Monday, October 03, 2005

Propaganda

My friends, this week I stumbled across a startling misrepresentation of truth, in fact, a bit of propaganda that had been infused into my and many other children's minds in order to give a redeeming characteristic to over-grown rats, otherwise known as opossums. Countless children's books had shown pictures of and told stories of opossums hanging upside-down by their tails. I innocently believed them. However, the other day, as I was trying to look upset enough so that Larry wouldn't hit one of the charming creatures as it crossed the road, he asked why in the world they ought to be let to live. Attempting to be optimistic, I replied that they were cooler than over-grown rats because they hung upside-down from their tails. "When?" "Well, maybe when they sleep so big hungry carnivors can't get to them." "I think you're wrong; that's just in kids books." "Why would children's authors just make something like that up and be consistent with it?" etc. Well, I looked it up and alas, opossums don't hang by their tails when they sleep or any other time.

So why would this propaganda be permitted? Well, it's probably just another ploy of the sly environmentalists who are concerned that someday opossums will become an endangered species if all the self-appointed pest control officers of the world hit the poor things with their cars. Possums endangered? Not likely . . .

After I got over the crushing weight of the knowledge of being lied to for all these years (clearly I'm over it, as is demonstrated by a worthless blog about the subject), I again tried to redeem the animal in my mind with the only fond, childhood association I have of it. A rather large 'possum used to venture close to our French doors to steal Kitty's food when we were little. It became a game to see how long our little noses could stay pressed against the cool glass pane, barely visible through the curtains, before the rodent noticed our presence and scampered away. So, in so far as the opossum is a specimen of wildlife, which has always been fascinating to me, it has some very small bit of merit--at least enough not to be hit by a car. (The tail thing really would have helped though.)

9 Comments:

Blogger Adrienne said...

Oh, my gosh! I cannot believe that! It's not God's Way! So what? You couldn't keep this to your self and not shatter everyone else's universe?

10/04/2005 8:58 AM  
Blogger Donna-Katie said...

Opossums are the absolute Aristotelian form of animaline idiocy. You'd THINK, after countless generations of watching their ancestors being brutally mauled and killed in their fruitless attempts to cross the street, SOME opossum, somewhere, would have the common sense to think, hmm, maybe I SHOULDN'T go onto this big grey pavement-thing in the direct path of those loud metal objects moving at 60 mph! But NO!

10/05/2005 3:13 PM  
Blogger Donna-Katie said...

The only thing they're good for is coats. And even that is debatable.

10/05/2005 3:14 PM  
Blogger The Fonz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/06/2005 9:40 AM  
Blogger Donna-Katie said...

Is Kelly usually so easily amused? :)

10/06/2005 11:47 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Ok, why am I not surprised that my friends would post five comments on opossums? This is quite amusing. I love my friends!!!

10/06/2005 10:59 PM  
Blogger Skyminder said...

I am utterly and completely disillusioned. I'm going to listen to Enya and slit my wrists. In that order.

10/24/2005 10:49 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Ok, Kelly. Time for another posting...

11/03/2005 9:29 AM  
Anonymous an insulted oppossum said...

Urgh, you are slightly mistaken. The Oppossum's prehensile tail is used to aid in climbing, as is its opposable "thumbs." Used for balance but also to grab onto things, like wrapping around small branches while climbing, young, (not adult) oppossums are sometimes seen to hang by their tails for short periods of time. Of course they do not sleep this way, nor eat fruit in trees like this, and the adult is too heavy to hang by its tail, but the "myth" is derived from fact after all, just taking a rarity and portraying its novelness as a normality. I did it when I was young, though not always on purpose.

11/07/2005 2:37 PM  

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