03 March 2010

Man 1: Possum 0

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Possums aren't just tasty, they're inconvenient.

And last night man triumphed over nature in a way that only our frontier ancestors could properly appreciate.

Some few of you may know that my lovely wife Sharon and I have had a guest living under our side room. In honor of Homer Simpson, I call him Bitey. The side room used to be a three season room, not part of the house and foundation but on its own slab. We finished this room some time ago, but there was a crawl space we hadn't accounted for that invited varmints to nuzzle on in. We became aware of this feature when we caught a whiff one day of one that had gone to its reward.

Sharon told me to take care of it.

So, leaping into action, I called somebody else to take care of it. This ingenious fellow dug out a trench, walled it with cinder blocks up to the level of the slab, and covered it again with earth for ordinary landscaping. A hidden Berlin wall of possumry.

But... because we wanted to make absolutely sure there wasn't still a possum under the house for stink purposes--it is impossible to see all the way under-- he left one small block unmortared and with cell open to allow egress (and ingress).

The plan was to mark the area to see when the possum got out, come out one night, rearrange the block to stop the hole, and be done with it. Good plan.

However, it was really cold outside, and I am not much for getting up in the middle of the night to check on possum movements. Time passed.

Lately we confirmed from tracks seen in the light of day, in the snow, that we had a holdover tenant still.

Fast forward to last night. I picked up my daughter from dance class around 9pm. We pulled up to the curb and lo and behold! It was ol' Bitey, right in the neighbor's front yard. "Hot diggity!" I said.

I jumped out of the car and went immediately around back to the hole to ensure Bitey didn't get back in. I sent the girl for a flashlight and implements of destruction. She was not thrilled, but hey, sacrifices have to be made.

Here's the pathetic part. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get the block out of the hole to turn it and stop the hole again. Anyone filming the attempt surely would have won $10,000 on AFV. Because I didn't want to waste the opportunity, I ended up covering the hole with a boulder, with another boulder on top, and dirt, and heavy garden planters keeping the boulders from being shoved aside.

Think Fred Sanford's Possum Stopper.

In the face of some small laughter I says to the wife, I says, "Sheryl, that possum might be able to move those rocks and get in--though I doubt it-- but he sure won't put them back in place once inside. So, if this monstrosity is unmoved in the morning, we win."

This morning I checked and sure enough, we won. See, it's more than just opposable thumbs that make us superior.

There's always the sceptic, though. While relating my triumph at lunch today to my brother, he asked the following question, "How you know you ain't got ol' boy possum's family in there-- you know, the Missus, Li'l Possie, Possie Boy, and Poss, Jr.?"

Guess I'll find out tonight.


Anonymous said...

Looks to me from the picture that the possum is saying to you, "That's what you think!"


P.S. Better than skunks - which is what we have on occasion.

cmziall said...

HA! As I'm reading this I thought the same things as Timbro!

BTW, Timman, I'm REALLY impressed! I didn't see you as being a man of action in such a situation. CONGRATS!

Anonymous said...

We've had to battle mice in our basement this month. One was particularly sneaky, biting into each humane trap (ie, box that latches shut). We were able to catch 2 and release them in the fields about a mile away. We had to go the glue tray route to get the last 2. It was gruesome. Both huz and I were involved. Ugh.

StGuyFawkes said...

"Lately we confirmed from tracks seen in the light of day, in the snow, that we had a HOLDOVER TENANT still."

Holdover tenant?

Check the Missouri Statues. You can charge him double rent.

Mitch said...

Not having possums in my area of the country, I have to say that they look obnoxious and extremely unfun to have around.

Anonymous said...

Pelosi w/o Botox?

Dad29 said...

There IS 'the .22 solution,' just in case.

Delena said...

I can't figure out what I like better: You saying, "Hot diggity!" and jumping out of the car OR Timbro's comment about the rapping possum family.

This one is going to be a tough call.

Badger Catholic said...

Those possums are no good. Us badgers leave people alone!