EPISODE 1: Always Look Before You Pet
SUBTITLE: The Perils of Porch Drinking
SUB-SUBTITLE: How I Almost Touched a Possum
This past summer, Dear Sweet Mama and I braved the Gulf Coast Oil Globules (never saw ’em), the disappointed “tsk” noises from Chuckweasel and The Little Woman (we embarrass them) and CERTAIN DOOM (okay, not really) to spend a week in our favorite place in the world, the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
We stayed in our usual place — a no-brand-name motel which we like because A) it’s cheap, B) it has a pool for when there are jellyfish or we are lazy and C) it’s close — but not TOO close — to my aunt’s condo which is chock-full of our relations. It is also within easy walking distance of one of those generic, new-name-every-season-’cause-you-lost-your-liquor-license beach bars (which may actually be D) for why we like it — who am I kidding, it’s A)).
One thing our motel also has to offer is a massive passel of feral cats who live in the field/”parking lot” out back of the room we always get. I’m talking about 16 or so closely-related cats of all ages… Now, some people (assholes) might have complained about the cats… being that this is Mama and I, we named them. And fed them lunchmeat.
The most personable of the cats we named “Ted” and we were always trying to get him to let us pet him, but he had that whole bad-ass “street-cat” thing going on and he wasn’t having it. Pay attention, this will be important later.
So we walked down the Beach Road to the Bar with No Name (cool, I wrote a song!) and had some kind of nice frozen drink that had way more liquor in it than was first apparent… then we moseyed back to our room. As we were walking up to our little porch, we saw the cats all hanging out… along with a little baby possum! Not like an infant-baby, but small… a toddler possum? a pre-teen possum? Anyhoo, I guess both it and the cats thought it was just a weird-looking cat, ’cause they were all cool with each other… Mama and I, however, screamed “Yah! Possum!” as all good Southern girls are trained to do, then ran inside our room and locked the possum out.
Fast forward a couple of days later, we had returned from a rather disappointing trip to the bar (they had advertised a live band and then not had one, plus their blender was broken, so no frozen drink). So I was sitting on the porch drinking beer and reading, and Mama was already laid up in the bed because as she likes to put it, she “drinks in moderation,” and as I like to put it, she “is a great big puss and a lightweight.”
So, I’m sitting and reading by the light of the citronella candle, because turning on the porch light would have made me a Skeeter-Buffet, when I see something sneeeeaking onto the porch out of the corner of my eye. I said, “Hey, Ted,” and reached out my hand… then turned my head and saw, not Ted-the-Cat, but Possum-the-Possum! There was much running and jumping about on both our parts, (apparently he hadn’t expected me, either) until I finally got inside and, yes, locked the door.
‘Cause possums are crafty, y’all.