Petunia Opossum, 18

Petunia Opossum was found dead on Atlanta Highway in Athens late Saturday afternoon, May 5th. Witnesses say that when the tourist’s trolley car rounded the corner, the rumbling apparently startled Petunia, who curled up into a ball, directly in the path of the wheels. Despite honking and throwing on the emergency brake, the trolley driver could not avoid her. Preliminary investigations lead to the belief that the painful brightness of the sun disoriented her, causing her to wander into the road. According to acquaintances, Petunia had not left her den below ground in several months. It appears that some young revelers decided to throw a Cinco de Mayo party above Petunia’s residence and, startled by the noise and smell of tacos, Petunia wandered above ground.

Petunia was born and raised in nearby Watkinsville. She is survived by her parents, Virginia and Unkefer, and her 47 siblings. In high school, Petunia experienced a great deal of success as the drum major, the president of the student council, and the captain of the water polo team. She graduated from Watkinsville High at the top of her class, and was accepted on full scholarship to the Ag department at the University of Georgia, the first of her family to attend college.

Unprepared for the temptations of college life, Petunia was quickly lost to the dangerous world of whippets and she never turned back. Failing to attend a single class after syllabus week, she wandered the halls of Brumby dorm, clutching whipped cream canisters and scaring fellow freshman with incantations.

UGA declined to renew her scholarship for a second semester and asked that she vacate the dorms. It is now clear that Petunia moved into the labyrinth of tunnels underneath the campus. Officials found her hideout underneath the Philosophy building. Petunia’s lair contained hundreds of empty whippet containers along with dozens of “Dungeons & Dragons” implements, including capes, figurines, and handmade weaponry.

Her family, who thought Petunia was still attending college, will privately mourn their loss, preferring to remember and celebrate the Petunia they knew. It is unclear whether or not the family will sue the university for liability. In lieu of flowers, they are asking for donations to the charity they founded in her memory, Opossum Peer Pressure (OPP).

Petunia Opposum
photo by David Braud
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