Best headline! Best story! BEST EVERYTHING!

Word for word, cut and paste, the entire story:

Police said a man will be charged with public drunkenness after several witnesses saw him attempting to resuscitate a road-killed opossum.

State police said they charged Donald Wolfe, 55, of Brookville, Jefferson County, after they arrived at the scene on Route 36 in Oliver Township around 3 p.m. Thursday.

A news release from police does not state how he was trying to revive the opossum.


1.  Has anyone ever tried to revive a dead possum when alcohol WASN’T involved?

2.  Maybe the possum isn’t dead.  Maybe the possum was just PLAYING POSSUM!

3. Why isn’t there yet an animated super-hero named Awesome Opossum?  Get on that, Disney.  “Whenever there is danger, he’ll play dead.  AWESOME OPOSSUM!”

4.  Are possum and opossum interchangeable like pigeon and Satan? Two names for the same animal?

5.  I hope to God he was trying to revive the (o)possum with a comical mixture of mouth-to-[insert official possum mouth term here], chest compressions, and “DON’T YOU DIE ON ME!  DON’T YOU DARE DIE ON ME, PRISSY!”

Or a defibrillator.


(h/t Eric and Paul)


  1. bluzdude
    March 26, 2010 1:44 pm

    “Opossum” is actually “O’Possum”, meaning “a possum from Ireland.”

    Sadly, no drinks were involved in making that up. But it’s still early.

  2. Jake
    March 26, 2010 1:50 pm

    Opossum is the North American marsupial, however there are a group of Asia-Pacific (i.e. Australia and surrounds) animals of similar nature known by the term “Possum”. In theory, the name “Possum” was applied because of the similarity to the American opossum.

  3. spoon
    March 26, 2010 1:51 pm

    This is the line that should worry you
    “A news release from police does not state how he was trying to revive the opossum”

    Have you ever seen the teeth on one? This would leave 2 other options, wherever the guts came out or his anus. That’s right, the guy probably tried to blow it up like a carnival prize.

  4. Emily
    March 26, 2010 1:51 pm

    Ummm. So that’s my hometown, and I totally know that guy. Wow….

  5. Meg
    March 26, 2010 2:03 pm

    Ditto Emily. Brookville, represent!

  6. butcher's dog
    March 26, 2010 2:19 pm

    spoon made me laugh out loud! If the guy were drunk enough, he wouldn’t care where he was blowing. Any odds that someone trying to revive a roadkill, drunk or not, is a lifetime card-carrying PETA member? Just curious.

    Now, a true story: This pertains to probably drunkenness, by the way. About a month ago in this Southern Carolina city where I’m currently staying that’s famous for its Beach, there was an article in the local paper. A man had an accident on, I think, a Friday night. He ran into a power pole and knocked it over. The man survived the accident. However, he electrocuted himself when, in the aftermath of the accident, he pissed into the ditch where the pole had fallen and hit the live wire with the stream.

    I pause in the typing so the women can burst into a spontaneous dance of Karma-bliss and the men can cringe.

    OK. I’m back.

    I submit this is more drunk than cpr on roadkill. In fact, it probably qualifies for an early nominee for a Darwin Award (given annually to those who do their best to thin the herd).

    I just wish he’d been from western PA. But then, perhaps, he’d have known better than to direct the flow where he did.

  7. Kathy
    March 26, 2010 2:35 pm

    your #2 made me laugh out loud in my office!! Thanks for the giggles!!

  8. bucdaddy
    March 26, 2010 2:38 pm

    3. Why isn’t there yet an animated super-hero named Awesome Opossum? Get on that, Disney. “Whenever there is danger, he’ll play dead. AWESOME OPOSSUM!”

    Oh, but there is. Years ago, Bucdaughter and I made up the most useless superhero trio we could think of. There was Awesome Possum, whose super power was playing dead; there was Awesome Ostrich (shut up! It’s our superheroes, we can name them the same thing if we want), whose super power was hiding his head in the sand; and there was Tommy Turtle, whose super power was that he could pull his head into his shell.

    We figured all their exploits would go something like this:

    Townsperson: Help, Awesome Possum! Help! Evil Otter has kidnapped Daphne Dog and tied her to the railroad tracks! What are you gonna do?

    Awesome Possum: *plays dead*

    *Train kills Daphne*

  9. PG Wodehouse
    March 26, 2010 2:40 pm

    When I first saw this in the PG, I thought, “man Ginny has to see this.” Knew I could count on you. My second thought was “was he trying to pour whiskey down its throat to revive him?”

