It was a marsupial day in the neighbourhood when Mortimer Snert arrived at his house after a long day of teaching television to college students. It was very hot that day, and Mort’s air conditioning did not work very well at the time, and so as soon as he got home, he had the tendency to shed all his clothes except his underwear. Mort did not like hot, that was all there was to it.
So having done that, he settled in to a nice boring evening, with only the cat for entertainment. Now Mort had had some concerns over the cat’s welfare, and in fact, it’s sanity for the past almost week or so. The cat was always starving to death, and Mort had fed it copious amounts of cat food in an attempt to get it to shut up. But the cat was always starving, and yelling and its cat food dish was always empty, no matter how much stuff Mort put out. So Mort put out some more cat food, and slumped on the couch for a quick nap.
He had not been asleep for long when the cat commenced yelling at the top of its lungs. Mort was not happy about being awakened, and looked around to see what the problem was. He noticed the cat standing on its toes on the opposite end of the couch from where he was, lashing its tail, and flattening its ears against its head. Mort yelled real loud at the cat, which did not move. He decided to see what the problem was. Evidently there must be something pretty exciting behind the couch. Mort moved carefully over by the cat, and peered over the end of the couch, in the general direction of where the cat was aimed.
To Mort’s surprise, huddled in the corner was a huge possum, which was certainly not enjoying the attention it was getting. Now the starving cat made sense. The possum was eating all the cat food while Mort was gone. Carefully considering his options, Mort retreated to the kitchen, and selecting a medium sized cast iron frying pan, returned to the couch, and reached over and whacked the possum soundly on the head.
This caused the surprised possum to lunge down the hallway. This was not good. Mort’s house (at that time) was kinda small, and overly cluttered. This caused an inordinate number of hiding places for Mr. Possum to have access to. So Mort chased the possum up and down the hallway several times, making detours into rooms and such likes.
Finally the possum returned to the living room, and decided to take a dive under the couch. This was a mistake, since the possum was a tad on the large size, and the couch was a bit low to the floor. So the possum got about halfway under the couch before it became wedged in place. So Mort was now presented with the ass end of a very irritated possum, and understanding that time was of the essence, reached down, grabbed the possum by the tail, and yanked it out.
As soon as the front of the possum cleared the couch, his other hand grabbed it by the back of the neck. For a fleeting second, Mort hoped that possums reacted like cats when lifted by the back of the neck. If it didn’t paralyse, Mort would be in for one hell of a fight. Nature was with Mort, and as soon as the possum cleared the floor, it’s back arched and its legs went four different directions, and that was it. Mort was holding onto a very heavy, very paralysed possum.
Now he was faced with a predicament. What was he going to do with this stupid possum, now that he had hold of it? He didn’t know how long the paralysis would last, and he certainly didn’t want to be anywhere near the thing when it snapped to. On top of that, it was basically broad daylight, and he was stuck there in his underwear. And not just any underwear, mind you, it was his Sunday underwear. They were very holey.
Gritting his teeth, Mort inched across the living room, kicked open the door, and dashed out onto the patio. His intention was to terminate the possum as quickly and quietly as possible.
Well, this was not to be the case.
Now would probably be a good time to explain Mort’s extreme dislike of possums. He acquired this at an early age, when one night a marauding possum broke into the chicken house and brutally murdered his favourite chicken. Along with all the rest of the chickens that were there. And as if that were not enough, it smashed all the eggs that the chickens had spent so much time manufacturing. Mort was the one to discover the grizzly remains, and it did not set too well with him.
Now it would have almost been excuseable if the possum had been hungry, and had eaten one or two chickens, Mort could deal with that, but outright killing for no apparent reason was inexcuseable. So Mort had absolutely no sympathy for possums, and had indeed been instrumental in the termination of several of the beasts. The one that he had in his grasp was certainly going to be no exception.
So he found an appropriate sized tree and began to thrash the possum against it. The more he thrashed, the more outraged he became, and all of a sudden, half the neighbourhood was outside to see what all the commotion was about. As soon as they realised what was taking place, they just as quickly vanished to the safety of their houses.
That is, with the exception of Mort’s next door neighbours.
These boys were music majors at the university. They had observed Mort outside in his underwear thrashing the possum for all he was worth, and had pranced out onto their front porch, also clad in nothing but their underwear. Mort ignored them and continued to thrash the possum until he heard them making squeely noises.
He stopped long enough to see what was happening, and observed the two youngsters clutching at each other and slobbering. Mort decided that they were deriving entirely too much pleasure from this, and started yelling at them, promising a fate similar to that which the possum was receiving if they didn’t go away. Realizing that Mort was probably deadly serious, and not wanting to find out exactly what he would do, they beat a hasty retreat inside, and stayed with their noses glued to the window.
Now mort had thrashed the possum to a bloody pulp, but he knew one thing about possums, and that was that no matter how dead they looked, if you left them for just a minute or so, and came back, they would be gone. Mort never saw how it happened, he didn’t know if they had multiple lives, like cats do, or whether the possum network got alerted somehow, and all the possum buddies came and retrieved the corpse.
Mort didn’t particularly care.
He did know that if you exposed their interior, that there was no hope of them going away. And that was just what Mort intended to do. Carrying it over to the truck, he slammed its tail firmly in the door. Quickly going inside and grabbing the keys to the truck, Mort returned outside, opened the door, let the possum down in front of the truck tire, and drove over it. And backed up and did it again.
Until it was quite flat.
Satisfied with his handy work, Mort retreated to the safety of his house. The next door neighbours never bothered him again. And the flattened possum stayed there for weeks.