Terra Sigillata

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.

i-9a0be91a8ede6e2a3ad4e5afa07b6cdb-southernthang.jpgFor 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.


  1. #1 leigh
    December 31, 2008

    that’s about 100 miles further out than my recent roadtrip destination. i won’t be there for the possum drop.

    and i thought an acorn was looney enough in the first place.

  2. #2 jay
    December 31, 2008

    At least they (pretty much) spell it correctly, unlike some others (including some of my wife’s co-workers at a top Ivy League university)

  3. #3 Emory Kimbrough
    December 31, 2008

    Q.) Why did the chicken cross the road?

    A.) To prove to the possum that it could be done.

    Anyone who has driven on Southern roads will get that.

  4. #4 kiwi gal
    January 1, 2009

    Okay here’s another one:
    Q. Why did the hedgehog cross the road?
    A. To see his flat mate!

    Happy new year – and just for the record I was out exercising at 6am NY Day. . .are we insane or what?

  5. #5 alufelgi szczecin
    January 2, 2009

    In my opinion the largest threat for California are cataclysms and ecological catastrophes. Not important is how many money we have because one tragedy can us take all.

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