your readers do you think are North American or European, just if you had to guess?)

rageyone said...

What an interesting conundrum.

StyleyGeek said...

Fortunately I don't have to guess: that's what I have sitestalker for :)

63% are from North America, 18% from Europe, 12% from Australia, and 3% from New Zealand (hi, Grace!).

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ha. That was my response. "Right. Dead Kangaroos on the side of the road. Totally normal."

Mr. QWP just Googled "green spray paint kangaroo roadkill" and he found... you. If he clicked on the link, then you know who that was. Not a crazy person. Or at least a crazy person that you know.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Uhh, Mr. QWP just discovered a disturbing theory that seems pretty plausible. The link is right here (scroll down).

These people talk about, um, barbequeing roadkill. And putting paint on the ones they pass on the way somewhere, so that the unpainted ones they see on the way home are clearly the fresh ones. And some of these people are Australian. And talking about kangaroos.

Alternately, if the paint was a "W", then it's an organisation (Wildlife Information and Rescue Services) that's checking for joeys.

Mr. QWP is very proud of his Google skills right now.

StyleyGeek said...

Ooh, I like that theory. Kangaroo meat is yummy: I should do it myself. Up there in the snow it would keep pretty fresh all day anyway.

And it definitely wasn't a W; just a straight line. But maybe they do things differently in these parts :)

Geeka said...

I didn't like Kangaroo when I ate it. It was kinda gummy(?). We joked that we got part of the pouch.

The History Enthusiast said...

Before I read QWP's comment I would've guessed #1 or #2...but, seriously, eating road kill? I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and I knew people that made rabbit road kill stew, but those people were strange (in my opinion).

Tom said...

When you think about it, what's wrong with eating roadkill? I often see dead pheasants by the road in Scotland, which I have contemplated stopping and grabbing. But the thought of plucking one in my kitchen is a bit offputting.

This guy appeared in the UK media a while ago. As he says, it's environmentally sound, organic and probably better than processed meat from a supermarket.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article723196.ece

Jana said...

I suspect it's emerald icing.

grace said...

Hi Styley! Glad to be waving the NZ flag in your stats! Where does the missing 4% come from, though?

StyleyGeek said...

Everywhere else. Lots and lots of countries forming 0.1% or so of my traffic each. I expect it's robots.

Badaunt said...

I AM NOT A ROBOT.

(Although I am from NZ. Just not IN NZ.)

Badaunt said...

Incidentally, why do so many animals in Australia have pockets, so you think?

StyleyGeek said...

Sorry, Badaunt! I forgot you aren't in NZ. As for the pockets... maybe because the Australian climate is something you REALLY don't want to be exposing little baby animals to?

vi said...

I'm not from Australia (but from Germany) so all I can do is speculate wildly. First thing I thought of when I read your post was: maybe they don't want people to steal the pelts? Now that I've thought about it a little ... it might not make any sense at all. Anyway.
About the animals with pockets: I think I learned in school that this has to do with evolution - all these animals have a common ancestor which lived in the area when the continents started to drift apart. Or something like that.