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Monday, September 08, 2008

All the best friends make fun of you, mercilessly.

We had a few friends in Saturday night, with kids, which can be scary. I like kids, I do, but large groups of them together...am I the only person who read "Lord of the Flies?" Anyhow...these kids all got along, which was way cool. To be honest, we kind of planned it that way. Plus, we just like their parents, because in the words of Ricky Bobby, "I like to party" and so do they. So the kids were playing educational games discussing how much they loved school zoned out in front of several DVD's worth of "America's Funniest Videos" and we started reminiscing.

When A and I first moved to our house, we were eager to explore. I bravely went down the stairs to the dirt basement to check out our water heater. It pretty much looked like a water heater. As I was going back up the stairs, I turned to my left. A baby freakin' possum was staring me straight in the face. Actually it had its eyes closed. Maybe it was dead. I freaked. Nature, no matter how benign, scares me. I will never know why I insisted that my husband go look at it. I had nothing to prove - he believed me. I will never know why I went with him to see it again. Maybe it was the thrill. I will never, ever know why I let him be above me on the stairs. As soon as we both saw the little critter, we screamed like girls, stumbling up the stairs. I was behind him, punching him repeatedly in the kidneys to make him go faster. He managed to slam his thumb into the doorjamb as we toppled out of the basement. Did I mention we only had to go about four stairs down to see the possum. We're pathetic, I know. I like the zoo. Cages are good. By the time we reached the top of the stairs, quadruple locking the door behind us, we looked like the couple at the end of the movie who've conquered all and survived. Think Angelina and Brad in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." We look nothing like them, of course, but humor me.

Immediately, we called our nature expert friend R (one of our guests on Saturday night), who was known for catching possums in his garage and releasing them into the fanciest gated community he could find. He offered to lend us his no-kill possum trap, with the warning to put newspaper down when we put the trapped possum in the car for transport, because they'll sh*t their brains out when they're scared. We made note of that excellent advice. A was on his way out to pick up the trap when our friend T called. T prides himself on being a country boy, but we like him anyway. A explained our predicament, trying to impress T with his manly intention of trapping the possum. T's response?

"Screw that. Turn around and go home. You got a blanket?"

My wise husband didn't even slow down to hear the rest of the procedure. He's no possum wrestler. Anyhow...

We put the trap down there with some tasty cereal. The possum was no longer in residence. We probably scared the living daylights out of her. In fact, for $100, we'll come scare the sh*t out of a possum at your house. Call me.

We checked the trap once a day, in case the possum found it. Neither possum wrestlers nor possum starvers are we. It remained empty and we finally relaxed. Once we felt that our home was occupied by humans only, we had a party.

I was so, so proud of our fancy new house. I gave tours. I might have been a little smug. Here comes karma... I was showing the fifth or sixth group through the house. Had I been a little more sober or a little less proud, I might have noticed that the group was pretty big. And some people were on their second tour.

After sweeping through my fabulous kitchen, I opened the door to the laundry room, which at that point was still pretty tidy. I threw open the door to the basement, laughing in what I thought was a sophisticated, devil-may-care sort of way.

"Hahahaha!" I trilled. Yes, trilled. I'm embarrassed about it now. "This is the basement, where we saw the scaaaaary possum! Hah-AAAAAAAAAH!"

I'm so ashamed of what I did next, in front of all of our friends. Many of whom are churchgoers.

"JESUS!" I screamed. "ALEX!!! THE MOTHERF***ING POSSUM IS BAAAAAAAACK! KILL! IT! NOOOOOOWWWWWWW!"

I don't really think I was taking the Lord's name in vain. I really wanted Jesus to protect me from the possum. And Jesus should note that I called Him before my husband. Aren't we supposed to put Him first? Also, Jesus is way more likely than my husband to be able to deal with a possum. Jesus was pretty brave, plus there's that "all God's creatures" stuff. I have no explanation for the cussing or possum death wish. Sorry.

I slammed the door. My husband, normally a fearful, girly-screeching sort around possums, sped towards the laundry room. With righteous determination and manly anger, with our friends looking on in awe, he growled,

"Where the hell is it?"

I screamed some more and pointed at the door. He undid all four locks, threw open the door, and stomped down two stairs, reaching over his head to the ledge where the possum lay in wait, grabbing it with his bare hands. I am not proud of this, but it was the sexiest thing I've ever seen him do. I wanted to take him into my arms and smother him with love...after he got rid of the possum and took a shower, of course.

Funny thing, though. When our friends were looking on in awe at my manly husband, I must have been too drunk excited to hear the quiet giggling. 'Cause guess what? R's wife had smuggled in a stuffed possum, purchased that morning at the Cracker Barrell in front of several of my "friends". And my husband knew about it. Yup.

I could have been mad, humiliated in front of a houseful of people, but I had a dose of humility coming. But I was touched. You have to really like someone to go to that much trouble, don't you? First of all, a stuffed possum is a really nice housewarming gift. The realistic looking ones aren't cheap. But to go to the trouble of smuggling it into a party, hiding it and getting everyone in on the joke? That's love, y'all.

Namasté, y'all!


6 comments:

Jessica L. said...

That is one of the best stories I have ever read. You are an awesome story-teller. And btw - had my own awful opossum experience in my new house. It was dreadful. Your story is much funnier!

*~Dani~* said...

Love the story! Totally sounds like something I would do. And, you are right, people have to care to go to all that trouble. You have great friends!

Shelley said...

I love it. And I was rolling by the time you got to the motherf***er part - it's good to know other people endear themselves to churchgoers as well as I do.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Like all good southerners I have a possum story too - who doesn't?
Thanks for the laugh!

Roger Hutchison said...

God that is funny.

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