Sunday, December 18, 2011

The North Carolina Possum Drop and PETA

Clay Logan, the owner of Clay's Corner store in Brasstown in western North Carolina, has been lowering an opossum in a transparent box to the ground every New Year's for 18 years.  This is in a mock emulation of the famous ball drop in New York's Times Square.  It's a little rural entertainment for the locals that happened to be mentioned in an article in The New York Times. The animal is caged and well-fed for about two weeks before the end-of-year ceremony; and is lowered, not dropped.  Once the "drop" is done, the opossum is released.  No possums were injured in this process.  The local festivities can swell this town of 250 into about 3,000 attendes.  No alcohol is served, strange to say.  [sigh]

It seems like a good old-fashioned form of rural entertainment, in which locals create a good time for themselves while doing no one and no thing harm.

However, this year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has gotten into the act.  They called on the state Wildlife Resources Commission to put a halt to the tradition, saying the activity is cruel and illegal.   Specifically, PETA Director Delcianna Winders weighed in with this statement. "Using a captive opossum as the centerpiece of a raucous party is cruel and illegal."

"C'est la vie," as Maw-Maw would say.  Paw-Paw would say, "Tout le monde se fout de tout ici!" which I will forbear to translate.

In my opinion, this is a good case of why people from different sections come into conflict with each other.  These rural North Carolinans are going to feel that this is another example of bullying and meddling from Yankees who don't bother to get the facts right and who have an agenda that makes them the butt of it.

In fact, the PETA people may have been misled by the very term "possum drop."  In fact, it's a possum lowering.  One only wonders how PETA would react to snipe hunts, skin the bunny, turkey shoots, or other rural recreations that is foreign to their urban ethos!  Maybe the more active members of PETA could go to western North Carolina and protest possum lowering like they do the wearing of fur: by protesting in their lingerie or less!  Now THAT would be a welcome augmentation to Brasstown's celebration and would give the local minsters several Sundays worth of sermons!


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

This sounds like a classic screwup -- the PETA folks jumped to conclusions and started griping: much ado about damn nothing!

At least they got hot gils to go nekkid.....

Atomic Dog said...

Prithee . . . . what is "skin the bunny"? Will that affect Easter?

Deena said...

I hope those hillbillies stand up to the PETA crowd.

Bilbo said...

If I weren't afraid of the list getting too long, I'd consider casting a few votes for PETA for Ass Clown of the Year. And now I am curious about the meaning of "Tout le monde se fout de tout ici!" ... I think I have a pretty good idea (considering my qualifications as a German/Russian linguist with no knowledge of French), but would appreciate a translation (or paraphrase, if my suspicion is correct).

Big Sky Heidi said...

I guess I'm cynical about it: PETA is doing it just for the publicity it craves. I don't think naked girls would go over well in NC.

Banana Oil said...

PETA is so full of stupidity!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Elvis: maybe those North Carolinans will get lucky when the PETA protesters come.

Atomic Dog: It's a country game in which the players get well-oiled (internally and externally), and the drunk guys try to chase and strip a girl's bikini top.

Deena: Me too.

Bilbo: It comes out roughly as "Everybody is all f---ed up here." Not a polite usage.

Heidi: I see it that way too. But them choosing what they think is an easy target.

Banana Oil: I agree.