Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Road Kill, Ahoy

At first we blamed the smell on our neighbor; it was a chicken pucky, burning bird feathers, vulture spit combo kind of smell. It was bad. Mr. Medina’s funny farm and goat emporium next door is always high on the list of usual odor producing suspects.

Then we blamed the giant, pulsating, black muck wetlands (also known as a bog) out in the back of our property but then it quit raining and that dried up.

Another possibility for the noxious fumes presented itself in the form of our other neighbor’s temporary, quite possibly illegal attempt at creating a personal landfill. We live in the county and not in the city limits; the rules are different out here—a lot of people collect giant piles of rubble for no apparent reason.

However, when standing on our own back porch the smell of rotten eggs seemed so concentrated, so pungent we were forced to form yet another working theory for the nasty smell.

“It’s the propane tank. It’s leaking.” Sherwood, the man and husband, sounded so sure, so crime scene investigator confident, I had to agree.
“I’ll put it out in the yard so it doesn’t kill us.”

The propane tank came to rest in the flower garden next to the caladiums. We were saved, except that we weren’t.

Something still stank.

Sooner or later truth rears its ugly head or in this case its stinking tail, and the facts are as follows; our home is surrounded by opossum holes (holes full of opossums): one under the bridge, one under the hedge, one under the back porch, and one under the bush next to the backdoor. We are surrounded.

Opossums live in these holes. Opossums are nocturnal. Opossums, when not hanging from their tails from tree limbs in a charming “mother nature sure is cute” fashion, opossums wander about at night getting themselves murdered. Then they stagger back to their holes, crawl in, die, and then stink in a leaking propane, goat burning, bog festering, landfill rotting kind of way.

The good news is opossums live in holes, eliminating the need to dig holes when they die, unless they decide to die under the chicken coop, and then all bets are off.

The week of the opossum kill, a good friend of mine wrote on a social networking site about her wildly romantic encounter in a NYC subway station (similar to opossum holes but larger) and how the man who bumped into her was gorgeous, with an English accent, wore cuff links, and had a business card—no foul odors were mentioned.

In the meantime, I was throwing dirt on a maggot ridden rotting opossum carcass.

Shaking my boney fist at the Heavens, I snarled, “Great, I’ve been reduced to burying road kill! And still working for free, come to think of it, everything I’ve ever done my whole life, I’ve done for free. I’m like freak’en Ghandi.” I added this last bit under my breath, to no one who cared, under an indifferent sky—alone.

The bad news is there are three more opossums out there waiting to become road kill and not one of them wears cuff links.

Linda (Shovel Ready) Zern

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