Tuesday, November 9, 2010
In movies, they never give in to the bad guys’ demands. They don’t have to. They’ve always got an action hero ready to rip his t-shirt, bloody up his face a bit, and take down an entire terrorist cell armed with only a Swiss army knife and a supply of wisecracks.
I don’t have that luxury. Or the Swiss army knife. Well, I do have a Swiss army knife, but ever since I sliced my thumb open trying to close it, I’ve been afraid to touch it. I only got it for the corkscrew anyway. Corkscrews, toothpicks, and nail files – it’s a man’s life in the Swiss army, that’s for sure. The second they add a cheese knife, I’m joining.
Anyway, I’ve capitulated to those bastard possums. Ever since I evicted them from the ceiling and they paid me back by sneaking into my house to steal bread, we’ve been enemies. I tried to get rid of them by hanging up camphor in the windows. Possums hate camphor, the internet promised. Then again, this is the same internet that promises me Google will pay be thousands of dollars a week, if I only just click that harmless-looking link.
For all I know, possums do hate camphor. They just don’t hate it enough to stop climbing through my windows. I could close the windows, but if you’ve ever lived through summer in the tropics you’d know that’s not an option. I don’t know that my death from suffocation and heat exhaustion would count as a moral victory.
So, I’ve resorted to bribery. Rather than loose a whole loaf of bread every night, I’ve taken to leaving a slice outside on top of the wheelie bin. I’m paying them to leave me alone. It’s protection money, in bread.
But I’m afraid it might be more than that as well. The other night, driving home from work, I thought, Oh no! I forgot to leave the bread out for the possums. I hope they’re okay! Then I caught myself, and re-thought it: I forgot to leave bread out for the possums. I hope they starve to death.
I’m kidding myself though. Worried that a constant diet of white bread might be bad for them, I’m varying their diet with fresh apples, and pieces of banana and pawpaw. It’s gone beyond sharing because I don’t even like pawpaw. I’m buying fruit that I don’t even eat, just to feed my possums.
Dammit. It’s not capitulation at all. It’s love.
Or maybe the Stockholm syndrome.