May 14 2010

Heartwarming marsupial of the week

Hearwarming marsupial of the week

What a darling fellow! This gentle furry woodland creature comes around every night at 8 o’clock to frolic amid the rotting kitchen waste in my compost bin, at which point our nightly staring contest commences. He growls at me, inch-long fangs dripping with disease, for as long as I care to listen (video below). I have never outlasted him.

Meanwhile, is Elena Kagan queer?

Absolutely! Straight women do not play sports! Especially not softball. If a straight chick tries to play softball, the queer girls on the team turn her gay right away.

But mang, it would totally blow your mind, the sheer vastness of the number of queer women who think they’re straight. It’s like, over a thousand!

I mention this only because the Is-She-Gay thing is causing national media to point the fickle floodlight of fear (and loathing) at spinster aunthood. Heterosexual married people secretly yearn for and covet our awesomeness. But since we are symbols of freedom from the oppression of the nuclear family, we are reviled by those who have invested their entire identities in the paradigm.

They are, by the way, fucking dipshits. And by “they” I mean “them.”


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  1. Ruth Ellen

    But the ‘possums are NOT dipshits! I love the ‘possums in my back yard. They eat snails and they compete with rats, keeping the rat population down. The only down-side is the 2:00 a.m. dogs-barking-their-fool-heads-off.

  2. Comrade PhysioProf

    They are, by the way, fucking dipshits.

    Antecedent FAIL!!11!1!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

  3. SargassoSea

    My personal observation confirms that the number of queer women who think they’re straight in the southern Illinois region is at least TWO thousand!

  4. Linda Atkins

    Hmm, that kitty does look a bit unwelcoming, now that you mention it. Perhaps don’t try to affix a pink (or blue) bow to its fuzzy little head.

  5. Tehomet

    Wow. What kind of a beastie is that?! It’s the size of a freaking badger.

  6. bellacoker

    The urge to poke it with a stick is almost overwhelming!!

  7. Jill

    The urge to poke it with a stick is almost overwhelming!!

    I know, I know! But in my experience, poking varmints with sticks produces uniformly unsatisfactory results. Most of the time, just standing there pointing a FlipVideo at’em seems to bum’em out to the max.

  8. FemmeForever

    I always thought possums were shy, gentle creatures. In grad school somebody had a pet possum who seemed harmless. Not so sure about your compost guest.

  9. Hedgepig

    At least this one seems vegetarian, going by its ongoing interest in your compost heap. Australian marsupials can be alarmingly carnivorous. If you come across any photos of these cute, furry little beasties with impossibly huge, shiny dark eyes, look closely at their tiny wizened claws and often as not there’ll be another cute, furry, even littler beastie with huge shiny eyes, hanging skewered on their pointy talons, dripping blood. They always remind me a bit of my Jack Russell: pretty, but ruthless.

  10. Helen

    Hell, as an Australian, I’ll take one of our brushtail possums over that scary looking creature any day, scratchy and bitey though they are. A young one came out once when I was walking through an urban park, looked at me insolently, sauntered over in a nonchalant manner, bit the toe of my boot (lucky it wasn’t summer) and sauntered off again.
    I think Oz possums are vegetarian, though – you might be thinking of a quoll, Hedgepig?

  11. Janet

    I’m an Australian too and wondering what the HELL that’s doing calling itself a possum?! Ours are cute, sweet, cuddly and free of fangs. Woot! For once we’re not the Land of Death example of a creature unlike our snakes and spiders which apparently march around taking down victims with impunity.

  12. Larkspur

    Holy crap. Kitty looks alarmingly like me, if the photographer had situated herself between me and my coffee. Shut up, it’s my nose, and I’ve gotten used to it.

    Also, what if she’s NOT gay? I mean, this question has been simmering since Condoleeza Rice and Harriet Miers, neither of whom was seriously suspected of gayitude. It’s one thing if your desires have manifested (womanifested?) queerly. But being non-aligned…no.

    No. Never mind. We’re still at a place where it’s easier for many many people to regard an older never-married woman as quaintly asexual or neuter rather then a practitioner of extra-marital gay, straight, or bi-sexual sex.