  10. Monty
    March 26, 2010 2:40 pm

    Maybe he thought it was a furry. That would explain his attempt to revive it at the wrong end.


  11. bucdaddy
    March 26, 2010 2:40 pm

    BTW, you will be getting a cease-and-desist order from my trademark/copyright attorneys.

  12. Sooska
    March 26, 2010 2:41 pm

    Need they have stated “alcohol involved?”

    Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA had a taxidermy class as part of it’s bio curriculum. Students, my cousin being one, went out in the middle of the night to pick up fresh, and not too damaged, road kill to practice on. Perhaps this guy, altho’ a little older than most students and out during the day, was just doing homework.

  13. Cindy T.
    March 26, 2010 2:45 pm

    OK you are all cracking me up this wonderful Friday afternoon — snorting laughter, giggling, tears.

  14. unsatisfied
    March 26, 2010 2:50 pm

    spoon — niiiice.

    this numbnuts could not possibly be a pittsburgh EMT…. ;-)

  15. hello haha narf
    March 26, 2010 2:59 pm

    oh how i love (hate?) this story. i mean wow, just wow!

    although it reminds me of another story…my friend’s son was looking out their home’s sliding glass door when he excitedly announced that there was an anteater in the back yard. she calmly replied, “possum.” he got the stoner voice and said, “yeah, it is awesome.”

    we no longer say awesome around each other. naturally is always, “possum, man.”

  16. DG
    March 26, 2010 3:09 pm

    I saw this article and immediately emailed it to my brother, also wondering why they found the need to mention alcohol in the headline – did they think the reading public wouldn’t know that?

  17. cnik
    March 26, 2010 3:11 pm

    Call Tomlin, we’ve found Jeff Reed’s replacement!

  18. Margie
    March 26, 2010 3:13 pm

    Nothing like a good laugh on Friday afternoon.

    My opossum story goes like this: when I was a little girl, oh so long ago, I remember my dad telling me stories about the large rats the lived next to the “crick” in Evans City. He said they were large ugly creatures that would scare the bejesus out of a person.

    When I grew up to have my own house in the boonies near Portersville, I would tell my husband about seeing “crick rats” on my way home from the store. I would see these ugly creatures scurry from the stream that ran along the road, thinking that there were large rats near where we lived. Needless to say, he had no idea what the heck I was talking about.

    So one night on our way home, I saw a “crick rat” and excitedly yelled “That’s what I was talking about honey, that’s a crick rat!!!” He looked at me and started laughing, “No, babe, that’s a opossum.”

    To this day, we laugh every time we see a “crick rat.”

  19. Megan
    March 26, 2010 3:22 pm

    6yrs ago, a friend of ours, who is a nurse, tried to revive a deer on the side of a road. She was on her way home from a triple shift (or something), it was in Aliquippa, and police intervened and assured her they could handle things. It didn’t help that she was shoveling powdered donuts in her mouth, while driving, and had white powder all over her face at the time.

  20. Pittsburgh Tom
    March 26, 2010 3:52 pm

    Awesome Opossum: by night, a super hero; by day, mayor of Pittsburgh.

  21. Scott
    March 26, 2010 3:52 pm

    I like how this whole episode went down midafternoon on a weekday.

  22. strugglingwriter
    March 26, 2010 4:09 pm

    “Whenever there is danger, he’ll play dead. AWESOME OPOSSUM!”

    That line is brilliant! I’d steal it and use it, if I wasn’t so lazy.

    Great post!

  23. Carpetbagger
    March 26, 2010 4:18 pm

    A cautionary tale. Man and marsupial go out drinking. “Just a couple,” the nocturnal creature promises. Several jagermeisters later, tragedy strikes.

    “Somebody’s going to emergency, somebody’s going to jail.”

  24. Jean
    March 26, 2010 4:22 pm

    Scott – That’s my favorite part too!!

  25. Tina
    March 26, 2010 4:25 pm

    Jesus, the laugh attack this caused cracked me up.

    At #4: fun note – I googled this after reading the article because I was asking myself exact the same question.

  26. Bojack
    March 26, 2010 4:40 pm

    #2 !!

    The possum was most likely leading him on!

    What does Coach Tomlin say?

    Will Commissioner Goodel get involved?

  27. Scott L
    March 26, 2010 4:43 pm

    Now we know scottpreister’s real name…

  28. Bojack
    March 26, 2010 5:04 pm

    OH! I thought a Steeler was involved, nevermind

  29. Bojack
    March 26, 2010 5:08 pm

    Exactly how was he trying to revive it??

