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From 四畳半神話大系 by 森見登美彦:

我々はブロック塀に挟まれた路地に立ち尽くした。街灯の光が届かない闇の中でもじもじし、誰かに見られればその場で通報されて然るべき胡散臭さをほしいままにした。

While I'm pretty sure I understand the general gist, I don't quite understand the use of ほしいままにした.

Kotobank gives the following definitions for 擅にする:

① 自分勝手にする。つつしみなく、我がものとする。
② 心ゆくばかりにする。わがものにして十分に満足する。

Or my take in English (correct me if I'm wrong):

  1. To be selfish; to brazenly appropriate for oneself
  2. To do to one's heart's content; to make something one's own and be thoroughly satisfied with it

But I don't quite understand the meaning as it fits in this passage. I would guess the meaning of the last section as something like "we emanated suspicion to the point where if someone saw us, we'd appropriately be reported on the spot." Should ほしいままにした be read as something like "we were so suspicious that we 'owned' or 'embodied' it"?

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  • act as suspiciously as possible...?
    – Jimmy Yang
    Commented May 9 at 3:15

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~をほしいままにする is normally used with something desirable that a great or powerful person can obtain (e.g., 権力をほしいままにする, 名声をほしいままにする, 人気をほしいままにする). In your case, ~をほしいままにする is playfully used with something undesirable (胡散臭さ = oddness/suspicion), and it's intended as a sarcastic joke. As a non-native English speaker, I'm not sure how to effectively convey this humor in English, but the basic idea is that he monopolized all the oddness as if he were the king of oddness, to the point where he could enjoy the oddness to his heart's content.

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