Sunday, March 2, 2008

My 'possum

Would anyone like a 'possum?

I have one. It's yours. It's free. All you have to do is come and find it and get it out of here, you lucky son of a gun!

For many years now, the garage door that opens to my back yard has been off of its hinges. In fact, it leans against my fence!

It's all my fault.

A long time ago, I had taken to propping the garage door open with a broom handle wedged against the knob whenever I left the house each morning so that the working (at that time) large freezer that was located in the garage might at least have half a chance at some air circulation.

One night I came home, after another long day of driving, and discovered -- upon turning on the lights in the back yard -- an opossum skittering along the fence, moving as fast as it could away from the bright light.

My initial reaction was, "Neat!"

The only exposure I'd ever had to opossums was in nature magazines, cartoons, television, things of that sort ... never in real life. I'd always thought, "How cute!"

Well, they're NOT "cute"! In fact, they're downright ugly.

I didn't think too much more about it, tho, until just a few weeks later, when -- again going out into the garage to get into my car and go to work -- I could hear this kind of 'fierce' hissing noise coming from the inside of the garage.

I thought, "Heavens! There must be some kind of snake in here!" (That wouldn't have been terribly unusual. This is Houston, right?)

I opened the larger garage door to the outside world and carefully looked around.

There was no snake. What there was, instead, was a much smaller version of the opossum I had seen some weeks before. This one, however, was warning me (teeth bared all the while it was hissing!) not to come any closer.

That did it for me! I shouted, "You're out of here, kid! This is my garage, my car, and I want you OUT OF HERE!"

The possibility that something might get into the garage while I was gone had previously occurred to me. Now, of course, it was a probability.

Well, never mind. I can just hear all of you castigating me now with, ... "You should have done this or that." (or) "Why didn't you ... ... ?" Hindsight is foresight, is it not? (The old "Monday morning quarterbacking" routine?)

Time went by. No 'possums of any size re-appeared.

One day I went out to the garage and thought, "What is that absolutely horrendous smell?" Lawdy, lawdy, it smelled like something had died out there!

I went to work, clearing out years and years of art stuff and junk (mostly junk!) that I had accumulated ... frame parts, rug samples, catalogues, swatches, mailing tubes and cartons ... I kept setting stuff out for the poor garbage men to pick up, and they kept picking it up, God bless their hearts!!

Twice, at least, they had to back up their truck to get all the crap I threw out! (I apologize for the use of that word, but it's the best descriptive noun I can conjure up at this time.)

All of a sudden, it seemed, the 'smell' was gone.

I had not discovered a decaying body. (I really don't know where the odor came from nor do I know where it went. All I know is that I was glad it was no longer there!)

Nonetheless, I kept my car windows tightly 'rolled up' when my vehicle was parked in the garage (does anyone "roll up" their windows anymore?) just in case an absolutely horrific smell might try to permeate my cloth car seats.

Within the past week -- again, lighting up the backyard in preparation to going out to the garage -- I saw, much to my chagrin, a 'possum.

I'm sorry if I might offend some of you folks, but I simply refuse to dignify the creature in my back yard with the word "opossum".

THIS critter, actually, might be the 'grown up' version of the hissing/snarling/teeth-bared one that I met not that many years ago in my garage. And, I don't think he/she would be one you might be wanting to encounter in the dark!

This time, he/she was on top of my birdbath, sucking on what had to be really stagnant water!

Well, I'd had it 'up to here' with this critter, O.K.?!?

I went back into the house, filled a VERY large container with water, went back outside and proceeded to douse same creature.

He/she just sat/lay there and seemed to languish in all of the attention! Heavens to Betsy!! NOW what should I do??

Well, I found a hoe, and went back out into the yard, advancing towards the critter, all the while whirling the weapon around and around in a threatening manner and yelling vile epithets!

The 'monster' refused to budge.

I continued to advance, brandishing my hoe at the forefront.


No reaction.

NOW what was I to do? I mean, I ask you!

I continued forward, until the hoe was actually touching the creature.

Still nothing!

Frustrated beyond words, I gave it a huge jab and lodged it off of the birdbath.

I watched as it just lay there, inert, for a millisecond, and then got up and skittered off to 'shelter' behind afore-mentioned "leaning back garage door".

Would anyone like a 'possum?

I have one. It's yours. It's free. All you have to do is come and find it and get it out of here, you lucky son of a gun!


Tammy said...

um.......NO. I don't want him! lol

Also, can you hear me laughing clear over here in Idaho? You are too funny and a great writer! :)

Kellan said...

These TExas critters ('possum, armadillo and racoon) just move in and take over if you let them! My mom had a family of armadillo living under her back deck that took nearly 2 years to finally get rid of! Good luck ridding your garage/yard of your critters - don't send them to my house - please. Have a good day - see you soon. Kellan

Polimom said...


Sort of.

I'm laughing with you...?