    Please tell me DNA is not involved!

  30. Drea
    March 26, 2010 5:49 pm

    From reading the headline only, I wasn’t sure if the possum was drunk or the man…

  31. Sooska
    March 26, 2010 5:59 pm

    CH. 11 reports mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was observed. EWWWW. leave it to them to know the answer.

  32. Megan
    March 26, 2010 6:44 pm

    They just did this story on KDKA. The look on Ken Rice’s face was priceless…

  33. Mike
    March 26, 2010 6:50 pm

    Updated in the PG:

    “Trooper Jamie Levier said several witnesses saw Mr. Wolfe near the animal. The trooper said one person saw Mr. Wolfe kneeling before the animal and gesturing as though he were conducting a seance, while another saw the mouth-to-mouth attempt.

    Trooper Levier said Wolfe was “extremely intoxicated” and “did have his mouth in the area of the animal’s mouth, I guess.”

    A seance and mouth to mouth? HAHAHAHA

  34. Brianne
    March 26, 2010 7:30 pm

    An act of humanity in an otherwise cruel and self involved world. Bravo Donald Wolfe. Bravo.
    Now please excuse me. I have to go perform a lung transplant on a goldfish.

  35. Russ
    March 26, 2010 8:21 pm

    If this would have happened during Snowmagedden, would the Possum’s wife had to carry him out to where the EMT’s could get to him?

  36. bucdaddy
    March 26, 2010 11:25 pm

    “Alcohol involved”? So the possum was just passed out, not dead? Geezum crow, I HATE it when they get into my liquor cabinet.

  37. butcher's dog
    March 27, 2010 8:15 am

    As my son pointed out, this is the kind of thing that gives those of us from rural areas a bad reputation.

  38. bucdaddy
    March 27, 2010 9:57 am

    I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation.

    — Joan Jett

  39. LaReina
    March 27, 2010 1:41 pm

    Of course, by “Donald Wolfe” we mean “Jeff Reed.”

  40. Tori19
    March 27, 2010 7:33 pm

    The Virginia Opossum is the original animal named “opossum”. The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), commonly known as the North American Opossum. The word comes from Algonquian ‘wapathemwa’ meaning “white animal”, not from Greek or Latin, so the plural is opossums. Colloquially, the Virginia Opossum is frequently called simply possum. It is often seen near towns, rummaging through garbage cans, or lying by the side of the road, a victim of traffic

  41. Summer
    March 27, 2010 7:35 pm

    I’m sorry, y’all, but I am just so glad it didn’t happen in WVA. We have enough stereotypes.

  42. bucdaddy
    March 27, 2010 7:42 pm

    He was trying to revive it to kill it later. You want your possum fresh. Them’s good eatin’.

  43. Pa-pop
    March 27, 2010 8:45 pm

    BROOKVILLE, PA (AP) – State police arrested three possums as they were leaving a bar in this Jefferson County community after using stolen credit cards belonging to 55-year-old Donald Wolfe. A fourth unidentified possum is suspected to be involved. Mr. Wolfe believes his wallet was lifted on Route 36 in Oliver Township as he tried to administer CPR to what he thought was a victim of roadkill. “I thought I had revived him,” said Mr. Wolfe, “because his tongue was moving.” An attorney for the arrested possums is denying all charges against his clients and claims the victim is “merely crying wolf.” Meanwhile, state police say that they believe there is no connection to this incident and a recently-discovered identify theft ring run by nine chickens near the Carnegie Mellon University campus in Pittsburgh.

  44. Orkoskey
    March 28, 2010 10:19 am

    This story is now international – it’s been picked up by the BBC:


  45. Steelman
    March 28, 2010 10:52 am

    Hmmm, I always thought an O’possum was an Irish possum.

  46. Bojack
    March 28, 2010 11:14 am

    “See this wonderful painting I did?
    See this beautiful house I built?
    So do you think they call me Don the Painter?
    Or Don the Builder?

  47. Bapple100
    March 29, 2010 1:05 pm

    I laughed out loud when I read the post about the man and the opossum…thanks for sharing…was just what I needed on a rainy Monday lunch break to get me through the rest of the day.

  48. Another Meg
    March 30, 2010 8:15 am

    My father’s family is from a small town right near Brookville and his younger brother lives there now. The first thing I did when I read this was email it to him with the question, “Is this one of Uncle Weasel’s friends?” His response was, “I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell asking the next time I see him.”

    Yes, I do have an Uncle known as Weasel. No, it’s not his given name.

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