History Main / PlayingPossum

15th May '18 9:03:54 PM Sharlee
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* 19th century Ohio anatomist Joseph Nashe [=McDowell=] claimed to have done this to avoid an angry mob. As was a common practice at the time, he'd acquired a body for dissection via GraveRobbing, only to be tracked down by infuriated relatives of the deceased. Having hidden the body, he lay down on his own dissection table with a sheet drawn over himself and played dead. Checking under the sheet, the vengeful mob didn't recognize him and left him there, assuming he was just another cadaver.

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* 19th century Ohio anatomist Joseph Nashe [=McDowell=] claimed to have done this to avoid an angry mob.being lynched. As was a common practice at the time, he'd acquired a body for dissection via GraveRobbing, only to be tracked down by infuriated relatives of the deceased. Having hidden the body, he lay down on his own dissection table with a sheet drawn over himself and played dead. Checking under the sheet, the vengeful mob didn't recognize him and left him there, assuming he was just another cadaver.
15th May '18 9:03:22 PM Sharlee
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* 19th century Ohio anatomist Joseph Nashe [=McDowell=] claimed to have done this to avoid an angry mob. As was a common practice at the time, he'd acquired a body for dissection via GraveRobbing, only to be tracked down by infuriated relatives of the deceased. Having hidden the body, he lay down on his own dissection table with a sheet drawn over himself and played dead. Checking under the sheet, the vengeful mob didn't recognize him and left him there, assuming he was just another cadaver.
10th May '18 4:51:59 AM Macsen
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* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Evidently Violetta has seen her aunt the Lady Margarella Selnikov play dead before and initially thinks she's doing so again when she is killed by the Beast, removing the cloth respectfully placed to cover her mangled face convinces Violetta that she's not faking this time.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Godslave}}'', Edith pretends to have fallen unconscious so that Turner would stop punching the walls with her and turn his attention to Anpu, whereupon she goes for the final blow.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Housepets}}'', Jessica [[http://www.housepetscomic.com/comic/2014/11/26/no-time-for-playing/ pulls this]] when confronted with a live gargoyle statue. Bonus points since she's actually an opossum.



* In ''Webcomic/{{Godslave}}'', Edith pretends to have fallen unconscious so that Turner would stop punching the walls with her and turn his attention to Anpu, whereupon she goes for the final blow.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Evidently Violetta has seen her aunt the Lady Margarella Selnikov play dead before and initially thinks she's doing so again when she is killed by the Beast, removing the cloth respectfully placed to cover her mangled face convinces Violetta that she's not faking this time.
13th Apr '18 6:40:44 AM DoctorDetective
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* This is actually recommended practice when encountering grizzly bears. Wild brown bears aren't generally interested in humans as a source of food, but they do tend to see us as a threat when we wander into their territory [[MamaBear especially if they have cubs]], so lying down and staying motionless and quiet can get them to leave you alone, if you have no other options. American black bears will just kill you, if you try this, so the recommendation is always to run away, make noise, and fight as hard as you can, and always be sure of what kind of bear you are dealing with before playing dead. Either way, it's better to be prepared with something like bear mace when going into the woods than trying to rely on Playing Possum working, because the bear you run into might just be the bear who it doesn't work on.

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* This is actually recommended practice when encountering grizzly bears. Wild brown bears aren't generally interested in humans as a source of food, but they do tend to see us as a threat when we wander into their territory [[MamaBear especially if they have cubs]], so lying down and staying motionless and quiet can get them to leave you alone, if you have no other options. American black bears will just kill you, if you try this, so the recommendation is always to run away, make noise, and fight as hard as you can, and always be sure of what kind of bear you are dealing with before playing dead. Either way, it's better to be prepared with something like bear mace spray when going into the woods than trying to rely on Playing Possum working, because the bear you run into might just be the bear who it doesn't work on.
13th Apr '18 6:40:13 AM DoctorDetective
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* This is actually recommended practice when encountering grizzly bears. Wild brown bears aren't generally interested in humans as a source of food, but they do tend to see us as a threat when we wander into their territory [[MamaBear especially if they have cubs]], so lying down and staying motionless and quiet can get them to leave you alone, if you have no other options. American black bears will just kill you, if you try this, so the recommendation is always to run away, make noise, and fight as hard as you can, and always be sure of what kind of bear you are dealing with before playing dead.

to:

* This is actually recommended practice when encountering grizzly bears. Wild brown bears aren't generally interested in humans as a source of food, but they do tend to see us as a threat when we wander into their territory [[MamaBear especially if they have cubs]], so lying down and staying motionless and quiet can get them to leave you alone, if you have no other options. American black bears will just kill you, if you try this, so the recommendation is always to run away, make noise, and fight as hard as you can, and always be sure of what kind of bear you are dealing with before playing dead. Either way, it's better to be prepared with something like bear mace when going into the woods than trying to rely on Playing Possum working, because the bear you run into might just be the bear who it doesn't work on.
13th Apr '18 6:38:05 AM DoctorDetective
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* This is actually recommended practice when encountering grizzly bears. Wild brown bears aren't generally interested in humans as a source of food, but they do tend to see us as a threat when we wander into their territory [[MamaBear especially if they have cubs]], so lying down and staying motionless and quiet can get them to leave you alone, if you have no other options. American black bears will just kill you, if you try this, so the recommendation is always to run away, make noise, and fight as hard as you can, and always be sure of what kind of bear you are dealing with before playing dead.
13th Apr '18 6:22:45 AM DoctorDetective
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Note that Playing Possum is a phrase inspired by the Virginia opossum, which famously feigns death and produces a rotting smell. Proper possums are not noted for employing this strategy. Unfortunately for the opossum, this response to danger is involuntary and often leaves it incapacitated in a [[CarFu dangerous situation]].

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Note that Playing Possum is a phrase inspired by the Virginia opossum, opossum (colloquially, many American dialects drop the first "o" from the name when spoken, hence the term), which famously feigns death and produces a rotting smell. Proper Australian possums (which are named after the Virginia opossum) are not noted for employing this strategy. Unfortunately for the opossum, this response to danger is involuntary and often leaves it incapacitated in a [[CarFu dangerous situation]].


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* The TropeNamer, the Virginia opossum, mentioned above.
7th Apr '18 4:22:47 PM Seanette
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7th Apr '18 4:22:20 PM Seanette
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26th Mar '18 11:28:00 AM fighwitt
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* In ''Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy'', ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} makes her heart stop while Satan Girl is pounding on her, so tricking her counterpart into lowering her guard.
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