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.

Recently Declassified CIA Operations

OPERATION: SUPER SUMMER – This operation, carried out in the summer of 1976, was conducted for the sole purpose of giving the high school students of Wekiva Springs, Florida the best vacation of their lives, completely clandestinely. Success! The summer is remembered by every subject at ratings of “fondly” and above.

OPERATION: DOVE TORNADO – This operation, carried out in 1984, was a field test of the theory that feeding live doves into a tornado funnel would disperse the phenomenon. Partial success. The solution worked, but the number of doves required was judged cost-prohibitive.

OPERATION: FRIEND BALLOON – This operation, carried out in 1956, involved a red balloon which the CIA had bestowed with sentience. It was released in Paris to monitor its behaviour in an urban environment. Failure! The balloon became obsessed with a young boy and began stalking him. It was soon neutralised by CIA agents, but the child carried the resultant phobia of balloons with him for the rest of his life.

How to Train Your House Panther

The house panther’s natural habitat is the human home. It is estimated that at least 96% of homes in North America are inhabited by a house panther. Your initial reaction may be one of fear. What if the house panther harms you or your loved-ones? Don’t worry! If it had wanted to, it would have mauled you in your sleep long ago. It has instead likely grown a rudimentary fondness and creepy sense of possession towards your household, which will be the basis for your future relationship.

House panthers supplement their normal diet of deer and other large game that has wandered into your home with unattended scraps of meat and small children. If you’ve ever found either gone missing, it was probably a house panther!

A common mistake made by potential house panther owners is to turn on the lights; house panthers react violently to sudden exposure to full lighting. Potential owners are instead advised to develop infravision. Now that you have developed infravision, you will be able to see the heat signature of your house panther, except when it is sneaking silently behind you, which will be most of the time.

The actually training regimen is quite simple. Drill the meanings of these words into your house panther: “no!” “don’t!” “stop!” “get off me!” “for the love of God!” “somebody, anybody!” Even if the house panther doesn’t grasp the complete meanings, it will at least find them amusing.

It is normal for a house panther in training to test its boundaries, usually by trying to kill you. One favourite house panther trick is to add or remove a step to your staircase, causing you to stumble and/or fall to your death in the dark. House panther carpentry is limited to this project.

“Gifts” of dead animals left where you can find them are the sign of a well-trained house panther. If your house panther’s gifts begin to extend to the weak and feeble, rap it on the nose with a rolled newspaper, if you dare.

Now you should have a fully-trained house panther at your command! Here’s hoping for long relationship, which, given the long lifespan of a house panther, should last until your death or such time as you pawn off your home to some unsuspecting sap.