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Playin' 'possum

I have a story that fits in nicely with sister K's guest entry yesterday, and an email she sent that included this:

I've told people that my "fear" of mice is
nothing compared to my fear of
possums, but fortunately, I don't think there's
much chance of a possum
infestation in the building.

I once lived in a house with 4 other people in Goleta, CA. My boyfriend and I had a room at the back of the house, with a nice sliding glass door that led out to the backyard. We often kept that door open for the cats to come and go as they pleased. Since technically we were not allowed to have pets, we would keep our door to the rest of the house closed so as not to contaminate the rest of the house with cats.

One summer evening, I was alone in the house, watching TV in the living room. As usual, the sliding glass door was open and the bedroom door was shut. Suddenly, I heard a crash and smelled something kinda foul, so I went into the bedroom to check it out.

There, in the middle of the room, was an opossum playing dead, and a softball-sized sphere of fresh 'possum poop.

Lord almighty, anyone who has complained about the smell of horse shit, cat shit, dog shit and any other shit ever needs to shut the fuck up, because 'possum shit is the KING of crap. Steamy, smelly and nearly perfectly round ball of pure UGH.

And, next to that, an adult 'possum pretending he's not really there.

What would YOU do in that situation? I couldn't very well just pick him up, and yelling at him didn't seem to be scaring him any more alive. So, I surveyed my options and grabbed my weaponry: A broom and a boogie board.

I stood with the fifty pound marsupial between me and the open glass door and nudged him with the boogie board. He didn't move, but he did stare at me and started a low, steady hiss. I continued to prod him and poke at him with the broom. Finally, he stood up, as much as an animal with stubby legs can "stand," and started moving. But not toward the door. He sidled, for lack of a better word, to my left-- away from the door and me. I had to follow him around the the entire perimeter of the room until he finally figured out he could leave. 45 minutes later.

The room stunk for weeks afterwards.

So, I don't have a fear of mice, rats or 'possums. I saw a raccoon on my way to the bus stop the other morning. Wild animals don't scare me that much, irrationally speaking.

It's the spiders I can't abide. Spiders and mullets.

6:46 p.m. - 2005-09-28


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