Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dan Meyers, The Dead Possum, And The Witch.

Since we're in the midst of a midday churn, I'll share a little story with you people... this happened about a week ago. Just when we were getting ready to have that garage sale I whined about.

Anyway, after getting smoked a couple of Fridays ago, I decided to go surfing, bad back and all.

The waves were still of decent size, maybe a 3 foot swell, but crosswinds were making them messy and very difficult to read. It was one of those days where it was hard to look good out there. The good news is that somehow, my back held up and has been 90% okay since. Perhaps all the surfing has strengthened it and my back problems will be less chronic now.

So when I got home, I had no excuse but to start bringing stuff out to the garage for the garage sale.

While I was doing so a mini-van slowly passed my house. The driver just stared at me, while rolling by at 5 mph. That was odd, I thought. A minute later, the same van rolled up (coming from the other direction) and parked at the base of my driveway.

A small man with thick, round eyeglasses hopped out of the van. He began speaking the moment his shoes hit my driveway.

"Got any antiques?" he chirped.

"No, and the garage sale isn't until tomorrow."

"Yeah, I figured... didn't see any mention of antiques in your ad. Sorry to come a day early, it's just my wife is really aggressive with these things."

I looked past him towards the van. I didn't see his wife there. The next thing I knew he was saying, "Dan Myers" and holding out his hand to be shaken. He then said, "Well, let me give you one of these" and gave me a very ornate business card.

Then he was gone... back into the minivan, speeding down the street.

I threw out his business card and went back to arranging the piles of crap we had in the garage. Judy pulled into the driveway. She opened the door and before she even got out said, "Mrs. Murphy has a dead possum. I told her you'd go over and get rid of it."

"What the hell? Can't she call animal control or something?"

"She's afraid of everyone... you know that. Just go over there."

I threw a pink stuffed rabbit onto a pile of other pink stuffed animals and walked down the driveway towards our neighbor's house, shovel in hand.

Mrs. Murphy has lived in our development for over 50 years. Her house was one of the first built here. As she has needed money, she's slowly sold off some of the land that surrounds her house and more houses filled with younger families have sprung up all around hers. Her house is in a state of disrepair but even though she's in her 80s, she refuses to hire landscaping people to come and cut her lawn or take her leaves. I rarely see her and her car never moves. One day she's going to die and no one will know for weeks. Anyway, Judy has gotten to know her because she routinely walks with our daughter past her house and I guess Mrs. Murphy found some comfort in their routine.

Before I even had a chance to knock, Mrs Murphy's front door swung open. The odor of moth balls collided with the fresh air I had been breathing and I had to catch myself in order not to wince.

"I heard this racket last night..." she started, "and then I woke this morning and found a dead possum on my lawn. His belly is ripped open. He's right over there."

Sure enough, a dead possum lay 30 feet away it's face locked in an awful grimace. Whatever killed it (another possum, a raccoon?) had done so with great brutality.

I tried to scoop the thing up on my shovel but it wouldn't sit right. A school bus pulled up across the street. Two young kids, the Harvey boys, got off and were immediately attracted to the dead animal, "Cooool!" one of them exclaimed. Now I had an audience. Although Mrs. Murphy skulked back into her home and closed the door.

The Harvey's had moved in recently into one of the new houses built on Mrs, Murphy's old property. Their parents let the boys wander all around the neighborhood unattended. Once, the kids came to our house to try and sell us a broken guitar. When I refused on account of it being broken, they told me it would make a nice decoration. They were persistent little kids and I knew they weren't going to leave me alone to bury the possum.

"I want the skull!" one of them said.

"Well, you're not getting the skull. I'm burying this thing whole" I snapped back.

I tried again to scoop the possum up onto the shovel so I could move it to a good location for burial. When I moved it, a whiff of death wafted from the moist underparts of the animal. The boys screamed. "NASTY! That's SO NASTY!" But the possum still wouldn't rest on the shovel.

"Get a stick or something and help me push the possum onto the shovel," I instructed.

The braver of the two brothers picked up a stick and poked and the animal. "Oh, NASTY! Check out it's tongue!" he said and tried to mash the stick into the possums mouth.

"Seriously, man... let's not play with this thing. I just want to get it buried." But the kid wasn't listening to me. He was now poking the possum's eyes. This was getting gruesome.

Just then, Mrs. Murphy swung open one of her heavy drapes and peered her bug eyes out a dirty window at the boys on the lawn who were busy probing the possum. She was wearing this crazy looking afghan. When they saw her looking out at them, they ran off, throwing their bejuiced sticks down on the lawn. I looked back towards Mrs. Murphy and she gave me a wink.

I got the possum on a shovel and buried it in her backyard. Head intact.

Okay, now the market can go back to the lows...

NOTE: Everything will be late tonight... the VO, the daily post. I'm going surfing.


UWSvamp said...

I'm pretty sure that kids who poke at dead animals' eyes with sticks inevitably turn out to be serial killers, child molestors or televangelists.

You should have taken a picture of the possum and dubbed him the "Dead Possum of Market Volatility" - at least his predictions would be accurate.

I want to know what Dan Myer's business card said.

Dinosaur Trader said...

Hmmm... "dead possum of stock market volatility" I like it!

If this Wombat doesn't produce the possum will get a shot.

His business card said nothing about buying old crap out of people's garages.


Anonymous said...

While you were writing that I bank a profuse amount of coin.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I've paid my money, why are the VO stats late?

Anonymous said...

What is the number for customer service?

UWSvamp said...

The call center is currently being outsourced to India...please press *1 to hear Radiohead "hold" music.

Where ARE the stats? I have no work to do and get paid an exhorbitant salary to read about all of your struggles with the market.

Bluedog said...

I'm really glad I'm eating my clam chowder while just reading your story. Blaugh!!

I had a dead maggot infested cat in my front lawn once that I had to shovel up like that. Only thing was, I didn't have a shovel. I had to make due with an old board and a stick. It was crawling, literally, and took a few tries to get it to rest on the board. That was pretty disgusting.


Time Is Money said...

hey DT.
how did you make out on the AAPl trade?


artha said...


Always a pleasure to read your stories. Keep them coming!

Dinosaur Trader said...


Send me your credit card info and I will issue you a refund.


Dinosaur Trader said...


You safe from those damned fires? Really, I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say it should have been LA that burnt to the ground.

Stewie, I did well on AAPL. I'm not comfortable holding the size you do in those momo names though. I had 400 shares... sold out of it all.


Dinosaur Trader said...


As always, thank you. I have a few more in the pipeline. It's been a productive week for late night writing.