Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wildlife Animal Kingdom... in the restroom!

You’re getting ready for work. Know that feeling? It’s early morning. The Weather Channel is mumbling in your bedroom. The cat’s curled up on a mound of sheets on your bed. You’re fifteen minutes from leaving, fresh from the shower, in a t-shirt and socks and boxers. You’re only a quarter awake, mostly on autopilot. You’ve done your morning routine so many times it’s been reduced to nothing more than muscle memory. You walk into the downstairs bathroom adjacent to your bedroom, to get your morning dose of asthma medicine. You reach up into the cabinet over the toilet for your medicine. Something dark catches the corner of your eye – something that doesn’t belong. Something in the toilet. You look down.

In the toilet bowl, there are EYES and TEETH and FUR and CLAWS. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

I woke up to baby possums in the toilet bowl this morning. God! I can’t even tell you what a crazy adrenaline jolt that was.

It rained really hard last night, and I guess somehow they got through the pipes and ended up in the house. I have no idea how two of them did it at the same time, but there they were, and they were both alive. Shaking and soaked, but alive.

I debated outside the bathroom door, cats circling around my legs, meowing their distress. I could sympathize. What to do? I had to leave in ten minutes for work, but I couldn’t leave them in the damn toilet bowl. I wasn’t about to try flushing them again either. I might not have wanted them in my house by any means, but I’m not fricking inhumane.

I threw on some pants, went upstairs and recruited one of my roommates to help me out, declared an emergency downstairs. He stumbled out of bed, blinking, yawning. “What is it?” he asked.

“There’s something in my toilet,” I said.

He gave me a narrowed-eye look.

“Here’s the kicker: it’s alive,” I said.

His expression became even more doubtful. “Whaaaat?”

I nodded. “There are two baby possums in my toilet.”

He was quiet for a second. Then: “Am I really awake?”

Downstairs, we searched for something to put the little possums in. I finally found a stock pot and got him a big spoon. He was brave about it. I hurried up and got dressed – precious seconds were ticking away, moving me ever closer to being late for work. I pulled my polo over my head, tied my shoes, watching him through the doorway. He scooped up each of the babies and put them in the stock pot with a soft plop. I was ready for work. I walked over, picked up the pot. The little guys were clinging to each other, shaking. I wasn’t sure if they were scared or cold. Probably both. I walked the pot outside and set it down carefully on the back porch.

I looked at my roommate. “I gotta go to work.”

He nodded. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Go to work, I know you can’t be late. I’ll figure this out.”

I left him there with the babies in the stock pot, carefully covered with an old sweatshirt to keep them warm. Halfway to work, I realized I hadn’t even thought about taking a single picture with my camera phone. DAMN!

The Wildlife Rescue people are coming at ten today to pick up the possums. I emailed the landlord, though I know he won’t do anything. Whatever; at least it was a little excitement, a little break from the routine.

Let the wild rumpus start!!

Update: My roommate texted me a couple of pics. Here are our possums:


They're kind of cute when they're not scaring the bejesus out of me.

Close up:


I hope they do well. Roommate says the wildlife woman will keep them in captivity until they're about 13 months (they're five months now) and then release them into the wild. She also said it's not uncommon for this to happen, but it's always disturbing, not just for the humans involved, but for the possums too.

Well, good luck, little guys. Thanks for making my day interesting.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Summer Movie Season (SMS) is always like a trip to an amusement park for me. For most of the time, it's awesome. I look forward to each movie with childlike anticipatory glee. I danced in my pants for Iron Man, and am continuing to do the same kind of celebratory pants-dance for Batman. There were so many movies in between those two... Prince Caspian, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Sex and the City, The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Hancock. So... many... movies...

It's great but they're starting to blur together for me. So it's probably good that SMS is coming to an end soon. I think there's only a couple more movies on my gotta-see list for the summer. Then we gear up again in November with Harry Potter and James Bond. God I love movies. Not everyone understands why I'm not willing to wait until the big ones come out on DVD, but those of you that are also cinemaphiles know why I do what I do. There's nothing like a huge screen, surround sound, semi-comfortable seat, bag of popcorn, box of raisinets... all at the same time while being entertained in a giant dark room. But it's also the feeling of camraderie that I get with my fellow movie goers. These are people I don't know, that I'll never see again. Nameless, faceless blurs in the dark. But I share this experience with them... this story... this feeling of being caught up in something larger than myself. We are entertained together, disgusted together, amused together, shocked together, amazed together. We are vulnerable together, there, in the dark. We all share something close and indefinable for those hundred and twenty (or so) minutes. A common bond that may, one day, define the start of a friendship between us. Even though I know I didn't see Big Fish in the same theater as my friend Shaggy, because we've both seen it and loved it we're both a little closer to one another as friends. And the person I did go see that movie with - we laughed, we jumped, we were spellbound and we shed tears together - well, hell, we started being friends right at that moment, even though we barely knew each other. And now, four and a half years later, she's still "my girl in the river".