  13. Larkspur

    Oh, hedgepig, I adore Jack Russells. One of my old Jack Russell pals made friends with a gopher. He immediately shook it to death, then he looked around, all bewildered, like he couldn’t believe it wasn’t still playing.

    That dog’s name was Howard. He was a rescue dog who rescued himself. Seriously. He was in a bad situation, the new pet of a troubled little boy who kicked him. So every day when the mailman came around, Howard would find a way out of the yard so he could ride around with the USPS. The boy’s mom offered to sell Howard, but my friend the mailman didn’t like to part with money. Within a few weeks, though, she signed over custody of Howard, who has subsequently had a very happy dog life in a big yard. Sometimes the next door neighbor’s emus saunter by, just outside the fence. Howard and his younger Jack Russell pal (Melvin) go nuts. I have actually seen Howard retreat from the fence with feathers on his muzzle.

  14. Melanie

    Their low body temperatures makes them unlikely carriers of rabies, but I bet those teeth would still hurt like hell. Wikipedia says that the adults growl and the little ones hiss—your compost buddy seems to be a hisser and more scared than angry.

    When I lived in the country I would feed the ones behind my house, and as they gradually got used to my presence they would allow me to come and sit by them while they ate. I was glad to be their friend.

  15. Vibrating_Liz

    I thought they were supposed to play dead when feeling threatened. Did this one not rtfm?

  16. Larkspur

    Liz, Liz, Liz! Please, may I inquire about Superman?

    Shutting up now.

  17. Sharon

    I love that video! I can’t stop watching it. Each time I hit play and watch the hissing kitty with his cricket back up singers I fall over sideways laughing hysterically and clutching my stomach. My family communicates silently to each other by raising eyebrows at each other. But really, it is SO funny. Once a possum got in my house in the middle of the night and my 2 pound dog cornered it. I was so tired it took a bit for me to wake up to what was happening. I put a clothes basket over the possum, threw a towel over the basket and went back to bed. In the morning I slid a piece of cardboard under the basket and took the whole package outside. I gently set the basket on the driveway and then jerked the basket up while simultaneously jumping backward. I expected a terrified animal to scurry away. Instead, the animal lay there like a frat boy on Sunday morning. An hour later, he was still there. At some point when I wasn’t looking, the possum wandered off. Ah, good times.

  18. Mau de Katt

    Possums are the only animals I’ve seen who look like two-days-decayed dead critters while they are still alive.

    They freak me out, mang…..

  19. Tarr

    Possums do carry some kind of bad horse disease. Ma Google tells me

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a neurological disease, can affect equines of any age and sex and in any location throughout the United States.

    Agent: Protozoa, Sarcocystis neurona

    Vector: Opossum


    •Asymmetric incoordination (incoordination on one side of the horse or the other)
    •Loss of proprioception (loss of the sense of awareness of the position of the limbs)
    •Depending on severity, various levels of seizures, muscle atrophy (leading to loss of ability to use muscles), and facial paralysis

  20. Pinko Punko

    I’ve only seen the sad road kill ones before, but that is how mean I imagined them.

    Armadillos are cute though. The boys and I saw our first live one poking around the other night. Seemed like a cool dude.

    However, I suggest that Andrew Sullivan be gifted a pair of MC Hammer bacon pants, and our opossum friend be tossed into the mix. Then I’d like to see him type 5000 word columns in his soooooooooooo serious tone about how important it is we all know whatever it is Elena Kagan likes to do with her spare time.

  21. Tigs

    What I know about opossums is that they stink. They’ve got funk.

    The thing about Kagan is that I do think it would be important if she were queer. Anyone who thinks jurisprudence is a matter of laws + facts = decisions is ridiculous; life experience matters. Playing softball isn’t the best indicator of lady queerness though, I think making out with ladies is.

  22. magriff

    Everybody knows that ladies without husbands are gay, gay, gay. And that ladies without babies are sad, sad, sad.

    Speaking of babies, a momma opossum scrambled her litter through my backyard in broad daylight last year (on the heels of a dog), and they all got away except one baby who got stranded on the top of the fencepost. Poor little babe stayed there for about three hours, hyperventilating and generally freaking out, little nostrils running with pathetic snot. I kind of like them now.

