An Alaskan living in New York has become a bit internet famous for taking a possum out of a local bar.
Yeah. It’s true. An Alaskan versus an opossum. And it was filmed.
Sara Fulton is originally from Anchorage and runs a coffee shop called Stowaway in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Next to Stowaway is a bar named Temkin’s. And, as she sometimes does, Fulton stopped by after work last Thursday for a drink with a friend. Fulton recently spoke with Alaska News Nightly host Casey Grove about what happened next.
The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Sarah Fulton: And I was playing pinball because they have a pinball machine. So I was just there playing pinball and having a good time, just, you know, your normal night at Temkin’s. But before all that happened, I was outside talking with a friend. And that’s when we saw a bug come into the bar.
Casey’s Grove: A possum rushes into a bar…
SF: Yeah, so the opossum comes along, and you’re like, “What was that?” And I was like, “I swear to God, I think that’s a possum.” And we run, everyone is on the other side of the bar freaking out. And it was like me and my friend. He grabbed a bunch of stools and cornered the opossum in the corner of the bar. And then I looked around and I thought, “Well, I guess I’m the quietest here.” And I just said, ‘Hold my phone. I’m from Alaska. I have that.
CG: There are a few things I need to unpack here. So why you? And why did you say, “I’m an Alaskan. I have that ?”
SF: Yeah, because, I don’t know. I think it’s just because it’s like, you know, they’re all New Yorkers. It’s as if we were dealing with cockroaches and rats. And then I thought, “Oh, a possum is nothing compared to a moose or a bear.” I was like, “It’s nothing.” This was me trying to justify why I could handle this, so no one could question me, and I’d just deal with the opossum.
CG: And it seems that it worked. Nobody asked you about it.
SF: No, and they just say, “Oh, okay, she’s from Alaska.” Let her take care of it. You know, New York is great, but so is Alaska. Alaska breeds tough people. I don’t know if I can say that. But, I mean, Alaska creates, like, it has the most amazing people. And everyone should know that.
CG: It’s awesome. So what did you do to get him out?
SF: I skinned it. I climbed up to him. I grabbed him by the back of the neck, then pulled him out and tried to find the safest place for him to be released. And it was on the sidewalk, and I dropped him off and he ran away.
CG: So in the video that’s been widely shared now, you kinda dusted your hands off afterwards.
SF: Oh yeah. I mean come on. I was just like, ‘Okay. And we’re done. At that point, I felt very, ‘Okay, cool. It was pretty cool. I was not bitten. So I was happy.
CG: What was the reaction of everyone there?
SF: Everyone was freaking out. But after they did, you know, they were like, “You’re a hero! You saved us!” And then it was just a line of tequila shots for me at the bar. And I was just like, “Oh, God.” That was crazy.
CG: Looks like it just exploded here recently. Tell me about it. I mean, you’re kind of like an internet celebrity right now.
SF: Yeah, I’m shaken. I was like, “Oh, maybe it’ll get 100 likes or whatever.” But then our local neighborhood Instagram, called Greenpointers, shared it. And then it just exploded from there. And, you know, unexpected. Like, I just did an interview with CNN today. Like what? It’s very strange.
CG: Yeah. It’s like the story is just one more story because you’re from Alaska. That’s a big part of it, right?
SF: Yeah. And I’m okay with that, because it’s like representing Alaska. Because generally everyone knows Sarah Palin’s Alaska. So I’m thrilled to be able to give Alaska a new name. You know?
CG: Do you see yourself fighting other animals in New York in the future?
SF: Yeah, I was like, “Maybe I should just become creature control.” Just do whatever shtick.