An opossum walks into a Brooklyn bar — it sounds like the set up to a joke, but it's actually the set up to an "only in New York" story.
It's the story that made Sara Fulton a local celebrity for what she did at Temkin's Bar in Greenpoint Thursday night. That's where she's known as a hero for saving all the terrified bargoers from a terrifying... opossum.
"I was outside hanging out with my friend outside the bar, the door was open and then all of a sudden we see this critter run in and we looked at each other, and we just were like, 'Was that a dog? Is that a rat?'" said Fulton. "We both looked at each other and were like, 'That was too big to be a rat! It has to be an opossum.'"
Video shows Fulton grabbing the opossum by the scruff, then she walks out the bar and sent the mischievous marsupial on his way. No muss no fuss.
Fulton said it was no big deal — she's not from Brooklyn, she’s from Alaska. The opossum is tiny compared to the moose family that used to live in her backyard there.
"I’m from Alaska and I used to go camping with black bears hanging out at my campsite," she said. "I think it was just instinctual, I just like went up to him and I was like, 'hey I know you’re afraid' ... and I was like 'alright, I think I’m just gonna scruff you and take you out because that would be the least painful for you.'"
Everyone else in the bar quickly panicked, as the only wildlife most Brooklynites are used to are rats and cockroaches, making them way out of their depth that night with the opossum.
"I mean everybody just lost their minds, we couldn’t believe it was happening," said bartender Rachel Bessemer. "I grabbed my phone, didn’t know who to call, I was like, 'this is not what people do.'"
By the time the job was done, Fulton was the toast of the town, or at least the bar, where drinks lined up for her.
"Everyone bought her so many rounds, it turned into a party afterward," said Bessemer.
"They’re like 'you’re a hero, you’re a celebrity.' I’m like, what? No," Fulton said. "For me, it’s just a wild animal. But I have to realize I’m not in Alaska, and that’s not something you see everyday."