Tuesday, April 24, 2012

That Was Weird...

The traffic was heavier than normal this morning.  Usually the flow of traffic starts moving a little faster once you get over the bridge but today it just crawled.  As I'm sitting there bee-bopping to my music I look out the window and to my surprise there were eyes looking back at me.  Not registering, I look back at the road and continue head-bopping.

Wait a second.  Did I just see eyeballs looking at me?  I quickly do a double-take and yes, yes I did.  There it was.  An Opossum chilling on the median of the freeway watching the cars go by.  I think to myself, "Huh, you don't see that every day".  He looked terrified, the poor little guy.  How on earth did he actually make it across one side of the freeway without becoming road kill?  And how is he smart enough not to jump into traffic?  He looked as though he was trying to figure out how he was going to make it across.  He was definitely having an "oh crap, what did I get myself into" moment.  You could see it clearly on his face.  As I continue driving I am genuinely worried about the Opossum making it to the other side.  Clearly he's pretty intelligent since he stopped to look for cars.  It would be a shame for him to perish after accomplishing the task of crossing four lanes of traffic.  Then it hits me.  I'm so worried about the Opossum but what happens if he actually tries to run across the freeway with so many cars on the road?  What about the people?  Its going to cause a huge accident.  I'd better call animal control but I have no clue what the number is.  Ah ha!  I'll call 411.  News to me, but apparently with the new technology 411 doesn't exist in Portland anymore.  Either that, or they changed the number and I didn't get the memo.  Calling 411 routed me to Comcast.  Those Comcast cretins!  They have a monopoly on everything!

Long story short (err, not really), I got to work and called animal control.  I did my good deed for the day.  Hopefully I saved a very smart Opossum and prevented an accident from happening.  I guess I'll know for sure tomorrow if there aren't guts all over the freeway.

Trivia for the day:

1) Did you know that Opossums have a survival mechanism where they freeze and can't move if they are frightened?  Apparently if a predator is after them, they will freeze and fall over.  This tricks the predator into thinking they are dead and in-theory will leave them alone.  I have a theory of my own.  I believe this is why there are so many dead Opossum's on the road.  They are crossing, see a car and freeze, ultimately ending in their own demise.  I guess this survival mechanism didn't account for cars.

2) When born, baby Opossum's are the size of a bumble-bee.  They then climb up their moms fur and burrow into their pouch until they are big enough to come out.  I found this to be fascinating.

I took a mammals class in college and for some reason I can only remember what I learned about Opossums.  Why Opossums?  I have no clue.


  1. Yep that is where we get the phrase "playing possum". I guess cars are just not smart enough yet to miss the possums when they do what nature intended.

    You might have been confused about your "mammals" class. An opossum is a marsupial, like a kangaroo. Live births of a tiny, blind, pink little one who crawls into a pouch and finishes developing.

    The picture makes my day!

  2. I love your writing. It is fun and informative. It is a great start to the day. Keep it up.