Operation: Good Riddance

Everything was ready. We were ready. All we had to do was be patient, and wait. Senor 23 and I sat in the middle livingroom waiting for our unwanted guest with beers in hand. Our gear was with us except for the large pieces of cardboard. Being the lazy soul that he is, Senor 23 never bothered to break down and throw out the box from his 32 inch TV. Luckily it was large enough for our purposes. I cut it in half and doubled one side back on itself. It was going to make a perfect blockade over the basement stairwell. For now, the cardboard was placed on top of the stairwell entrance, out of sight. The oven mitts, fire extinguisher, broom, and tall plastic garbage can were haphazardly located around the two of us. I’m certain that if a stranger or a policeman had seen us sitting there with such an odd collection of household items they would think we were tweaked out on meth.

The plan was simple. Possum shows up in the back room to freeload, as usual. We block the stairwell with the cardboard and then shut the kitchen door behind us. There’s no other exits we could find so this means trapped. Nowhere to run. We do battle with the possum and get it placed inside the garbage can. Once inside the can, we transport the offending creature to somewhere else and be rid of it. The somewhere else was a bit of a problem though. We still hadn’t worked that part out. Also, unlike the movies, we decided it would not be necessary to synchronize our watches. This could prove to be a fatal error, we knew. But what the hell, better to go out in a blaze of glory than to die of old age in a nursing home.

A couple of hours passed. No possum. Checking the inventory on our beer supply, things were getting low. We were buzzed. The conversation was becoming difficult to comprehend. Words sounded somewhat slurred.

Suddenly, an all too familiar sound came from the rear of the house. It was the crackling noises of cat kibble being snapped into pieces. Activity in the back room! The perimiter has been breached! Dirty V.C.! Get them!

The two of us were practically on top of each other trying to get through the kitchen door with our crap in both hands. It was a silly rush. With the lights off I was able to get the cardboard in place blocking the basement stairwell. Senor 23 shut the kitchen door behind us. Oh yeah. We in bizness. Click. The lights came on, a startled possum looked up at us humans with oven mitts and fire extinguisher… and freaked. It ran head on into the cardboard blockade and then hit the reverse gear and headed away from us towards some large boards we had stacked against the far wall. Damn. Now we’re going to have to move shit to get at him. Both of us should have thought to move any obstacles out of the room, or at least get stuff out of there that a possum could hide behind. Doh!

The real brawl was about to begin. I started moving wood out of the way while Senor 23 stood next to me with the broom. The whole time we got hissed and growled at by the large, smelly possum. It sure was goofy looking. Huge damn thing with beady eyes, a long pink tail, and white fur. No matter. This punk was goin’ down! Just as I got enough of the wood pile away from the wall for Senor 23 to try to poke at the possum with the broom, the bastard slipped between us and headed for the other side of the room. It ran behind the washer and dryer. Fuck. Those things were heavy. With a sigh we marched over to the appliances and started moving them out from the wall. Broom was applied with heavy hand and the possum decided to run for the wash basins. Luckily for us there wasn’t much cover underneath them so Senor 23 scored a point for us. Possum got poked. Then it happened.

I’ve always heard of possums “playing dead.” Never seen it though and I thought it was probably like housewife legend. Stuff that wasn’t real, but it made a good story at a Tupperware party. Well, as soon as the broom was applied to our invader, it flopped over on the floor with it’s mouth wide open. It didn’t blink even once. The beady eyes stayed open the whole time and the possum didn’t make a sound. All the hissing and growling stopped. Amazing. Senor 23 decided to put the “play dead” thing to the test. He started brushing the possum’s fur with his broom in a gentle, caring way like he was combing out the possum’s pelt. Awwww. So cute. Nothing happened. Then he lightly jabbed the possum with the broom and said “poke poke poke” each time he touched it. Nothing happened. Senor 23 then put the broom firmly down on the possum and began sweeping it all over the floor like it was a dust mop. He made figure 8’s, went in circles, then actually began cleaning up some of the spilled cat kibble with it. Heh. Nothing happened.

We stood there for a few minutes talking about it. Senor 23 put the broom against the wall as we were yapping and laughing about how stupid a possum must be. We didn’t notice that the punk faked us out and ran off to hide in another part of the room. By the time we did notice our corpse had vanished, it was too late, and we were the chumps. Outsmarted by a pest. I still have to hang my head in shame on that one. After a repeat of the first encounter by the wood pile we finally managed to get the possum back under the power of the broom and another “play dead” episode took place. This time we were through fucking around and I held the dust pan while Senor 23 swept the possum onto it. I dutifully placed it inside the garbage can where it belonged. Whew.

The fire extinguisher went unused during this operation.

Now that the ordeal was over. What to do with this critter? That’s where Senor Random came to the rescue. He had just arrived home and we showed him who was eating all his pets’ food. He thought about it for a moment and suggested we drive it to another part of the neighborhood and drop it off. The unfamiliar surroundings would be like a maze to the pea-sized brain of a possum he thought. So that was the solution. Drive it someplace else and drop it off like a taxi cab dropping off a bum at the town’s only late night diner. Random and 23 took the can and hopped in his 1963 Mercury Monterey to do the task. Cool. I was left to tidy up the back room- and drink some victory beer.

Good Riddance, mangy pest.

~ by factorypeasant on December 28, 2004.

2 Responses to “Operation: Good Riddance”

  1. Sweet.

    I was totally expecting a raccoon. Lucky for you it wasn’t. Raccoon’s never play dead, and once they start coming into your house and eating your cats’ food they consider it theirs and will fight to drive you away from it.

    Also, I wanted to point out that you can use an HTML entity to do the spanish n in Señor. It’s number #241. Put an ampersand in front of it and add a semi-colon after it and you’re good to go.

    Nice work on the possum by the way.

  2. Hey Wad, thanks for the tip on the squiggly n thing. Maybe sometime soon when I go on that serious editing spree I’ll fix that stuff up.

    Yeah Raccoons are rough to deal with. If it had been one of those tough little bastards we really would have had our hands full.

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