Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Captain's Log, Day 182: Playing *With* Possum

          The night started out pretty normally. I got into a rather heated Halo match with Shorty, wound up in a rather heated debate with her about the properties of laser sword feasibility on the subsequent victory run to Long John Silvers, got my shin kicked repeatedly when I bought her food and managed to get the cashier to think we were dating (a running joke by this point), and...
          ...and, come to think of it, this was really only normal for me. Unless the rest of you had pretend midget girlfriends/wives (it varied) in college.
          One further note: the "pretend" part was regarding the relationship status, not the height. Totally a midget. Hence the shin-kicking.
          Anyway, the real fun started when I managed to steal her phone and send a text from it to a secondary number of mine.
          "YEEK! Radar, gimme that back!" Shorty demanded.
          "Yeah, yeah, give me a second," I said absently. The table was wide enough to prevent a sudden onslaught from the other side, so I had a moment.
          That's not to say she didn't think about launching herself across like a very tiny Radar-seeking missile, but since there would be a certain launch time associated with that while she climbed up on the table, she settled for giving me the evil eye instead. "Well, good thing I password-locked it."
          I finished the text and flipped the phone around. "You mean the password I guessed on the second try?"
          Shorty closed her eyes in mock pain. "You know me too well."
          "As your kill/death ratio in Halo would indicate," I agreed, tossing her phone back across the table. "You may receive an interesting text in a few moments."
          "What did you do?"
          "Texted a friend of mine," I lied. Actually, I had some research to do on a book, and I wanted to see if I could write well enough as someone else to fool one who knew me. Hence, Shorty. Stealthily, I pulled out my phone and texted her back.
          She unlocked her phone. "What did you--RADAR!!!!!"
          I snickered. "It's a conversation starter!"
          "Well, now this guy is going to think I'm crazy!" she complained.
          She read the text. "Oh. Wait. Never mind. He knows I'm crazy."
          "Really? How so?" I asked innocently.
          She made a face at me. "Because I hang out with you."
          "Fair point," I conceded, confident she hadn't guessed that is was me.
          (She never figured it out--until I told her a year later, anyway. Definitely my longest-running prank of all time. She didn't believe me either until I sent her the screenshots of the account information for that phone number!)
          We finished the meal with more debate about various random things--arguing about everything was pretty much our favorite pastime--and headed back to college. Once there, I remembered to finally take my racquetball gear out of the car. A fateful decision, as it turned out.
          "What are you planning on doing with that?" Shorty asked as I slammed the door shut.
          "Teach you how to play!" I announced, striking an exaggerated pose.
          She snorted and kept walking, back towards her apartment. "Yeah, no. First off, I already know how--"
          "THEN I CHALLENGE!" I whooped.
          "And second off, just no. I've heard stories--I'm too young to die!"
          "No, just smar--hey, is that a cat?"
          I looked where she was pointing. Two glowing eyes stared back at us from under a nearby car. I frowned. "Hmm, something seems off for a cat."
          "It's totally a cat," Shorty said positively and made several clicking sounds. "Here, kitty, kitty, kit--holy crap!"
          I burst out laughing as the "cat" whipped around and retreated, exposing a very long and very bare tail. "Yeah, that's a possum!"
          "Shut up," Shorty suggested, red-faced.
          "Make me," I returned, already rushing forward. "Come on! It went under that car there!"
          "Why are we following the giant rodent?" she asked, hanging back in a manner justifying my "wuss" comment previously.
          "Rodents of unusual size? I don't believe they exist," I quoted. "But to answer your question, I want to catch it."
          "Oh, great." Shorty crouched, muttering something about frogs.
          I ignored her and dropped down as well. "Man, it's going to be hard to get it out from there." I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture, spooking it. "--there it goes!"
          "Behind the fan!" Shorty announced, getting into the chase in spite of herself. (Admittedly, she probably thought there wasn't a chance I would actually catch it.)
          I sighed and hopped back up. "It's an AC unit, you...you...um...math major!"
          She burst out laughing.
          I scurried around the car in hot pursuit. Peeking over the top of the unit, I saw a pointy snout, so I took another picture. After a moment's study, I took my best guess at where his tail was, dropped the phone, and dove. There was a scream.
          But not from me.
          "You caught it youcaughtitholycrapareyouINSANE??" Shorty yelped as I dragged the reluctant rodent out.
          I snagged one of my discarded rackets just in time to prevent the hissing beast from biting my leg. "See? Piece of cake. Take a picture!"
          The possum resigned itself to its fate and stopped struggling, giving both of us the evil eye. Shorty picked up my phone semi-reluctantly and snapped a few pictures. "You're crazy."
          "Yep," I agreed. "Okay, back up, I'm letting him go."
          Shorty retreated with a speed normally associated with ballistic missiles. I let go of Mr. Possum's tail. He declined the possibility of a rematch and took off like a shot into the darkness.
          I held out my hand for my phone. "You know, if these don't turn out, we'll have to catch him again--"
          "Oh hell no!" Shorty giggled.
          Fortunately for her sanity, she did get a good one.

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