My apologies for the long delay between posts as things have been super busy here. The holidays occurred, the flu hit our house with a vengeance, a business trip to Las Vegas, and a new job position at work all decided to happen at once which is why when the possum in the backyard returned enough was enough (for more background on check out the previous possum post here).
Back in late December the possum that had been terrorizing the neighborhood had met its end. I wasn’t going to write about it but a second possum reared its ugly head last night and like a team of well-trained possum assassins (myself, Ken, and the neighbors Manoj, Kelli, their kids Arun and Anju *sidenote – visit her blog here*) set out to do battle with the new possum which was obviously out for blood and revenge. Before I go into that I need to tell the story of the notorious first possum’s death.
Also – before I start I do need to say there was no joy in killing these possums. They were a danger to our animals and to our kids. This story isn’t to get entertainment out of animal death either but to highlight that this isn’t something normal neighbors do to bond together and the fact that Bravo needs to get their sh*t together and offer us a reality show.
It was late December. We had been dealing with this possum for months. The city refused to get involved unless we paid a ridiculous amount of money to rent the traps. One evening as Ken and I were sitting down to enjoy a glass of wine and some trashy television show when our doorbell rang.
And rang and rangrangrangrangrang.
Kelli’s kids were standing on our front porch yelling,
“COME QUICK!! MY MOM HAS THE POSSUM ON THE FENCE!”
The time I had been prepping for had finally come. I was set to go hand to hand with a creature that had been harassing the neighborhood and stealing expensive kibble from my dogs (HA. Expensive kibble my ass. Thanks Trader Joe’s!). So I did what any normal person would do. Put on my shoes, grabbed a jacket, a flashlight and my trusty machete and exited the house. Looking back now pants would have been a great idea considering it was like 25* outside… but it was a possum hunting event and there was not time for pants (that brings up a good point – is there ever really a time for pants? I think not.).
I got outside and there it was on the fence that separated the neighbor’s house from mine. A light shining from the other side of the fence outlining its nasty Spencer Pratt-like body and by that I mean the possum had little beady eyes, flesh colored hair and zero talent aside from making noise.
My name is Spencer! I’m useless! Have you seen my wife Heidi?
“Kelli, I need you to keep shining the flashlight on it until I get it off the fence!”
And summoning my best Thundercats sword power up, I brought my machete down on it.
Nothing. The machete did nothing.
Except. Piss. It. The. Fuck. Off.
I was in shock. That was NOTHING like how a machete works in the movies or when it slices off a zombie head. My brain started to try and rationalize why I didn’t have two pieces of possum right now instead of this irritated oversized rat hissing and starring daggers into my chest.
That’s when it lunged off the fence and I squealed… I mean manned up and looked it right in the eyes then said some amazing catch phrase like “Say hello to my little friend!” or “NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER!”
Kelli then yells, “I’m coming over to your side!”
Now it’s just me and the possum locked in the final stages in the real life Mortal Combat when it pulls some Harry Potter bullshit and morphs into a kitty.
–Adorable White Possum–
Okay. Not literally but in my head all I see is a fluffy animal that just wants to be loved. My mind all amped up on adrenaline short circuits for a second and I think, “If I hug it, it won’t hate me, leave us alone and apologize for stealing food…maybe it will even offer to help me garden like it would if I turned into a Disney princess.”
Ken, standing on the porch, shielding Arun’s eyes, is now yelling “KILL IT” like some stand in extra in the background of Gladiator.
“KEEEEEEEEEEEEN. I don’t think I can kill it!”
“Just hit it harder!”
“Ken! Come do it for meeeeeeeeeee!”
“No. It’s cold. I’m in my boxers and my wine is getting room temperature.” Oh Ken and his priorities.
That’s when it tries to bolt to the right and that’s also about the same time it used its possum voodoo to transform from cuddly kitty to gigantic man-eating rodent and everything in my body screamed, “KILL IT WITH FIRE.”
The last thing I remember hearing is Ken said “Uh. Arun, go into the house.” And that’s when I struck. That’s when the battle was over. I won’t go into the details. I just know after the dust settled Kelli jumped into clean up mode as a good neighbor should.
“What do we do with this body?” I asked.
“Shovel the body into this box,” she said as she threw a box on the ground. “I’m taking it to a dumpster in case it is still alive.”
That was good thinking. The last thing this neighborhood needs is a zombie possum. That was when we called it a night and went our separate ways.
