Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ol’ Possum Knocker

I mentioned in a recent post that I’d named my walking staff “Ol’ Possum Knocker.” I’ve got a short story about that. I used to do a little trapping in my youth and make no apologies for it; I’d still be doing it if I hadn’t made a bad “social decision.” When you catch critters, it follows that you have to also dispatch critters; that’s the most distasteful part of the job. Gunshots scare people and draw attention, so a good whack on the head is the preferred method for most animals. As a result, I carried a box-elder branch about an inch-and-a-quarter at the large end, with the bark removed in the “handle” area, and a leather thong looped through a hole to make it less likely for me to drop it. It was only about three feet long, so skunks could present some interesting situations. I dubbed the stick my “possum knocker,” an ironic name, since you don’t actually hit possums, but break their necks, instead.

Now, for a few months during that time, I allowed a fellow to move in with me who was supposed to be a good Christian guy, and who was losing his apartment. Of course, some of the “good Christians” that I attended church with immediately assumed that I had something in common with a three-dollar bill, but that was their problem, not mine. While staying at my place, the guy got custody of his two little boys, so things got a bit crowded at times. (I can only imagine the horror stories THAT caused!) The guy turned out to be a hopeless womanizer, so he wasn’t such a fine Christian after all. Still, I loaned him my truck on occasion to make connections with his ex about the boys and such.

On one such trip, he was stopped by a cop for some reason. Looking in the window, the cop noticed my possum knocker and a 25 foot coil of rope hanging from the gun rack in the rear window and asked what they were for. The guy nervously explained that the truck was borrowed and that I used the same truck to check my traps as I did to haul hay for the cattle. He said the cop SEEMED to buy the story, but he wasn’t completely certain. The fellow must not have done anything to get stopped, because he didn’t get a ticket; maybe the cop just saw the contents of the gun rack and felt the need to ask. I told him that he should have told the cop that he was a member of the redneck mafia and that he was going to an appointment, but he didn’t think that was such a good idea. © 2013


Lady Locust said...

Word of advise: never kill an opossum in the shop. Let's just say that the parfum de opossum isn't quite the same as cinnamon and apples and takes a while to go away:?)

Gorges Smythe said...

LL, I once described the odor as equal parts of, kerosene, lemon juice, cat piss and road kill! And I was serious!