Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q: Queen of the Possums

Not many of us personally know a queen.  Homecoming queens don't count.  My good friend, Ava Quinn, is serving as this year's Possum Queen.  If you know nothing about this royal position, please read on.  If you want to meet a woman of genuine, original humor, read on.  If you would like to learn something you didn't know about my part of the world(and maybe don't want to), please read on.  Ava is a writer and after reading her interview below, I know you'll be smiling and wishing for more.

Not everyone is familiar with the versatile creature we in PA call possums. Can you tell us why this nocturnal animal is honored in your part of the Penn Woods?

The Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products Company canning factory is a large source of jobs in our county. Because of the integral part the canned 'possum products have in both the fiscal and culinary parts of our lives out here, the PA Possum is an honored symbol of our community.

What is the process of being elected Queen?

Every year around October, the Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products Company sponsors the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival. Think Oktoberfest with moonshine. But with less oom pah pahs and more dueling banjos. The three day festival's exciting culmination is the crowning of that year's 'Possum Queen.

First there's the talent competition. That can get pretty fierce. Between the bologna frying and the goat yodeling, well let me tell you it's not a cake walk by any stretch of the imagination.

The swim suit competition can get pretty hairy as well. Especially with the true backwoods contestants.

Finally, the beer guzzling and 40 yard stumble results can really make or break a 'Possum Queen contestant.

Once all the contestants have competed and mingled each day with the crowds, visited the moonshine stills and sampled all the different vintages, the entire Moonshine and Fried 'Possum Carny crowd assembles at the Pot Bellied 'Possum Pavillion to show their support for the contestant of their choice.

How this is done is through a careful and scientific selection process. The previous year's queen holds the coveted crown (a taxidermy dream of an opossum mama with her babies embellished with rhinestones- lots of rhinestones) over each contestant's head. The woman to receive the loudest round of burps from the crowd is then crowned that year's queen. For full details on last year's competition see here .

What are your duties as Queen?

I swore the oath to do my darned tootin-est to represent the entire line of canned Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products to the best of my ability. From Creamed 'Possum to 'Possum Roadkill Stew. From hash to grits and all affiliated 'possum gravies and desserts in between. And I do it with 'possum pride in my heart.

Also I am to promote all 'possum products in the best light possible. You can check out some of those products here .

How do you prefer to be addressed?

Your Majesty, My 'Possum Liege or Hey You

Your friends and enemies know about your kick-ass ninja skills, do you have occasion to use your marital arts to defend yourself and your queendom?

Well, I don't want to badmouth anyone, but many of your readers will remember that in Punxsutawney, PA there's another famous mammal who garners the spotlight every spring. Many of the locals in that area of Pennsylvania talk smack about the opossum, yet it's never come to blows. But I'm ready to defend the reputation of my trailerhood with my karate skills. Don't you doubt it!
How do you fit writing into your busy schedule of royal duties?

It isn't easy. What with the all the trailer park grand openings and redneck yachts to coronate with jugs of moonshine, my time to write gets really truncated.
Tell us about the royal carriage?
Ah, my pride and joy, as Stevie Ray Vaughn would say. My Kawasaki Ninja is still in hibernation in the barn, but it won't be long before the weather is nice enough to get out on it again.

You won't believe this but the name of Ava's blog is 'Tongue in Cheek.'  I hope you enjoyed her visit as much as I did. Thank you for visiting, Ava.  Can you think of a royal position they should invent for your neck of the woods?  And please tell us if you've ever eaten possum.


  1. Oh my. What a great way to start the day! The Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products Company!!! Hysterical

  2. Hey You-

    This was pretty damn funny. An Oktoberfest with moonshine and dueling banjos sounds awesome!

  3. Thank you Vicki and M.J.!

    And thanks for having me over today, Susan! I had a great time answering all your questions.