I hear nothing, at first.
Suddenly, a rustling sound in the almost-full trash can. I reach inside to turn on the light switch for the porch light, but the light isn't adequate to see the area around the trash cans.
I come in and get the flashlight, and venture back to the deck. I shine my light into the lidless can.
From beneath the discarded furnace filter, I see a very long, hairless prehensile tail.
That damned possum is back, having a midnight snack al fresco. This summer, he's even been on our deck, eating tomato plants and leaving possum poop. He's taken up residence under our shed.
I think I'll call him Al Fresco, it has a nice ring to it.
Old Al is noshing away, but he got very still when I shone the light on him (playing possum, I assume).
That's when my latest devious plan was formed in my sick and twisted mind.
Do you know what chore The Boy has to do first thing Monday morning?
Yep, take the trash out to the curb for pickup.
Should I do the nice mom thing and tell him BEFORE he goes out, knowing that he'll scream like a little girl and refuse to do his job?
No freaking way. I'd get stuck doing the job, and that will just not do. I have my standards.
Monday morning, I remind him that he has a job to do. Of course, he refuses. The initial refusal is encoded in his DNA. He can't help but be non-compliant - he's a teenager.
Like usual, he does the job anyway. When he's halfway down the driveway, I casually mention that there was a HUGE possum in that very trash can. I'm trembling with excitement, and wish that I had thought to bring the camera out to record his reaction.
Good thing I didn't bother - he showed no reaction at all. No bloodcurdling scream, no running away from the big, bad vermin.
I got nuttin'. In fact, as adrenaline and testosterone and all those annoyingly male hormones coursed through his body, he was bold enough to lift the furnace filter.
The possum was gone. Talk about anti-climactic.
Before you go all "OMG, June Freaking Cleaver, I can't believe you would do that to your only son, the fruit of your loins, the being that was ripped from your gaping abdominal wound"...
I had gone outside again (the night before, and in the morning); the possum was, in fact, gone.
But don't worry, Karma is one nasty wench. I got my comeuppance this evening. I went out to the deck, in the dark, and was ready to deposit some trash into the can.
Guess who was there to greet me?
That freeloader, Al Fresco!
|image source Not really Al|
Or it could have been one of his relatives, it's hard to say. Al also jumped a bit, and gave me a good hiss.
I did NOT scream like a girl. I have my standards.
But I DID jump about a foot in the air and said a very bad word. I then giggled nervously, and glanced around, glad that all of my neighbors have normal sleeping habits, so they didn't see my antics.
I felt like I should go immediately to the bathroom and wash my mouth out with soap - and was mightily pleased that I had already used the facilities, or that's not all that would need washing.
I sure hope Al Fresco doesn't understand English - I'd hate for him to pick up the filth that came out of my mouth. The trash can was probably a much cleaner place for his hairless ears to be.