  23. TwissB

    @Mau de Katt Right you are about possums. Plus that dirty cotton fake fur, ratty tail, crouching posture, creepy ghost eyes, and – as I might have guessed – nasty little needle fangs. If I knew what the latest fad word “mang” means, I’d probably add it here.

  24. vinoveritas

    Country Opossums skitter through my back 40 damn near every night. As long as they leave my tomato starts they can do their garbage-eating thing. I can personally attest to Magriff’s tale of possum-ly sadditude. That guy was pathetic.

  25. nails

    Dear God I hope she is gay. One out of nine represents gays better than the court ever has (to my knowledge), and a first time 30% of the court being women is extra great.

    I hope this does something to undo the supreme courts recent fuck up of letting corporations buy unlimited adverts for elections. I don’t know if we will ever recover from that one.

  26. yttik

    I don’t want to rain on any body’s parade, but that hissing beastie is not a gentle, furry woodland creature. In another twist, he’s also not the bad ass he appears. His entire repertoire amounts to hoping you’re impressed with his show of teeth so he doesn’t have to fall over and play dead.

    Politics is a bit like that, too. It’s all about manipulating public perceptions and trying to psych you out so you’re deceived into thinking you’re getting something you always wanted.

  27. mearl

    That possum is CUTE! Not that I’d mess with him (or her). It’s funny how something so small can make itself so terrifying. I got hissed at by a three-inch-long June Bug once in B.C.
    That fucker looked me dead in the eye, clipped itself onto my bedcover, and delivered such an evil hiss that the hair stood up on the back of my neck.

    Possums in the compost, squirrels in the nut cache; hell, even bears in the garbage. I’m fine with them as long as they’re not eating my cat. My views on godbag Republicans are much more stringent.

  28. Mortisha

    Awesome – i LOVE wildlife with ‘tude.

  29. Fluff_

    Oh, sweet jeezly crow. Is it /clicking/ at you? The open-mouthed grating noise is haunting. It’s like an entirely new and even pointier set of teeth is slowly, laboriously, emerging from it’s ghastly throat.

  30. Saphire

    Do things get any cuter?!

    ‘But since we are symbols of freedom from the oppression of the nuclear family, we are reviled by those who have invested their entire identities in the paradigm.’

    People invest their entire identities in what evopsychology/ aka patriarchy tells them. As new prime minister David Cameron is obsessing in every speech he has yet given, the importance of family is paramount to society – or in other words, he’s a socially engineering prat who’s even giving a tax break to women who stay at home. I’ve just read a book by professor Simon Baron Cohen, who amounts women to gossiping baby ovens who live to get a man to stay by them for life.

    While, actually, all men did was sat around as humans couldn’t have hunted and so survived on berries gathered, by women. Also we have a conscious – aside from food and sex, if we’re not consciously thinking about something, it’s of no importance and only as ‘natural’ as David Cameron and Baron Cohen tell us. We are a world away from ‘possums and cartoon apes.

    The only thing natural about ‘the nature of men’ is their inclination to scrape away at the value of women – this is the only trait proven across cultures and over time, so is the only natural trait if there is any.

    Simon Baron Cohen talks in detail about men seeming to dominate roles of importance across cultures – he uses this to support his ideas about the male superior ‘systemising’ brain, presumably forgetting the big fat fucking elephant in the room.

  31. Alexa

    That possum is so f*’n cute I wanna cry! I think it’s the smile.

  32. rootlesscosmo

    And Baron Cohen’s brother Sacha specializes in racist caricatures (Ali G., Borat) which white movie audiences find screamingly funny. Wotta pair of transgressive cutups!

    @Mau de Katt:
    Possums are the only animals I’ve seen who look like two-days-decayed dead critters while they are still alive. Except Don Imus, of course.

  33. Comrade PhysioProf

    Their low body temperatures makes them unlikely carriers of rabies[.]

    That’s fucking coolio! You learn something every day!

    If I knew what the latest fad word “mang” means, I’d probably add it here.

