Adventures with Dear Sweet Mama

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.



Filed under Adventures with Dear Sweet Mama, La Vida Loca

12 responses to “Adventures with Dear Sweet Mama

  1. Possums are murderous assholes too, so you are very fortunate to have survived your ordeal. Their favorite thing is to rip off your face and then wear it attempting to board buses for Vegas. See, they are notorious gamblers. Assholes. Oh, and I LOVED the Outer Banks. It was possum-free when I went. Thank God.


    • I was made permanently afraid of possums because there was a nest? a mess? a horde? of them that lived under the house where I grew up… and they would hiss at the furnace man when he went in the crawlspace and you could hear them through the vent. Funny, but at the same time, disconcerting.


  2. Wow, I double posted. Awesome people do that sometimes. So do possums when luring people on Craigslist. I swear I’m not a possum. I don’t like Vegas.


    • I had totally covered up for you, but then you called yourself out — the first step is to admit that you have a problem! And I’m pretty sure you would have outed yourself as a possum long before now if you were one… probably by trying to rip my face off or asking for the bus schedule.


  3. Dear Sweet Mama

    It was such a lovely trip. I had blocked out the possum – now it is back to therapy for me, thank you so much. I miss Ted. And having a bed that is nailed to the floor. Still not sure what that was all about.


    • Awesome I was forever naming and trying to take home the stray’s from on holiday much to my mothers horror since she seemed convinced I would catch rabies, fleas or both.
      This is a question from the girl who doesn’t have possums in her country – are they vicious or something, is that why you had to run off?


      • Mama — the bed was nailed to the floor so we would not see what was under it — don’t you remember what was under the nightstand? And why do we always try to move the furniture in hotel rooms?

        Holly — I’m not actually sure that possums are vicious, but I’m also not sure that they aren’t… think along the lines of a stinky, nocturnal badger that hisses at you when it’s startled. They also have sharp little teeth with which to rip your face off.


  4. Hey, I adopted a feral cat too on my honeymoon to the Outer Banks (Ocracoke). It’s pretty much the only pleasant memory I have. The rest all involve my ex-husband, who is similar to possums in that he is an asshole.


    • we tried really hard to get Ted in the car when we left (yes, we are the kind of girls who would make an 8-hour drive with an angry feral cat) but he was apparently wise to the whole “if you come to live with us, you have to get neutered” thing and he wasn’t having it. I think we should start a business in which we send angry possums TO ex-husbands in the mail… in boxes marked “Shake well before opening.”


      • aha great plan that stuff would market itself. Ugh badgers kill people stay AWAY from the possum!
        I thought possums slept hanging upside down all the time (thanks Disney) or am I confused with another critter?


  5. This reminds me of when we used to feed a possum that lived under the house behind my dad’s. It would always come to our yard at night, especially after we started leaving it hotdogs and bowls of sugary cornpops cereal.

    Once we had the screen door open while we were watching TV (probably just forgot to shut it), and the possum wandered into the living room. My sister and I stood on the couch. After a few minutes of listening to our yelling, topped by not finding any hotdogs in the living room, the possum went outside looking, probably for calmer places.


    • coming from a woman who once kept a pigeon in the house, I can’t say I’m surprised. I am a little disappointed that you don’t keep hot dogs in your living room, though!


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