I just sent out an e-mail to a bunch of friends asking what they were doing this New Year’s Eve.
We’ll be at home in the City of Medicine drinking a bottle of 1997 Grongnet “Special Club” Champagne. Then I’ll try to do a 8K trail run being held tomorrow at Duke Forest. Feel free to join me – I’ll be the 151-year-old dead guy wearing these shoes.
But in Brasstown, NC, (right at the NC-TN-GA tri-state border) they will be dropping the opossum – yes, the famed New Year’s Possum Drop. It’s a non-alcoholic family event that begins with a blessing and singing of church songs followed by the lowering of a caged opossum (Didelphis virginiana, I believe). An event so memorable that The Carringer Chronicle called it, “more exciting that when the hogs ate Granny!”
“Note: The opossum is not actually “dropped”, it is lowered with great care. We treat our little friend with respect, hold him in awe, and do not inflict any injury or traumatize God’s creature of the night.”
Surely the townfolk had to be drinking when they dreamed this up.
For those of you who can’t make it, you can buy all sorts of Southern ‘possum stuff at the Clay’s Corner Store.
(Apologies in advance for showing the Stars and Bars design with the possum – the flag of the Confederacy is hugely controversial, extremely offensive and degrading to some, a source of pride for others. Also offensive, to me at least, is the now sold-out shirt joking that the Atlanta Olympics bomber, Eric Rudolph, survived on possum before his capture in Murphy, NC. Now that I think of it, why am I posting about this at all?).
So, Dear Reader, what do you have in store for this evening?
Addendum: As always, Bora/Coturnix reminds me of his post from 18 December linking to Jeff Cohen’s New Year’s Drop blog.