Who Gets The Deer? Me or the Dog?

Video who gets the deer me or the dog

Introduction

In this amusing tale, an intoxicated driver encounters a deer on the road. Assuming the animal is dead, he loads it into his back seat. However, much to his surprise, the deer comes back to life and starts kicking and biting him. Panic ensues, prompting a hilarious 911 call as the bewildered driver tries to escape from a hostile dog. But is this story true or just an urban legend?

The Legend Uncovered

The origins of this tale can be traced back to the 1970s when cassette tapes containing recordings of the incident started circulating. Many different cities and states have been mentioned as the supposed location of this bizarre event. One version of the story gained popularity in Missouri in 1989, claiming that it took place there. Elaine Viets, a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, decided to investigate the origins of the legend. Three years later, she connected with Al Clouser, a retired officer from the Poughkeepsie Police Department, who claimed to have handled the infamous “bambulance” call in February 1974. According to Clouser, the call was real, and officers were dispatched to various locations described by the caller. However, they never found any evidence of the deer-bitten driver or his location.

Unraveling the Hoax

Internal evidence on the tape raises suspicions of a hoax. For instance, the dispatcher refers to “911” even though Poughkeepsie did not have 911 service in 1974. Additionally, there are multiple versions of the recording, which undermines its authenticity. It is possible that people recreated the call from transcripts over the years, altering and embellishing it in the process. A lower-fidelity version of the call, without any mention of 911, has also circulated for a long time. While the existence of recreated versions does not discredit the original call entirely, it raises doubts about its authenticity and whether it might have been a prank or doctored recording.

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A Prankster’s Confession

According to a 1999 article in 9-1-1 Magazine, the most common version of the “bambulance” call originated from a prank in 1991. Mickey Dawes, a representative of a software company for Cypress Creek EMS, made the call as a joke to ease a dispatcher’s nerves when using a new computer-aided dispatch system. Dawes had pulled off similar pranks in the past, including one in 1980 when he was a police officer in Newburgh, New York. It seems that the legend became associated with Poughkeepsie because Dawes and a fellow officer had made a similar call to a dispatcher there. However, this explanation does not account for the widespread circulation of the recording in the 1970s or Al Clouser’s claim that he received the call in 1974.

Similar Legends and Anecdotes

Other amusing legends involving animals mistakenly believed to be dead have circulated over the years. One such anecdote, recounted by Herb Caen in a newspaper column, involved a deer wreaking havoc inside a car after being loaded into it by unsuspecting individuals. These stories continue to entertain us but often blur the lines between fact and fiction.

Find more fascinating stories like this on 5 WS, your go-to source for captivating articles exploring the who, what, when, where, and why of life’s most intriguing tales.

Deer in the Woods

Sources:

  • Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Baby Train. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.
  • Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a Good Story. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois, 2000.
  • Caen, Herb. “Man Playing Typewriter.” The San Francisco Chronicle. 5 April 1994.
  • Larson, Randall D. “The Deer, the Dog, and the Bambulance.” 9-1-1 Magazine.
  • Roeper, Richard. “You Never Know When You’re on the Record.” Chicago Sun-Times. 21 June 1993.
  • Viets, Elaine. “A Man, a Deer, a Dog, and 911.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 3 January 1989.
  • The Big Book of Urban Legends. New York: Paradox Press, 1994.
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