The Brasstown Possum Drop

3 01 2013
Clay and the Star of the show!

Clay and the Star of the show!

For over twenty years now, the highlight of the New Year’s celebration in the tiny community of Brasstown, North Carolina has been the annual Possum Drop during which a live possum in a see-through plastic box is gently lowered twenty feet to a stage, fed and then released. Sounds like a good gig to me. But recently, PETA sued Brasstown to put a stop to this venerated tradition. PETA claims the drop is demeaning and cruel. One PETA protester was heard to say, “Rather than making the possum the center of attention for human entertainment, the possum should be allowed to be home with his family ringing in the New Year like other possums.”

In recent interviews with over 100 local citizens not one single person said they felt embarrassed or demeaned by the drop. To the contrary, all those interviewed said they were happy with the drop and look forward to it each year. To be fair to both sides, interviews were also conducted with several local possums. Again, not one single interviewee, when asked if they felt the tradition was demeaning or cruel, made any negative comments. Instead, they seem to relish the attention, knowing that one of their own kind was the star of the show. It seems that PETA would welcome the possum drop because that’s one night that at least one possum isn’t trying unsuccessfully to get across the road.

You would think that maybe PETA could make better use of their resources than going after the Brasstown Possum Drop. For instance, how about that poor little monkey on Dora the Explorer-talk about demeaning. How embarrassing can it be to be made to wear pink boots on national television? Or what about how everyone is always making fun of Scooby-Doo and the way he talks? It seems PETA’s money would be better spent paying for speech lessons so the poor pooch could talk like normal people. Or I hear Big Bird has been playing the same gig for nearly 45 years and hasn’t had a single pay increase. Talk about your ethical treatment of animals!

And what about the cost? By some estimates, it cost PETA and taxpayers a half a gazillion dollars not to embarrass a possum on New Year’s Eve.  Now, instead, the possum is free to run around and someone from PETA gets to go out New Year’s morning and scrape his flattened butt off the road. At least he’ll die with his dignity still intact.

Well, New Year’s Eve has come and gone and although the possum box was lowered as scheduled, the contents of the box remain a mystery. Clay Logan, the head possum dropper, covered the box so no one could see what was inside. He had hinted before the event that he might drop a stuffed possum or perhaps possum road kill. For all anyone knows it could have been a live possum or a raccoon in a possum suit. Regardless what was dropped, everyone had a blast. Mission accomplished, Brasstown!

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