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The dogs! The dogs are going crazy this week! Not just my dog either, the neighbors dogs are losing it. We can’t seem to keep them quietly inside at night and during the day they keep getting out of their fences and kennels and front doors to scour the neighborhood. It’s not their fault so much, after all they are just doing what dogs do which at this time is “Hunt down and Kill the Opossum!”

Pronounced for all intents and purposes here as O-possum. Regularly pronounced silent O, ‘possum, is one of those words that makes me feel like I should be barefoot, dirty and wearing overalls when I say it, so I don’t.
 It’s along the same vein as “Moostash”, I guess. How I feel about it dictates the way my lips treat it. I’m the same way with “Pretzel”. “Pretzel” is so German sounding. That sounds racist, but it isn’t. I married a guy who’s family history is strictly German Farmers from Minnesota, I think the Black Forest sound romantic and I love hamburgers, but when I think and say “Pretzel” it’s, “Prensel”. Why? Because as a young child I couldn’t pronounce “Pretzel” so I didn’t, and when I knew better I felt that “Prensel” sounded much more like the delightful circus snack of my childhood then the harsh and inevitably accented in my mind “Pretzel!”

So the we have this O-possum problem. It’s not the first time. A lot of us on the street have gardens and compost piles and dog food on the back porch and those are all things that O-possums love to get into. Actually a few years ago I flipped on the porch light one evening to find one sitting on the deck with it’s tail curled around its legs like a cat eating happy as you please out of our dogs food bowl. I brought the bowl in at night after that.
My hubz approach would be to lure the thing into the yard with garbage scraps and then shoot it. If we lived in the country I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but we live in the suburbs, so the country livin’ approach we have to problems like this aren’t really applicable any more…especially my dad’s version of O-possum killing, of which my first memory is terrible.

He found it on somewhere on the property playing dead, and my dad, being my dad, picked it up by the tail to show us. The O-possum after a while, decided playing dead was not the best approach and began squirming and biting in an attempt to get away, so dad dropped the thing in a giant plastic garbage bin. Now…we had to kill it, it would just come back if we let it go and we had ducklings to protect. Our options at the time were to: Shoot it (which at the time seemed like extreme overkill for a small animal in a bin) – Let the Dog at it (which would have been painful and gross for both of them) – or my dad’s unfortunate choice – stab it with a pitch fork.
This did not result with the O-possum’s death, we now had a bleeding, heavily injured squealing O-possum in a garbage bin. Yes, this was inhumane and cruel, in my dad’s defense, we hadn’t been country people very long (we started as city people and had to fake it for a few years after we moved outside the city limits until we found our grove) and in city people-verse stabbing equals instant painless death. We had no idea vermin had such a strong will to live.
Dad went pale and nearly threw up then promptly put the O-possum out of its misery with a merciful shot gun to the face.
I’m going to give you permission now to find this story both horrible and unfortunately hilarious in a Steve Martin Dad flick sort of way. Yes, it’s both.
Well, no one here is actually out hunting this thing, despite my hubz suggestion, and eventually if this critter doesn’t move on one of us will call animal control to come take care of it. In the mean time the dogs will most likely continue acting like complete idiots as they try to remember how to be carnivorous hunting animals instead of over sized couch warmers.

You have my permission at this point to never look at pitch forks and garbage bins the same way again.


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