Opossum 2

Image of North American O/possum By Cody Pope (Wikipedia:User:Cody.pope) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons.

I can control opossums. With my mind.

With my mind, people.

My mind.

Incidentally, since I can’t decide whether to use “possum” or “opossum” I’ve decided to go with o/possum from now on. The o/possums will understand.

I don’t know how useful this ability will be, but I like the idea of it, even though o/possums weird me out.

Damn. Now the o/possums know they weird me out. Shhhhh!

Although I don’t really believe I almost burned down Gatorland with my mind, as I have previously suggested, I choose to believe I’ve got this o/possum thing locked down.

I’m going to be sad if it’s the only X-man power I ever develop, though.

So what proof do I have of this ability? I’ll admit it’s a maybe possibly a little bit sketchy…

Dana was one of the winners of my inadvertently o/possum-themed blogiversary give-away. Yesterday, I decided to drop her prize off at her house, which is less than 1/2 a mile from mine – well within any rational person’s acceptable o/possum mind-control perimeter.

Before I arrived, one of her neighbors told her he’d seen an o/possum run into her yard. There is only one explanation (that is currently being posited here on my blog) – I sent this o/possum to her house!

I believe that I shall stop short of declaring myself the o/possum queen, because no good will come of that.

I’m also not going to be brushing their teeth anytime soon.

I forgot to take a picture of Dana’s present, but once all of the blogiversary presents have been received there will be some picture posting. Also, since I’ve decided that everyone who commented but didn’t win the drawing will be receiving a postcard I still need to send some emails and round up some addresses.

(Happy-Birthday-Chimp-Note-Card-C117, originally uploaded by Z F Soo & made available under a creative commons license)

The oldest restored post from my archives is dated July 22, 1997 so I’m declaring this my blog’s birthday.

I hate the word blogiversary.

After littering my drafts file with post ideas for today, I scrapped them all and decided this: you’re going to get a present.

Not all of you, one of you.

A few of you.

Not sure how many yet.

Leave me a comment with an actual email address I can reach you at (no one else will be able to see it) and FRIDAY I will devise some arbitrary scheme for selecting winners.

update: you have until 5 p.m. EST to leave a comment on this post that will make you eligible for strange and exotic prizes.

The prizes will be groovy, but I’m not going to post pictures here because the contents of each prize might change slightly depending on where I need to ship them.

Then, you can spend the rest of your day celebrating any old way you wish.

Not sure how to celebrate? Start with a how-to video on proper Opossum pedicure techniques from our old friend M.E. Pearl:

I’m not sure if opossums should be pets. Or if you should give them pedicures. I am sure it’s an excellent video to start your day with. Don’t end your day with this video – that way lies nightmares.

If you want to get really crazy, you can encourage all your friends to like my facebook fan page, because facebook popularity plays some arbitrary role in whether a publisher wishes to publish me in dead-tree form.

And what could be more appropriate on a 16th birthday than some angst about popularity?

We had a row of trees planted along the side of our yard.


The trees looked too austere all in a row, with nothing else around them. I’m up to my ass in Shasta Daisies and Coneflowers so I did some transplanting.


In the months since I moved them, the plants are doing extremely well and have been multiplying and flowering like wildfire.

All except one. One of them died.

I planted another one. That one died.

I amended the soil and planted again.


Tonight as the sun was starting to set on my yard we joked that some ancient evil had been buried in that small spot in the yard.

Then I remembered…something did happen there. That’s where I buried The Creature.

Terrific. Now I apparently need an opossum exorcist. Why is gardening so hard? Martha Stewart never warned me about this.

Remember the demonic squirrel-eating opossums? I found one of them. It won’t be eating any more squirrels. It had, and I mean this literally, been ripped limb from limb. Not to mention head from body. This was a hefty beast. I was kind of alarmed.

I’ve been watching a lot of Buffy, so I suspected the work of monsters or mutants or demons.

I was burying the opossum remnants when a neighbor came strolling by. I was just dropping the head into a hole and covering it over. The legs and torso were still in a pile waiting to go into their respective holes.

The neighbor asked why I was burying the parts separately.

“Well isn’t it obvious? I don’t want it rising from the dead and causing mayhem.”

He responded with a long silence. I think he also took a step back.

After a lengthy silence in which it was clear he was never going to catch on that I was kidding, I explained to him that the ground was too hard and it was easier to dig a series of smaller holes than to dig one large one.

Then he laughed nervously and continued his walk, but when he left he didn’t just turn and walk away, he did a sort of shuffling sideways-backing-away type walk until he was about 50 yards away, then he turned and walked quickly.

Tonight when I got home there was a fox passing through the yard. Foxes are known opossum slayers, so maybe we don’t have demons, after all.

Last night, at a little after 1 a.m., I was finally drifting off to sleep. We had the windows open and we were enjoying the gentle breeze and the soothing sounds of insects, the wind through the trees, and the fighter planes.

Something rather large went crashing through the brush in the yard. I wasn’t worried about it. I figured it was a cat, since it sounded too large to be a squirrel.

Then the screaming started. It was bloodcurdling. What was strangest about it was that it was right outside the window.

Our bedroom is on the third floor.

It’s impossible to describe the sound. It was like a chimp ripping apart a cat, while someone runs their nails down a chalkboard.

It was the return of The Creature. And this time, The Creature brought a friend.

By the time I put on a robe and got outside, half the neighborhood was assembled in front of our house. This is a sound that carries.

They were up in the very top of a pine tree. At first I thought they were mating, but then one of The Creatures raced down the tree and then went back up, and whatever was going on up there kept going on while s/he was gone. I suspect they were invading a squirrel’s nest. It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever heard. The disgruntled housewife can back me up on this, as she once noted that “…possums have the scariest scream ever–they should use it in alien horror movies…”

Husband, who was actually asleep when this all started, was particularly disoriented. The Creatures finally quieted down (once they’d dragged half the neighborhood out of bed) and waddled back into the woods. Just as I was on the verge of sleep again, Husband woke me up.

“Squirrels don’t lay eggs.”
“You woke me up to tell me that?”
“They don’t lay eggs.”
“That’s right, but they have to have a place to protect their young.”
“Oh. Okay.”

This morning there were pine tree limbs and pine cones scattered all over the yard.

[All of the links to soundfiles are dead so I’ve removed them. Just find the shrillest scariest sound you can, multiply by two, and play it on a loop for about 15 minutes in the middle of the night, and you’ll at least start to get an idea of what we heard.]