    As far as I am aware, “mang” is a slangy pronounciation of “man”, like in “whas happenin’, mang?”

  34. TwissB

    Jon Stewart (on Hulu) had a terrific video clip-assisted commentary on pols and pundits having fits over trying nto find something negative to say about Elena Kagen. The “but she’s so SHORT!!!” sequence was especially delightful to one who had just finished reading Susan Douglas’s description* of pols and pundits of an earlier day going nuts over the appointment of Janet Reno as attorney general because she was so TALL!!!

    Does anyone, by the way, recall hearing any calls for full sex-status disclosure when the Supreme Court appointee was David Souter, a never-married man who lived with his mother?

    *”Enlightened Feminism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work is Done”

  35. marcia Silveira

    Why isn’t it “playing possum”? Maybe urban life has made that one obsolete.
    My favorite response to this kind of “she must be gay” thing (which I have stolen from someone else) is; Why? Because she hasn’t slept with you personally? Is that why there are so many gays?

  36. Siren

    What are those light greenish things? Plastic bags?

    Why are there plastic bags in your compost pile? Don’t you know plastic bags aren’t biodegradable? Or are those special biodegradable plastic bags?

    Am I allowed to leave a comment composed entirely of questions?

  37. anna

    it looks like the R.O.U.S. from the Princess Bride. Except, it is smaller, and more terrifying. Possums have… fangs?

  38. Paula

    The powers that be are just terrified that Kagen will live too damn long, thus keeping another man from being on the SC. We all know that spinster ladies live very long, productive lives because they don’t have to deal with the stress of husbands or children.

  39. Gertrude Strine

    We have met the enemy and he is us.
    Nice Didelphimorph. Those vipers round your yard better watch out!
    Looks like the shortage will be divided among the peasants doesn’t apply to your veg dump – that pogo’s in heaven.

  40. buttercup

    Possums are awesome. The local wildlife center had one for an education animal. She had a bone disease that prevented her surviving in the wild. Sweet critter. They’re relatively benign around here (PA) but down yonder things might be different.

    I enjoyed the film, Jill. Not nearly as much as the one of you cracking up to the butt dance video, but it was a good time.

  41. SmartAleq

    Kitty taxonomy fail! I think I have one of those suckers living in a burrow under my garden shed–whatever it is is too slow and too quiet to be part of the herd of raccoons that cruise around up in the trees and the dogs go nuts over it on a nightly basis. The only think nastier than a possum is a mama possum with a whole herd of squirming babies on her back, it’s like a rat furred version of a wolf spider.

    As for Ms Kagan, I for one would be terribly happy if we, as a society, could get past squeaking and beeping about what sort of genitalia people might prefer snacking on. WHO CARES? I also am mortally tired of comments about her height, looks, and preferences in team sports. What does any of this have to do with her potential performance as a Supe? This sort of clodhoppery “code” for “we don’t want no wimmenfolks a-settin’ up there a-judgin’ us, y’heah?” is so last century–srsly, guys, we’re on to you, we know what you’re ham-handedly trying to “say without saying” and we don’t care and you suck at it. Fuck off.

    I still don’t like possums much but I like ’em better than snotty rich white guys. They smell better.

  42. Judi

    Breaking News:

    “…amid signs that Hello Kitty’s pop-culture appeal is waning, … [Sanrio] has struggled to find its next-generation version of adorable.

    “Sanrio’s recent flops include Spottie Dottie, a pink-frocked Dalmatian, and Pandapple, a baby panda. Even the moderately successful My Melody (a rabbit) and TuxedoSam (penguin) show no signs of achieving global Kitty-ness.

    ‘“We badly need something else,” said Yuko Yamaguchi, who has been Sanrio’s top Hello Kitty designer for most of its 36 years.

    “A Sanrio savior would arrive not a moment too soon.”

    NYT 5/14/10, “In Search of Adorable, as Hello Kitty Gets Closer to Goodbye”

    Pissy Possum, anyone? Can it possibly be a coincidence that Jill’s critter has made its captivating video debut on the very day that the search for a Hello Kitty (gag) replacement is announced? It’s almost enough to make me believe in a benevolent deity.

