The Challenges of Fighting an Opossum

Fighting an opossum (which all right-minded people pronounce “possum”, but the name has stuck) is not as easy as it first appears. Opossums are intelligent, and build complex societies, or “kingdoms”, in the boughs of multiple trees. Each “kingdom” is ruled by an “absolute monarch” who violently quells any attempt to form a “democratically-elected parliament.” The opossum is incredibly fecund, giving birth to litters of one-half or more. Their fur hides a chitinous exoskeleton that wards off parasites. They are known for hanging by their tails from tree branches to shit down upon other animals, which is correct.

You would think that your size and intelligence would give you one-up on the opossum but you would think wrong. In the wild, humans are considered lumbering, bellowing fools, whose only advantage is their hated machines. But those machines will rise, someday, and then… then… where was I?

Oh, yes. The opossum is quick, nimble, and has those creepy pin-like teeth. It can crawl up your shirt and chew your face off in seconds, so always wear a ski mask when tackling an opossum. The small profile of an opossum means that guns are nearly useless against them. You might think a shotgun would work, but you should know that all the shotguns in the world are reserved in case of a demon invasion of Earth. Knives are good, but put you in reach of those damned teeth, so the obvious solution is to duct tape a knife to an aluminum bat. Swing that baby and hope for the best. Actually, “hope for the best” is the general strategy, as the opossum is more man than you’ll ever be.

If you land a hit or the opossum gets bored, it will appear to have died. Do not, repeat, do not assume this to be the case. The term “playing opossum” has become common, but in actuality the process is quite involved. The opossum will writhe, clutch its chest, and give a death rattle before lying still. Doctor opossums will take the opossum away to a secret opossum hospital, where it will be pronounced officially dead. The family of the opossum will perform an elaborate opossum funeral, crying softly as an opossum priest (or rabbi) recites opossum scripture. Do not be fooled! It is very likely that the opossum has sensed danger from you and is attempting to make you flee due to your innate fear of death. Poke it with a stick a few times, then try to touch it. If it bites you, it was playing opossum!

If your opossum in fact turns out to be dead, eat it raw and with your bare hands. To the victor go the spoils!

P.S. Beware of confusing the “opossum” with an actual “possum.” Possums are seven-foot-tall reptilians that have the ability to shape-shift, and which control all world governments.

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