...within seconds of being outside, Dogzilla has something in her mouth; 2 seconds after that, the circus dog wants in on the action. I yell at her, which just makes her play with it more. There's no squeaking or anything, so maybe it's not an animal? (Or maybe it's already dead.)
I approach her slowly because if you run at her, she'll just run across our gianormous yard (with thing still in her mouth), thinking it's a game. As soon as I'm within arm's length, I grab her collar, saying "Drop it." But I can't see what "it" is (it's super dark outside at 10:30 p.m. in the county, y'all). It's clear she's not going to leave it alone, so I prepare to drag/walk her inside by the collar. Except she doesn't have her regular collar on (WTF?!?), something I failed to notice to before going outside. So I lead her by the glow-in-dark LED collar we make them both wear at night (see above: dark outside), but gingerly because
- said LED collar can slip right over her head and
- it's also a break-away collar
I passive-aggressively wake up my sleeping Unit by saying loudly, "Rosie, where is your collar??" A groggy, "Oh, it's in here" comes as a response.
"She found something in the yard," I announce. "I don't know what it is," but I grab my phone and go outside to find out if it's still there or what.
My phone isn't giving enough light (and I deleted the flashlight app a long time ago), so I use the flash on the camera by snapping two quick pics revealing "it" to be....
a smallish possum.
Back inside. "It's a possum," I announce. "Rosie killed a possum. Or maybe it was already dead; I don't know."
Groggy mumbling in return.
And now I'm torn. I don't want to go back outside, in the dark, and put the dead body in the trash can. What if it's not really dead? What if it's just, y'know, "playing possum"? What if I try to grab it and it bites me?? And so I whine. "Do I have to do it now? I don't want to grab it in the dark!"
"But I don't know where it is!" is her rsponse, which translates into: "I don't know what section of the yard to keep Dogzilla away from when I take her out at 4 a.m. because she will immediately try to 'play' with the dead animal again."
"And you're awake!" she adds (no translation necessary).
I sigh. And find the one pink latex kitchen glove we have left (used the others in previous dead-body-tossings) and grab my phone and head back outside for a third time. On my way out, I remember we do actually have a light for the back patio (duh!), so I turn it on in an attempt to make things less icky/scary.
And then I grab a stick from the patio on my way to the possum.
Glove on one hand, stick and camera (using the flash on the "video" part now) in the other, I make my way back to the possum. It's still there. So I poke at it with a stick.
Damn, it looks really gross. Is it breathing? I can't tell. What if it bites me?!?!
And randomly, Damn, its tail is tail is a lot longer than I thought it would be.
Still using the phone for a light and keeping the stick for "self-defense," I very slowly pick up the possum's limp, furry body with my gloved hand.
Nothing happens, but the possum is bigger than my hand. So it's not a baby. Maybe a teenaged possum? (In its defense, Leonard does have delicate, lady-like hands.)
I'm standing, possum in one (gloved) hand, phone and stick in the other (non-gloved) hand and I find myself at a (figurative) cross-road. Do I put the possum in one of our trash bins, like we have previous dead animals? Or do I dump it somewhere else? What if it's not really dead and gets stuck in the trash bin? What if it's not really dead but tossing it over the fence causes a concussion or internal hemorrhaging? What if it IS dead, so who the fuck cares?? Trash bins are to the right; to the left is the edge of yard with a fence and a drainage ditch on the other side. Fence/drainage ditch is closer -- decision made!
I do a weird quick walk/not run to the fence, furry body jiggling in hand and try to "gently" drop the possum over the fence. And I wince. "Sorry, possum!"
Then quickly go back the other direction to the trash bins to ditch my pink latex glove only to discover a giant spider web between trash can and house that I nearly walk into. Jesus!
Glove gone, go back inside. Except I still have to take Dogzilla back outside to pee because she didn't do that the first time around. Fuck. She, of course, inspects the area where the artist formerly known as a possum was hanging out, not believing me as I say repeatedly, "It's gone, Rosie." We come back inside for the fourth and final time.
I wash my hands, put on pj's, and then -- convinced that I'm going to have nightmares about possums -- look up on my phone (whilst lying in bed) how to tell if possums are really dead or just "playing" dead.
90% sure said possum was just "playing" dead (thanks, Interwebs!).
Update from this morning: possum is no longer in the ditch. Either s/he "woke up" and left or some other, larger animal ate it.
Last but not least, this all reminds me of a bit of perfect casting: William Shatner as the father possum in Over the Hedge. He does a Shakespearean-esque death monologue except
he. does it. in. the Shat. ner. style.