A few short minutes later I receive a text that says, “The eagle has landed.”
The neighborhood was peaceful. We were victorious.
Looking back Kelli and I had very separate reactions to this event. The evening she went to dispose of the body she walked away with a tear in her eye and trying to come up with the best way to explain to her kids what we had done in order to keep them out of therapy a little longer. I can just see them now when they are older and working for Focus on the Family telling the media – “The Gays… The Gays killed so many animals when we lived next to them.”
My reaction was a little more primitive. With the testosterone and adrenaline pumping through my blood stream when I walked into the house I was all “KENNETH. YOU WILL GIVE ME VICTORY SEX. NOW. FOR I AM THE PROTECTOR OF ALL THINGS.”
That of course didn’t work out but it was worth a shot.
Things were quiet for about a month. That’s about the length of time I would have waited to get revenge. Last Friday I came home from work and Arun and Anju. flag me down as I drive into my garage.
“THERE WAS A POSSUM IN MY GARAGE!”
“Yeah. Good thing we took care of that last month, right?”
“What?” He looked at me weird.
“Yup! Alright! See ya!” I said as I dashed inside because I had a bath and an episode of HBO’s Girls calling my name.
Little did I know that on the following Tuesday the things Arun said… they would finally all make sense.
Ring. Ringring. RINGRINGRINGRINGRINGRINGRING.
“COME QUICK MY MOM HAS ANOTHER POSSUM ON THE FENCE!”
Ken looked at both kids and tried to end the moment with one quick sentence, “Oh well. We aren’t dealing with possums tonight! K! BYE!” as he tried to close the door.
“No Ken.” I said. “It is MY DUTY to fight the possums.”
He just shook his head as I ran upstairs to grab the pellet gun, my jacket, shoes and this time pants because when you are dealing with a pellet gun, I guess pants might finally be a good idea… this time…
I walk over, go into the house, demand to know where the possum is, Manoj was inside the kitchen and pointed to the back porch where their terrier was going nuts and Kelli was trying to get the kids/dog inside all while maintaining the spotlight on the possum (this mom knows how to multitask). This was when we turned into a SWAT team.
“Kelli – keep the flashlight on it. Ken – Knock it off the fence and onto the ground. Manoj – Kids and dogs inside. Go.”
Then like the suburban A-Team we sprang into action. Ken used a rake to get it onto the ground. Kelli aimed the flashlight perfectly and I fired four shots that hit directly. And the fucker didn’t go down.
I was furious.
WHAT THE HELL ARE WRONG WITH THESE ANIMALS?!?! WHAT WAS WITH THIS LIVING BREATHING ZOMBIE OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM?! WHY IS IT IN MY NEIGHBOR’S BACK YARD?
Then Ken, being the motivational speaker that he is, yells out “HOW CAN YOU MISS IT FROM 4 FEET AWAY?!”
That led me to do the whole Boondock Saint’s finishing move and there would be no cuddling (multi-reference joke!).
The deed was done.
Then in slow motion we walked away back inside the house.
That’s when we switched into clean up mode again.
“So… we tell everyone it was fireworks.”
“You may want to email Arun’s teacher…”
“Probably a good idea too…”
Then Ken and I walk out of the house and you know who is out there? AT&T U-Verse Door to Door Sales guy with eyes the size of grape fruits. This may have been the moment Ken and I both cursed and went “seriously!?”
“Hey. Did you guys here gun shots?”
“Fireworks. We were trying to scare away a possum.”
“Oh… uh… cool. Want to buy-“ and about that point I turned to go inside and leave Ken, who was still in his coat and boxers, to entertain the sales guy because he is a nicer person than I am and that’s the reason I keep him.
Ken and I eventually made it home where this conversation played out:
I also think that the second possum moment we may have reversed any mental damage we caused the neighbor kids during the first moment. Instead of the kids being some conservative whack-jobs when they grow up, they instead remember us like superheroes.
Arun: “Yes. I remember the gays we grew up next to were bad ass. I swear that guy Evan was so cool that he was wearing sunglasses at night when he took out that possum!”
Anju: “He looked so pretty as the glitter shimmered off his pellet gun.”
Okay. So maybe it won’t happen exactly like that but at least we did our best.
Having that knowledge it is nice to know that the kids and dogs/cats are safe and the neighborhood is calm again…
AT LEAST FOR NOW.