The nitty-gritty becomes comical..
I am darting down the alleyway to get a license number of a car engaged in truly odd suspicious behavior at the criminabe's.. it's snowing, I've got my snow boots on and am in my warmups, basically my PJs, otherwise. I greeted a suspicious character on the porch, and ran around the back to catch the license plate number.
The good neighbors called me after I got back, sort of to compliment me on my nimble sprint down the alley.
We keep trying to tell them.. who we are and what we do.. but it took my little trot down the alley, to see that this middle-aged chickie can move a bit. Granted, I'm in bodywork for a reason, and I was so beat-up at age 30, that I was Jackie Chan in the morning, cracking and creaking to the bathroom.
Now, thanks to the bodywork I've gotten involved with, I can get up cold, and trot out in the snow to check a license tag, and just worry that I might slip around the corner (which I took like Scooby-Doo on meth) and the neighbors are wondering what the hell.
Well, we keep trying to tell them, and old Possum Whacker has made it up out of the basement, to find a place amongst the possible whacking implements.
Meanwhile I am skidding on my snow boots around the corner, memorizing a plate and writing it down on the top of a local Chinese menu card..
The basics of this kind of thing are so very basic, that it just makes me laugh in a rueful kind of way, and not mind getting out on a snowy night, because our neighborhood flatfoots are out in it all the time.
Having Possum Whacker out comforts me, in a way.. that thing was so indestructible, through so many varmints, I am comforted to have it in my hands again. Three feet of battered, warped red oak, in the shape of the Japanese sword, bought in 1985.. almost a quarter century ago.
Possum Whacker was my weapon of choice against the legion of opossums who raided our compost and our chicken coop, back in Texas.
I came up with a "two-stroke" system with the warped, battered wooden sword after my trusty Marlin 22 failed to kill a particularly recalcitrant "Possum" after 7 shots into its furry body, and I had to do it in with butt-strokes from same 22, as it charged me.
I learned to walk up to the offending marsupial in a kind of wake-game, edge ever closer, and go from a brief hasso-gamae to two snap strikes: One to the neck, the second to the skull. This double-tap immobilized the animal, and allowed for the only strike capable of killing these prehistoric critters.
I've got nothing personal against them, it's just that they threatened our personal economy. As long as they didn't transgress, they were safe.
If they did, and I caught them, they were dead.
Pretty simple equation.. one I still live by. As much as Maryland allows.
I was awarded a "Hard Bastard" by the late Bill Mears, for this.
Not sure why, but I do drink a toast to the late, great Bill every time this story comes up.