Department of Justice - Happy Possum-Tines Day! (Published 2/11/14)

Mark Justice
The Ashland Beacon
(Published 2/11/14)


The other day I got a call from Big Ethel, the owner and manager of The Possum Ranch, the best gentleman’s club in Argillite and the home of the plus-sized dancing gals who could whip the snot out of the Seattle Seahawks’s defense.

“Hey, do you still write for that newspaper?” she asked. “I do.”

“Good. I need you to write something about our big Valentine’s Day special.”

If you’ve never been to The Possum Ranch, there are two things you need to remember.

First, do NOT eat the food. It’s prepared by two of the dancers, Thumbelina and Hop-A-Long. Don’t get me wrong; both ladies are very nice, especially when they aren’t beating up drunks in the parking lot. And they both have vast experience as eaters. They just can’t cook.

The second thing you should know is that The Possum Ranch and romance have nothing in common.

Honestly, there is nothing remotely romantic about watching a 300-pound woman give a lap dance to a 75-year-old man in overalls and a John Deere cap. Especially when afterwards you have to help the paramedics carry him out to the ambulance. By the way, Papaw Hymerdinger was fine, and was back at his usual table the next night.

The only time I have ever seen a woman in The Possum Ranch who didn’t work there, was a few years ago when a bus broke down on Route One and a wellknown singer came in to use the phone because she didn’t have a cell signal. She took one look at the place and ran out screaming. And you know it takes a lot to offend Madonna.

My point is, you don’t naturally think of Valentine’s Day and The Possum Ranch as two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly. I mentioned that to Big Ethel.

She laughed. “You haven’t heard about our new image.”

“New image?”

“We’re getting some competition from places down the road, like the Cougar Haven and the Miley Cyrus Club, so we’re diversifying.”

“What does that mean?”

“We’re test driving a co-ed club for Valentine’s Day.”

“How does that work?”

“We built a second stage in the back. Couples will come in, and the men will sit at the table facing the front and the ladies will sit opposite, facing the back. On the front stage, my big ol’ gals will be shaking it like always, and on the back stage, just for the women, we’ll have male dancers.”

“You mean ripped, handsome young men?”

“Heck, no,” Big Ethel said. “I want fat boys.”

“Excuse me?”

“Sure. Ladies love a big boy. They know he’ll never cheat on them, and if they get mad at him and want to wallop him in the noggin, they know he can’t run very fast.”

“It sounds...interesting,” I said.

“So you’ll write about The Possum Ranch in your column?”


There was silence on the line. Finally, Big Ethel said,

“I have room for another dancer, if you’re interested.” I politely declined and hung up. My life is complicated enough. But I do look good in a leopard skin thong.