My Possum Peace Plan
By Dalton Roberts
It had to happen. In this age of unbridled violence with nuclear bombs pointing toward every place on the
planet where two or more are gathered together, someone just had to come up with the perfect way to end human
killing and bring peace to humankind. I just never thought it would be me.
So many great men and women have tried some whose shadows I would be ashamed to stand in. Gandhi, Bunche,
Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, St. Juicy, Grandfather Fluke — too many to list. Yet,
the surprising, simple truth is that I have come up with the perfect plan to bring peace to Earth.
I am humble as hell about it and take no credit. It was given to me — a “eureka” that came one
day as I contemplated the hidden beauty of the under-appreciated possum.
The plan is not complicated. It requires only two commitments from world leaders. It will not only stop wars
and homicides in a short while, it will stimulate the planetary economy, improve muscle tone among the people
and speed up weight loss.
Who would have thought the lowly possum, one of the oldest and least esteemed life forms on Earth, would end
up saving us from a horrible end?
Anthropologists say the possum was one of the few animals to survive the awful catastrophe that destroyed
all the dinosaurs except Strom Thurmond. Best they can figure it, a huge terrestrial body collided with Earth,
making a cloud of dust that closed off the sun for weeks, sloshed the oceans over the land and wiped out
all the green stuff.
In case you question the scientists or just can’t picture this happening, imagine an ant sitting on a tennis
ball traveling 570,000 miles an hour crashing into a basketball going even faster. The dinosaur’s who weren’t
slammed to death against trees and rocks died of starvation or were hurled out beyond Earth’s gravitational
field and are still zooming through space mumbling, “Somebody put something in my drink!”
Think about it: the possum survived that mind-boggling event! He just kept turning over garbage cans, eating
coffee grounds and potato peels, and stayed fat during and after the worst cataclysm this Turkey Farm has
As a small lad roaming primitive downtown Watering Trough with other juvenile delinquents like Bowser Belvin,
Goose and Little Britches Adams, Clem Sliger, and Zeke Porter, we often carried a case of Oertel’s 92 Beer
(the only kind we could afford) down to Sterchi’s pasture, iced it down, and listened to the dogs chase possums.
Once they had one treed, we’d go try to shake it out. No way. Someone would finally have to climb the tree
and twist him loose. Nothing matches the possum’s tenacity.
Most of this has little to do with the Inter-planetary Possum Peace Plan.
It’s just an effort to instill in you a little more respect for this primaeval creature that has stood up
to everything the Universe can throw at a species. It’s been here millions of years more than homo sapiens
erectus will ever see.
Point one of the Possum Peace Plan is to get a UN commitment that every nation lay down arms of all kinds
and use nothing but wet possums to attack other persons or nations or to defend themselves or their territories.
The NRA will become the NPA, lobbying all over the world for people’s right to carry as many possums as they
can feed. Possum breeders will come up with longer snouts and more teeth — higher caliber assault possums.
Pick-up trucks will no longer have gun racks. Possum cages will be standard equipment.
Let’s face it friends. It’s much too easy to shoot someone or drop a missile down their chimney with a computer.
People are inherently lazy. They are killing each other off simply because it is so easy. Force them to go
get a possum and dip it in a tank of water before they beat someone to death and the prospects for peace
brighten dramatically. We’re looking at a new planetary paradigm.
Yes, there will still be some killings. Even a few wars. The Middle East will be a major possum market for
a while. Sitting here thinking back over my troubled life, I can think of a few people I might possum to
death. But I know how severely lazy I am and how much I hate strenuous physical activity. By the time I uncaged
a possum, avoided his efforts to curl around my arm and sink his little razor-sharp teeth into my tender
flesh, the hate would dissipate. Even the Serbs, Albanians, Hutus and Tutsis will get sick of it.
Point two is that every person who whacks a wet possum to death in battle or any homicide, has to cook and
eat it. If you’ve ever eaten one, you know it will not take long for this policy to eliminate violence.
When I was a lad, I was visiting the home of a neighborhood widower whose two sons were Oertel-sucking buddies.
Entering the domicile, my nares revolted on an aroma I had never come across. A possum was cooking on the
kitchen woodstove and there was at least a solid inch of grease gurgling atop the possum and sweet potatoes.
As lack of luck would have it, it was one of the few times he ever invited me to join them for dinner. I
mixed large globs of sweet potatoes with tiny pieces of possum meat in an effort to get through this earthly
trial. It went fairly well until the sweet potatoes petered out.
A few years ago I underwent a year of psychiatric counseling over being whacked in the heart with a wet possum,
romantically and financially speaking. Toward the end of it I asked the kind doctor if he could do anything
to help me get over the memory of eating that possum in my tender teens and he said, “Freud postulated
that the memory of the taste of possum was more intractable than being thrice-dipped in a boiling cauldron
of used motor oil.” I got over the woman but the possum is still hanging on the nipple of my brain stem.
Let’s look at the promised economic benefits. Possum farming will be the hottest ticket around. Just to handle
all the people on Death Row will keep ’em humming. Possum farms will become mega-conglomerate international
corporations and possum stock will spiral in value as long as the violence continues.
Think of the number of water-boys it will require to service the front lines in a full-scale war. . Unemployment
will be unknown for even the least skilled can dip a possum (if they are quick). Behind the lines, chefs
will be cooking the possums who have given their all for their country. The demand for huge military mess
hall cooking pots will keep Wearever on three shifts a day. Pepto Bismol will be sold in five gallon cans.
Get you some stock now.
“But what about the suffering of the poor possums?” you may be thinking. Hopefully, we can agree
it is better they suffer than the crown jewel of creation, this advanced being and cute little thing said
to be “just a little lower than the angels” (now doesn’t that make you worry about angels?).
Yes, friends, I care about possums but the Possum Peace Plan is predicated on the conviction that possum suffering
will not last long. The perfection of the plan is the way it will sicken everyone with violence. Guns and
bombs are cold and impersonal killing tools but a wet possum in your hand, smashing repeatedly into an enemy,
cannot be depersonalized.
If this plan does nothing else, it will cause people to care about the feelings of possums for the first time
in human history. The Human Society has never, ever raised hell over anything anyone has ever done to a possum.
As our roadways show, no one brakes for a possum.
No organization turns backflips over men, women and children being slaughtered by guns and bombs. Wars are
kept surgically clean in news accounts, much like a TV commentator would describe a gall bladder operation.
But when people see hundreds of thousands of dead possums stacked up waiting to be thrown in boiling pots
half full of sweet potatoes, the Humane Society will shift into overdrive. Little sterling silver possums
will show up on lapels and dangling from ribbons wrapped around trees. Billboards will scream, “STOP
THE KILLING NOW!”
Violence will become too much hard work, too much trouble, too hard on the palate, too time-consuming. In
a word, too much hassle.
In case I am under-estimating the inherent violence of the human animal, you can still bet your “save
the whale” pins on the animal rights groups. Have no doubt, they’ll stop the possum killing. The animal
kingdom status that’s always eluded the possum, will become a wondrous reality.
When all the peace treaties are signed, for the first time since Earth came spinning out of the Big Bang,
it will be pretty nice to be a possum.
The Great Swami Dalton sees nothing, knows all.
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