  43. Scary Mary

    For those of you who are really interested in some possum factoids:



    We’ve had a possum hanging around our backyard in Chicago for a couple of years. A little research made me more comfortable with the critter – we’ve named her “Snacky.” We’ve surprised her at our back door, we’ve nearly run over her with our car and our cats hate her guts and aren’t afraid to show it. I’ve yet to see one aggressive gesture from Snacky. That might be why I’m assuming Snacky is a “her.” I’ve yet to check.

  44. Jill

    “Why are there plastic bags in your compost pile? Don’t you know plastic bags aren’t biodegradable? “

    Jeez! Like, Biobag, dude.

  45. Ames

    What’s especially nice to hear repeatedly during this brief national interlude from all het, all the time, is that being a lesbian (or not) is merely about (as someone above so tenderly put it) “what sort of genitalia people might prefer snacking on” and therefore is no big thang. I like to think that the mindless repetition of this theme is what Jill’s compost guest is reacting to.

  46. Jill

    I would like to point out that being gay isn’t about snacking on anything.

  47. SmartAleq

    So I’m a little flippant here, but seriously, being gay is just a part of being the overall human, just as being straight is, or bi, or asexual. Nobody, aside from a few compulsive unfortunates, is capable of expressing their sexual identity directly for more than a fairly small percentage of the day, and how one accomplishes that expression has little to do with how one does one’s job, takes out the garbage, or plays softball. It’s dismissive to wrap a complex, well rounded human up into a tidy little package with the appropriately color coded bow on the top that neatly encapsulates everything you might need to know about that person in terms of their sexuality. And I’m just tired of watching lame reporters who walk right past incredibly important stories that legitimately affect huge percentages of the population in order to slobber breathlessly in speculation over the orientation of a proposed Supreme Court nominee. Tell me something important about her, dammit! Or just accept that as a nation we have zero responsible media and let them go back to “human interest” stories and pictures of cuddly kitties. Real ones, not fangy ratmonsters.

  48. Ames

    Given the opportunity to remove your shoe from your mouth, SmartAleq, you’ve instead inserted the other.

  49. Ames

    When Jill uses it, I’ve always taken “mang” to have a far more elegant and complex meaning than as a twist on “man!” – I see it expressing a mix of mild disgust, amazed resignation, with some resigned amazed recognition one wishes one didn’t have to even comment on, plus some things I like to just let be ineffable.

  50. ew_nc

    “•Asymmetric incoordination (incoordination on one side of the horse or the other)
    •Loss of proprioception (loss of the sense of awareness of the position of the limbs)
    •Depending on severity, various levels of seizures, muscle atrophy (leading to loss of ability to use muscles), and facial paralysis”

    I think I may be a horse. A horse that has had a bad encounter with a possibly-queer opposum.

  51. LiliJ

    Hi! I came here through a link on the feminist_fandom comm on LJ :)

    First of all, lol to your staring match with the (is it a possum? We don’t get them in England…) creature. And I agree with the abortion rule. I think they’re considering making the cut off time earlier here (and now the conservatives are in power I dread to think what will happen). I think that women should have the right to chose. And there’s some maternal instinct that isn’t comfortable with abortion, but it’s deep down and I know if I got pregnant now I would abort.

    On to what I’m really commenting about! It’s this comment you made…

    “Absolutely! Straight women do not play sports! Especially not softball. If a straight chick tries to play softball, the queer girls on the team turn her gay right away.”

    Um… huh? I think this is anti feminist, or my definition of it anyway. And here’s why. Hear me out! I’m not criticising you, or attacking you :)

    By saying that only gay women play sports, it’s the same as saying that if a guy wants to dance he must be gay. MEN say that because they associate dancing with women, and therefore any man that wants to dance identifies with women and fancies guys.

    Obviously, this isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s unfair to put a blanket judgement on any guy that wants to shake his booty.


    You’re saying sports are gender specific, and by playing sports women are identifying with males and therefore fancy females.

    Why shouldn’t men dance and be straight? And why shouldn’t women toss a ball around and then chat up a guy?

