An Alaskan living in New York City has become somewhat internet famous for wrangling a possum out of a local bar.
Yeah. That’s right. An Alaskan versus a possum. And it was caught on video.
Sara Fulton is originally from Anchorage and manages a cafe-bistro called Stowaway in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. Next door to Stowaway is a bar named Temkin’s. And, as she sometimes does, Fulton stopped in 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. The embedded video contains some bad language, as you would expect.
Sara Fulton: And I was playing pinball because they have pinball. So I was just there playing pinball and having a good time, just, you know, your normal night at Temkin’s. But before it all happened, I was outside talking with a friend. And that’s when we saw a critter run into the bar.
Casey Grove: A possum runs into a bar…
Sara Fulton: Yeah, so the possum runs in, and we’re like, “What was that?” And I was like, “I swear to God, I think that’s a possum.” And we run in, everybody is on the other side of the bar freaking out. And it was just like me and my friend. He grabbed a bunch of stools and cornered the possum to the corner of the bar. And then I looked around, and I was like, “Well, I guess I’m the calmest one here.” And I just said, “Hold my phone. I’m from Alaska. I got this.”
Casey Grove: There’s a couple of things I need to unpack there. So why you? And why did you say, “I’m an Alaskan. I got this?”
Sara Fulton: Yeah, because, I don’t know. I think it’s just because it’s like, you know, they’re all a bunch of New Yorkers. It’s like what we deal with are cockroaches and rats. And then I was like, “Oh, a possum, that’s nothing compared to a moose or bear.” I was like, “This is nothing.” It was me trying to justify why I could handle it, so nobody could question me, and I’d just take care of the possum.
Casey Grove: And it sounds like that worked. Nobody questioned you over that.
Sara Fulton: No, and they’re just like, “Oh, OK, she’s from Alaska. Let her handle it.” You know, New York is great, but so is Alaska. Alaska breeds badass people. I don’t know if I can say that. But, I mean, Alaska creates, like it has the most amazing people. And everyone needs to know that.
Casey Grove: That’s awesome. So what did you actually do to get it out the door?
Sara Fulton: I scruffed him. I went up to him. I grabbed him by the back of his neck, and then carried him out and tried to figure out the safest spot for him to be released. And that was on the sidewalk, and I put him down and he ran away.
Casey Grove: So in the video that has been widely circulated now, you kind of like dusted your hands off after.
Sara Fulton: Oh yeah. I mean, come on. I was just like, “Alright. And we’re done.” At that moment, I was feeling very, “Alright, cool. That was pretty neat. I didn’t get bit.” So I was happy.
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Casey Grove: What was the reaction from from everyone else there?
Sara Fulton: Everyone was flipping out. But then after I did it, you know, they’re like, “You’re a hero! You saved us!” And then it was just a line of shots of tequila for me down the bar. And I was just like, “Oh, Lord.” It was nuts.
Casey Grove: It seems like it just blew up here recently. Tell me about that. I mean, you’re sort of like an internet celebrity at the moment.
Sara Fulton: Yeah, I’m shook. I was like, “Oh, maybe it will get like 100 likes or whatever.” But then our local Instagram of the neighborhood, called Greenpointers, shared it. And then it just blew up from there. And, you know, unexpected. Like, I just did an interview with CNN today. Like, what? That’s so weird.
Casey Grove: Yeah. It’s like the story is a story more because you’re from Alaska. That’s a big part of it, right?
Sara Fulton: Yeah. And I’m down with that, because it’s like repping Alaska. Because usually everyone knows Alaska from Sarah Palin. So I’m mad stoked that I’m able to like give Alaska a new name. You know?
Casey Grove: Do you see yourself wrangling other animals in New York in the future?
Sara Fulton: Yeah, I was like, “Maybe I should just become the critter control.” Just make this the whole shtick, you know?