Possums* first walked the Earth millions of years ago alongside the dinosaurs, but it wasn't until 2014 that they entered the meme lexicon with a "scream at own ass" heard round the world. Now, the long-tailed, trash-loving marsupials are going through a major renaissance on Twitter thanks to the meme account "scrëm @own___ass," which has accumulated nearly 30,000 followers and many viral tweets since it started in January.
Here's what the account's creators had to say — word-for-word in "pösspeak" from an interview over Twitter DMs — about spreading the love for possums, meme plagiarism, and their love/hate relationship with the "tomät."
*(For the possum scholars out there, yes, "possums" and "opossums" are two different species. Since they're both colloquially called "possums," this Q&A will do the same.)
So, who are you actually, @own___ass?
two teenagers trying to spread the p o s s u m l ö v e
And how'd you end up starting this account?
well it started with a Fäcebook page called Animals Eating Fruit. i liked their page and see many possum pals mönching on fruit and i fell in l o v e. this led to many hours of scavenging for possum memes and i create the account to share the memes with some close friendos. i never expect to account to blöw up like it has. amazing.
How'd you get so into possums? Do you have one as a pet?
we don't own a possum, we call ourselves possum connoisseurs
So why do you love them so much?
we should be asking why people don't love opossums/possums this much
lil floof balls that eat trash and scream at own ass
who couldn't luv em
Gotcha. So, what's this "possum talk" I see you using?
p ö s s u m
Does it have a name?
oh gosh I guess we should give it a name. Hmmm
This account grew really quickly, really fast. How'd that happen?
my friend was the one who started this and our pinned tweet blew up. From there people started following and following and I hopped on because I know they needed help.
We keep pröducing content and people keep coming. we luv spreading the possum luv. but we are gaining roughly 1k a day and it's inSANË
How does it feel to be the most famous possum on Twitter?
we are so humbled and honored. it's surreal. we just want to spread the luv. and we try to do that with our recurring mARTsupial exhibits (for possum art people make us)
I was going to ask about all the fan art people are making of you! How did that get started?
a couple people sent us some art so I figured why not share it and ask for more and the response has been TREMENDOUS.
s h ö ö k
I've been really impressed with how much you guys have been crediting art and actively offering to remove posts if someone complains that they own the image in it. This is pretty rare in the meme world. Why has this been important to you?
because plagiarism, especially in the world of comedy/entertainment, is absolutely awful. personally on the side I like to make music and I understand how people feel when they put work into things.
Additionally, I was an avid memer growing up so I know how widespread plagiarism can be. But like I said, we're all equal here so people deserve to be rëcognized
You really do have some dedicated fans — a lot of them, actually. What do you attribute that to?
we call it the possum luv. if you express luv towards opossums or possums, you're one of us now. We're no better than any of our followers, we aren't superior, we just organize it. everyone is equal here in possum luv
Of course, a lot of people think possums are gross. What would you say to the possum haters?
It's ok! We understand they can be a bit scary and there are definitely some bad possums out there but they're still little critters who want some luv and as long as they respect our right to lüv em, they can dislike em. more possums for us right?
But we make sure to never advocate witch hunts on those who dislike possums, we only want to spread lüv.
And how do you feel about the tomät?
Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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