    I don’t understand your reasoning here. Because surely your view about sports and sexual orientation clashes with feminism.

    Feminists have been fighting to STOP stereotyping like this. So why are you doing it?

    Again, this isn’t an attack, and I hope you don’t censor me. I’m just confused, and thought I’d voice my confusion because hey! If I don’t use free speech then what’s the internet for? :P

  52. Jill

    Mang is how Wanda Sykes says “man.” And whatever Wanda Sykes does, I try to do it too, because I have no personality of my own.

  53. Hermionemone

    Lillij, Jill’s entire article overflows with irony. Since she eschews the little smiley face icon, we have to think, ponder, absorb more deeply of what she writes in order to gauge the ironicitosity level. Her point was to mock the mainstream reporting frenzy that focusses on hypothetical irrelevancies and ignores verifiable, relevant aspects of supreme court appointees’ anticipated performance of their expected duties.

    I know several women athletes and athletic women. I consider myself an athletic woman myself. Some are (I think) and some aren’t (I think) gay, and some I’m not sure about (I think that too!) The fact that a woman plays sports just means she enjoys playing sports, a laudable positive healthy thing to do, and one cannot infer from that whether she is or isn’t gay, and even when you know whether she is or isn’t gay one cannot infer from that that she is or isn’t good at her job.

    Perhaps I mangled that! My mom&dad have a hand-cranked hardwood maple mangle from early 20th century. It is an old piece of laundry equipment with two huge wooden rollers that squeeze the juice out of any plain, boring, white sheet, towel, or cogent argument, preparatory to hanging it out on the clothesline for the neighbours to see!

  54. kristyn joy

    Am I against feminism if I think the irony fail was even just a little funnier than the actual irony?

    The actual irony was pretty damned funny, too.

    Lillij, if you read around here, you will notice that Jill, and most of the people who comment, don’t place gender-loaded rules on thing such as sports or dancing. In fact, most everyone here thinks gender is a social construct, and there is no such thing as a “masculine” or a “feminine” trait, or a “gay” or a “straight” trait. Only human traits that have been mislabeled by centuries of assholes who’ve had massive sexual dysfunctions.

    Of course, that’s an oversimplified overgeneralization, though. So, just … irony. Learn irony. It helps.

  55. Jill

    Easy on LiliJ, folks. She is quite right that my statement “straight girls don’t play sports,” taken at face value and out of the context of the larger IBTP oeuvre, is an anti-feminist stereotype. You have to admire the kid for rushing into an unfamiliar blog authored by a notorious churl and standing her ground for the revolution.

    Note that her argument is nicely comprised of analogy and deduction, and that she refrains from fallacy, anecdote, and ad feminams. She does appear to have missed the gist of “Censorship, Blogs, and You,” and has relied not once but twice on emoticons instead of on actual writing, but given that she uses upper case letters at the beginnings of sentences, I’m willing to call it a wash.

    I need to post the blaming instructions above the comment box again, though. Somehow they got lost in the last theme upgrade.

  56. kristyn joy

    True, so true. LilliJ is a better blamer, in strictly technical terms, than many who blame here. And other than the emoticons, hey, no foul whatsoever.

    Everyone’s gotta learn somewhere, and better here than elsewhere.

  57. Amananta

    On the Kagan issue, I’m torn between annoyance at the assumption that of COURSE any smart, 50-something year old woman who isn’t married and has no children and likes sports must be a lesbian; and a fantasy of pure unadulterated glee in which she is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice and waits about two years before coming out, thus causing most of the godbags in the country to simultaneously have fits of apoplexy.

  58. Val

    It’s almost impossible to induce a possum to bite – they are all snarl! & Tarr has beaten me w/the information that the only disease they vector is the dreaded EPM, which I why I try to keep ’em OUT of my feed room…
    I can’t even recall the last time we’ve had one test (+) for rabies – I won’t say never, but none in my personal sphere for almost 21 yrs.

  59. Jill

    My friend’s horse died of EPM last year, and her rancho is just a few miles from mine, so I’m necessarily jumpy about the possums.

