Because some cars live outside, various critters occasionally decide they'd make great places to hole up for the winter. One driver noticed a funny smell, then got a hissing, opossum-shaped surprise when popping the hood.
Most of our animal/car experiences involve pesky mice and rats chewing through important bits of electronics, but this motorist got a lot more than that after he noticed his rarely used truck was acting strange and a funny, burning smell coming from under the hood. We'll just let him tell the rest of the story:
Saturday afternoon Kim and I decide to drive over to her parents house to pick up a couple of pole saws. Given that the pole saws are pretty long even collapsed we decided to take the truck. The truck has been sitting in the carport for a few weeks now without being driven. Pretty much the norm. We mainly use it for hauling crap around when needed, or stuff that we don't want in our cars, greasy, oily, gas smelling lawn equipment etc. So we jump in the truck and after the usual engine stalls and stops it settles down and decides to run. I noticed the gas gauge was on E. Crap... now I am sitting there thinking.. this thing had at least a 1/4 tank... what gives. So we decide to stop by the gas station on the way. And of course I cant stop the nagging in the back of my mind, and the wife... was I imagining the 1/4 tank I thought was in there? Are we gonna make it? Will my 5 month prego wife have to push the truck to the gas station?
We made it... we role into the gas station.. no problem. I perform the usual routine and begin fueling the beast..... about 10 gallons later Click...What the hell.. only 10 gallons? ... I am standing there thinking how could this be possible.. did the gas tank shrink? did some smartass neighborhood kid fill half the tank with concrete? What the hell... glancing up noticing the stare from the wife ... you know the one "put the nozzle back and lets go dumbass"... With a shrug I replace the nozzle and start walking back to the driver side...Still wondering about the ... the... what the hell is that smell??? something is burning... smells like leaves? grass? pine needles? all the above .. some of the above?? Now what?? I'm looking around... granted there is no burn ban today, I would hope no one has started a small brush fire next to a gas station... but this is Tomball after all, quick check nope... Shit... its gotta be coming from the truck. All I need now, whole day planned out yard work and now I gotta deal with "something" burned up under the hood.
I open the driver side door pull the hood latch and quickly close the door before I get a barrage of questions...
So there I was... Standing at Pump #2 at the quickie, stop and, gas and ... whatever the hell ... Lets just call it Jim Bobs Gas and Crap in Tomball, TX. Staring at the ominous hood... this is the point I should probably point out I know shit about cars. If I can find a Chilton's, Haynes and/or a grease monkey friend I can fix anything.
With that being said I am standing there... thinking when I open this hood what magical part is gonna be ablaze that I couldn't identify even before it was engulfed in flames? And of course with the wife here, she'll ask what is that thing on fire? I'm screwed.. ok I'll make something up.. the flubber joint babe, it's pretty common they catch fire when they start to go... just go call a tow truck.
OK HERE GOES.... I open the hood expecting the worst and .... HOLY SHIT... there's an animal in there... with the biggest damn nest I have ever seen.. SLAM ... I close the hood... holy crap ... first things first.... Did anyone see that... a quick look around tells me no.... or this is where Tomball-ites cook their road kill so I'm kewl.
Maybe I am hallucinating.... another look... no sure as shit there is a damn possum all cozied up in his/her? nest HISSING at me... I close the hood and stand there thinking... NOW WHAT?
1) Get back in the car, say nothing drive really fast and hope the bastard gets caught in the fan. ... no.. too messy might break more stuff.
2) Get the squeegee from the window washer bucket and whack it on the head till it leaves... again no.. public place. embarrassment factor.
3) I am out of options...
I walk around to the passengers side , open the door .. quietly ask Kim to get out and walk to the front of the car, I open the hood, and yeah "what is that?" ...
Kim calls her mom and asks for advice... Her response? don't come over here I don't want that damn thing here, and we aren't allowed to fire weapons in our neighborhood.... Fair 'nuff.
She recommends going to a nearby school. So we take off and now I am thinking damn..damn .damn.... I have a live animal underneath the hood of the truck... WITH large amounts of HIGHLY flammable material. grass, leaves, pine needles and fur... this animal is pissed and now disturbed from its midday nap, and not realizing the big metal tree it has been living in is now on the move might decide to go bat shit crazy in there and do who knows what... bite a whole through the flubber joint and we are all goners.
We make it there ... pull to the side of the road and I jump out and grab a metal bar from the back of the truck.. possums lovers need not stop reading here (all 1 of you) ... 1) I wouldn't slaughter an animal on top of the engine block 2) I'd rather use a .22
I flip the hood open again... and am standing there thinking .. how messed up is this? Saturday afternoon staring at a possum living in my engine , hissing at me, metal bar in hand... about to go to town on his noggin.
WHACK... HISSSSSS.... WHACK.... HISSS ssss... HISSSSsss.. WHACK.... hisssss
dammit this isn't working the damn thing wont move.
So I start dismantling his nest out from underneath him hoping that would be that ... < I should note at this point there where no babies there....for the single possum lover.. whoever you are>
So I start flicking parts of his nest out onto the ground... possum finally gets it... and gets up... That is the biggest damn possum I have ever seen... This thing was unreal... it looked like it Ate a cat.
So I start whacking it a few more times and it drops down to the frame of the truck and sits there staring at me.hissing... oh for.... WHACK between the eyes, it lunges up at me, and receives a few more wacks with the metal bar... I think I saw the tweety birds circling his head because at that point he dropped to the grass below the truck... ran out a few feet ... looked back (no kidding) and gave me this go to hell look ( seriously ) and ran off into the woods next to the school.....
So the gas situation... probably gauge indicator wire... I have no idea right now but after I removed the rest of the nest and saw all the shit he chewed up in there..... there is no telling.