Okay, so my last post described the deranged, hyper-aggressive critter which took up residence under my tool shed in the backyard. That was yesterday.
Apparently there is a little more room under the shed as of today.
I was getting the paper this morning, after my "jog" and I noticed the smell first. Imagine a trashbag full of dirty diapers, spoiled milk and rotten vegetables left to stew in its own juices for the entire month of August. That would give you an inkling of what I was smelling.
I assumed it was a skunk or something but then I noticed a squishy, grey and white furred object in the middle of the road, fifteen feet from my driveway, weakly squirming about. I took a closer look and recognized the beast which had menaced me the day before. I didn't think it was possible, but he looked even worse now. Apparently he wasn't fast enough crossing the street at some point during his nocturnal wanderings and a car had driven right over him.
It was disgusting. The force of the tire going over its body stuck it to the asphalt like a pancake. But the SOB was still alive. That nasty worm-looking tail clutched at the air and the possum struggled to raise its head. His needle-like teeth were stained a deep crimson from the severe internal injuries it suffered. But it still wanted a piece of me! Its jaw opened and closed repeatedly in my direction.
"Whatcha got there, neighbor?" Scared the crap out of me.
There was Joe coming out of his garage with a garbage bag in one hand and a shovel in the other. Thick workman's gloves covered his hands. I guess he'd done this sort of thing before. The rugged, blue collar effect was spoiled by his red flannel pajama pants and open-toe slippers.
"Morning, Joe. Just saw this poor thing now. Looks like you're on top of the job."
He chuckled at my discomfort.
"Yep. Somebody's got to do something about this mess. And I didn't figure it would be you."
He opened the garbage bag with a practiced swish and started prying the remains of the possum right off the street with the shovel. The possum wasn't ready to give up yet and thrashed madly, snapping those tiny, sharp teeth at the old man.
"Do me a favor, Chris. Let me know if you see any cars coming. I don't want to end up like our friend here."
My neighbor plucked the dying animal up by the tail and moved it towards the open garbage bag.
Joe whistled loudly. "Damn, but does this little bastard reek! Smells like the time our septic tank..."
I was saved from yet another tale of Joe's glory days when the possum split in half at the middle and Joe found himself holding the rear portion of the animal while the business end landed on his left foot with sickening splat - like throwing a wad of wet paper towels on a linoleum floor.
Joe cursed and kicked at the remains. We were both amazed to see the thing was still moving after all that.
From now on possums are going down in my book as the toughest creatures on earth, no contest.
Joe raised the shovel over his head and smashed the head of the struggling creature as hard as he could. That seemed to do the trick. He scooped the dead animal into the bag and headed back up his driveway with nary a word. Wordlessly he tossed the bag into his garbage can.
"Thanks, Joe. You okay?" I noticed tiny drops of bright crimson on the cracked concrete in his wake.
"Just stubbed my toe, son. Nothing to worry about. And do you mind telling your kids to stop screaming and running around after dinnertime? Gives me a damned migraine every goddamned night." He disappeared into his house and slammed the door behind him.
I've got the bestest neighbors.