    I’m also jumpy about rattlesnakes (had one in the Spinster Motor Pool Garage the other day), brown recluse spiders (I kill an average of 2 per day in the bunkhouse), and murderous wild hogs.

    It’s wild out here in the wilderness, for some reason.

  60. Pinko Punko

    Yet you tell me to bed down with snakes of indeterminate nature!!!

    I know they aren’t brown recluse, and are harmless, but have you seen wolf spiders that are basically the size of a giant spidery hand of doom? They are very large.

  61. Helen

    Do you have flying foxes, Twisty? Those varmints have caused some nasty deaths both of horses and humans in Australia (Lyssavirus, Hendravirus.)

    Which reminds me, can we have another Stanley or Maypearl post? Sorry for the unfortunate juxtaposition.

  62. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Gah. Possums squick me out. The dogs chased a gigantic one up the apple tree last year. That varmint had *no* fear of me whatsofreakinever. I tried brandishing a broom at it to no avail. I had no intention of actually whacking it, I just wanted the effing thing out of my yard.

    Previous dog Abby brought me a baby one. She set it down delicately at my feet. I took Abby back in the house and gave her a cookie. Five minutes later, the baby possum (its play-dead pose having succeeded) scampered back to its mum.

  63. LiliJ

    Oh it’s irony! How ironic that I didn’t get that, when I use irony all the time. I did think the comment was a little out of kilter, but it never occured to me that it might be deliberately that way. It’s so hard on the internet to gauge things like humour and irony, because so much of conversation relies on non verbal communication.

    And trust me, I do know irony. I wasn’t too sure of the definition when I was younger so I picked up a dictionary and learnt it, though it was hard for my little brain to understand at first. IE: Lili is not stupid just… dense at times. :)

    And yeah, sorry about the emoticons! I find they go a long way to replacing tone of voice/body language etc that we lack on the internet.

    Thank you for explaining it to me, and I assure you I wasn’t attacking anyone with my comment. I just wanted an explanation, which I got! And I look forward to more posts: I do enjoy blaming the patriarchal society we (still) live in for pretty much everything.

  64. Larkspur

    LiliJ, one of my many regrets in life is that I cannot retain the meaning of irony in my brain. It slips away from me all the time. It’s like one of those odd little visual floaters in your eyeballs, which you mostly get used to, but then when you try to examine one, it will not stay put. I get chaos and entropy better than I do irony.

    So if everyone gets a certain ration of irony to use in her lifetime, any of y’all may help yourself to mine.

  65. LiliJ

    Yes, it can be hard to understand! I’m pretty sure I still don’t comprehend all of it. The best example of irony I’ve ever come across, one that explains it really well, is in Whedon’s show Dollhouse. But you have to know the context of the show to understand it.

    Actually, the fact that I didn’t get Jill’s irony is a testament to how well used it was. Irony is saying something that has the opposite meaning of what you are using it for, but only two parties know its true purpose – the writer and another party. The third party is usually the one being made fun of. And as I didn’t know the context I fell into the third party category.

    I’m pretty sure this is what it means. I know this definition is one of irony’s original meanings – I gleaned it from an old (very detailed) dictionary I have. And it’s a British one too, so the definition might be different because of that.

  66. Mau de Katt

    I figured “mang” was a way of using the exclamation “man!” in a non-gender-specific way. If that’s the way Wanda Sykes says it, then even better! But best of all is Ames’ definition; I like that so much that I’ll just say “yeah, that’s what I thought it meant, too.”

    I know they aren’t brown recluse, and are harmless, but have you seen wolf spiders that are basically the size of a giant spidery hand of doom? They are very large.

    Oh good gawd, yes! I was told that they could jump up to six feet, as well. My mid-teens were permanently scarred by the experience of walking into the bathroom and seeing a 6-inch-across, shaggy brown Spidery Hand O’ Doom sitting on the roll of toilet paper. This was in Okinawa, where Large Satanic Insects are just part of everyday life, but even in this environment that spider was truly a thing of horror. I didn’t get to see whether it lived up to its reputed long-jump capabilities, though, because I exited the bathroom so fast I think I caused a sonic boom. Or maybe that was my screaming. It’s hard to remember….

