Ms Possum, Agony Aunt, Answers Your Questions
Here is a series of frequently asked questions that Ms Possum receives on a regular basis. We’re sharing with you the hissily sarcastic answers Ms Possum is tempted to give and then the politically correct answers which we actually provide.
After all, Ms Possum is an amiable creature with impeccable manners, even though her talons are known to spring out from time to time in a kinaesthetic response to the following common queries:
Q: How do you shear a possum to get the fur for your knitted garments ?
WRONG ANSWER: We have specially designed salons in which the Possums sit down with a cuppa tea and the latest gossip mags. We gently clip them with the trendiest of style, finishing off with a delicate blow wave and if necessary, straightening irons for those stubborn curls. We even throw in a free manicure to boot. Then we make appointments for six weeks later when the fur has grown again and we need to repeat the same process.
RIGHT ANSWER: They’re not like sheep, dahlings! They, ahem, have to be mercifully despatched first and then hand plucked while still warm. Forget about those plucking machines too – it’s far too rough a process for our liking.
Q: Do the possums come from the wild in those bright colours?
WRONG ANSWER 1: Yes, we put food colouring in their feed to turn their coats into bright red, flouro pink and even lime green! We just go through heaps of cochineal and jelly crystals!
WRONG ANSWER 2: Yes, they are the result of genetic modification.
RIGHT ANSWER: Possum New Zealand dyes the Possum hides in 17 different colours from their natural state.
Q: We’ve got a possum trapped up in the ceiling. What can you do about it?
WRONG ANSWER: Well, you’ve obviously called the right company. We’ll just send our senior stylist down and while it’s not in her job description, she can catch it for you in her high heels and for a little extra, convert it into a fashion scarf. Yep, it’s a one-stop-shop here.
RIGHT ANSWER: Try Pest Control.
Q: We’ve just run over a possum. Do you want it?
WRONG ANSWER: Yeah, we want it like a hole in the head. We’ll scrape it off the road for you, then gut and de-flesh it as the pet dog would love a menu change. Our landlords would also love us to death for causing a sanguinary mess within a CBD building as our Body Corporate rules specifically preclude us from using the premises as an abattoir. We’ll then dry the hide out and make it into something fit for a horror movie. Yeah, why wouldn’t we want it?!
RIGHT ANSWER: There’s actually about 47 stages of processing between capture and when Possum NZ gets the tanned, dressed and dyed hides. That’s why we have to go through our Tannery to obtain the best luxury quality hides. But thanks all the same.
Q: What do you have in the way of steel radials?
WRONG ANSWER: Obviously you cannot read a phone book. What have we got to do with the automotive industry?
RIGHT ANSWER: You probably want Possum Bourne, the company named after the famous NZ Rally car driver. If you look in the New Zealand phone book, he’s the listing above Possum New Zealand.
Q: How much to send a parcel to Christchurch?
WRONG ANSWER: Obviously you can’t read a phone book either. Are we all blind today?
RIGHT ANSWER: You have punched in the wrong last digit of New Zealand Post’s 0800 number and got Possum NZ instead (0800NZPOSSUM). Please refer to the phone book.
Q: I am Rev Elisha Godwin from Nigeria (names change with each identical query). We are setting up orphanages in our country and want to order your possum rugs and cushions. Can we pay by VISA over the phone and we’ll get the goods picked up direct from your factory by our own shippers?
WRONG ANSWER: Yeah, like we were born yesterday. How absolutely generous of you to treat these poor orphans with such high ticket products that only the well-to-do can afford in western countries. We know they’ll just appreciate the thermal qualities of our possum throws in the 40-degree heat of Africa. And of course you can pay thousands of dollars on a stolen credit card over the phone because we just love losing money during a Recession and yes, we’re that stupid here in New Zealand that we’ll fall for any hard luck story. Although if you truly are a Reverend, doesn’t the Bible say: “Thou shalt not steal”!
RIGHT ANSWER: Sorry, our banks have advised us not to deal with Nigeria.
Q: We are a company from China – can you supply a container load of possum skins each week for our fur factories?
WRONG ANSWER: You’re having me on, right? Wish I could do that as I’d be a rich woman!!
RIGHT ANSWER: Sorry, New Zealand is only a small country and the infrastructure does not allow anywhere near those quantities even if everyone combined their resources. We would rather sell you our value added goods made here in New Zealand for you to market as elitist, limited edition products back in China.
Q: OK, you can’t supply container of possum skins to China every week – what about other animals? We’re not fussy – we just have to have a container load – any animals will do.
WRONG ANSWER: Well I know the SPCA always has spare animals to give away and yeah sure, I could round up a few thousand stray cats and dogs in my spare time as well.
RIGHT ANSWER: Sorry, we can’t help you here. As explained above, we suggest you purchase fully made-up possum fur items from us and resell in China for good prices due to limited raw material availability.
If you have a possum query you’ve always wondered about, but were too scared to ask – just send me an email and if it’s within the “high calibre” range of the above, I could give a quick flick of my talon and have it posted before you can say “and a Possum in a Pear Tree” ( which is Ms Possum’s typical end of year greeting).
Missy Hissy Possum