Last weekend I and some friends were at a rally. Stage rallies consist of sections of roads that the drivers pelt down as fast as they can possible manage, which are timed, and the bits of normal, open to the public roads that connect them. Actually, all of the roads are public roads -- no closed tracks here (*mutters*shutupaboutsuperspecialsIdon't
They are not closed to the local wildlife.
At the end of a timed section the drivers will stop and find out how fast they went on that section and have a chance to compare their times to their competators. The media likes this part, since it gives them a chance to pop in and ask the drivers how they thought they did and if anything interesting happened.
We were hanging out at the end of one of the timed sections right where the drivers stop. One of the cars pulled in, and we noticed that it was missing the front bumper. This isn't terribly uncommon, since it doesn't take a lot to pull off bumpers, and particularly not at the speeds these guys go.
So the bumper-less car stops and the media folks jump in for an interview. We can't hear what's being said, but after a minute the press backs off and the driver moves the car forward. He then stops the car again and says something. I didn't quite catch it, but...
"Did he just say 'cow'?" I asked one of my friends.
"Yeah, I thought I heard 'cow' too," she replied.
The media guy cleared up our confusion. "He says he hit a cow on that stage."
Well, that explained the missing bumper. We joked that the driver was going to be having steak for dinner that night.
The driver's name was Jani Paasonen. His co-driver is a Jani as well, Jani Vainikka. It's the Jani-car. So we started calling the cow "Jani-cow".
(As far as I can tell the cow was struck only a glancing blow. This would explain why the bumper is missing, but otherwise the car was relatively undamaged. Full-frontal cow strikes tend to destroy even rally cars.)