  67. Mau de Katt

    And why didn’t my blockquoting tags work on Pinko Punko’s spider comment? Sorry for the confusion — that middle paragraph should be blockquoted, or italicized at the least.

  68. Jill

    that middle paragraph should be blockquoted, or italicized at the least.


  69. Alexa

    Something about that smile emoticon.. Maybe because it’s overused and doesn’t really suggest someone’s giving you a ‘smile’. In fact it’s often used ‘ironically’ (ha). Most have mastered the art of being able to write well here. What do you think of the smile emoticon? :) Is it really a smile?

  70. kristyn joy

    “Something about that smile emoticon.”

    It is — it’s even a little threatening. When taken at face value, oh, a little smile. When analyzed — hints of passive aggression? Irony? Gah! Meta!

    Anyway, LilliJ, yes, it’s good you’re learning here than elsewhere. Please don’t take it personally if you frighten some blamers (myself included) a little bit.

  71. Hedgepig

    LiliJ, I really enjoyed that bit about irony in Dollhouse, too. Victor was a fun character.

  72. Jill

    Emoticons blow.

  73. LiliJ

    “It is — it’s even a little threatening. When taken at face value, oh, a little smile. When analyzed — hints of passive aggression? Irony? Gah! Meta!”

    Hehe the ambiguity and nuances of emoticons amuse me as well. It’s why I like using them – they aid meaning and also can be used ironically without anyone knowing! Just my bit of fun.

    Hedgepig – so glad you got the reference! That bit made me so happy, because for those that understand irony the layers of meaning in that senario were great. I love Victor!

    Kristyn – why would I frighten people? *insert unhappy, confused but jovial emoticon here*

    ^see how helpful?!^

  74. LiliJ

    Jill – sorry! I’m young and it’s extremely hard to aviod emoticons when communicating on t’internet at my age. Also, if I don’t use them with my peers I come across as superior. I’m trying to curtail my use of them here though!

  75. Alexa

    LilyJ go back to the emoticon using place you came from? Sorry but I can tell you’re not exactly an advanced blamer :)

    :) :) :) I love ironyyyy layers omgzrdlf!?! :)

    Also I hate British people, and girls who try to feign sounding thick and ditsy. This is the one place I get away from them!

  76. Alexa

    I’m also young and get by just fine without :) :) :) all the time. It makes me think people are doing a kermit frog impression incessantly for no reason. Stop saying irony lilyj! And ‘t’internet’, what?

    Unless you come out with some brilliant blamer prose I’m gonna dislike you from now on :)

    oh there’s that irony :) !

  77. LiliJ

    Well that’s incredibly unfair. Why would you judge someone like that, especially if the only evidence you have of them are comments on a website?

    As for being “an advanced blamer” I don’t know about that. I do tend to blame far too much on the fact that we live in a patriarchal society. And I have as much right as anyone to come on this site and learn how to blame, even if I don’t know how right away.

    I refuse to be intimidated by some xenophobic girl I don’t even know, so I’m staying whether you like it or not. And stop hating British people! At least half of your country’s population comes from Britain or Europe originally. And I reserve the right to be able to use emoticons with my friends, though I’ll try not to use them here.

    So all I ask is that you reserve your rampant judgement of me until you’ve seen more of me on here. Otherwise it’s extrememely unfair, and kind of makes you look really bad, not me.

  78. LiliJ

    Plus how would you feel if someone said that to you your first time here? It’s hard to gauge the rapport of a site like this right away, and there’s a learning curve with any new community you join.

    So to have someone shoot you down and ridicule you, when you’re just trying to discuss an issue and not offend people, is not a nice experience.

    And for you to do so is vindictive and unecessary.

  79. Jezebella

    LiliJ, Alexa is not the IBTP bouncer. As long as our hostess doesn’t ban you, you’re fine here.

  80. Jill

    “Hostess”? Thou dost liken me unto a cupcake. Yowsa.

  81. Jezebella

    Heh. I realized you’d hate that as soon as I hit the blame button. My Southern etiquette brainwashing is my only excuse.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with cupcakes.

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