Entry 785: You Dirty Rats

The headline was “Chicago Named The ‘Rat Capital’ Of The U.S., Study Says.”

The study showed that Chicago received over 50,000 rat complaints last year, far more than any other city. New York, the place you’d expect to lead the country in this important category, was a distant second, with only about 19,000 rat complaints.

Here’s my question: regardless of their hometowns, what do these rats have to complain about?

I mean, they basically have the run of the place and, in New York, at least, they get to use the subways for free. Plus they can have all the pizza they can drag, although that’s a problem for the Chicago rats because of the deep dish stuff. (“Hey, Rizzo, ya wanna give me a paw with this? It weighs more than a slice of Dominos.”)

I live in the NYC suburbs, and we tend not to have the coyote-sized rats for which the city is famous. (We do, however, have coyote-sized coyotes, but that may be a subject for another day.) We also have cute, little mice that are constantly complaining about the owls, hawks and snakes that eat them. Well, they would complain, but they’re dead. And ingested.

In case you’re wondering, Washington D.C came in third place when it comes to rat complaints, but at least there, I can understand it. It’s the one place where the rats can kvetch about the integrity of the people.

There is something that rats all across this great infested land should be complaining about: discrimination. Out of all the state senates that have found the time in their busy schedules to vote on legislation declaring various official state things (flowers, fish, food, songs, etc.), only one–North Carolina–has elected a rodent of any kind. The gray squirrel is North Carolina’s official mammal and, yes, you’re right– the state that barely recognizes the existence of transgender people has gone to the trouble of naming a squirrel as its official representative to the live-young-bearing animal kingdom.

In fact, while most states have an official state insect, not a single one has an official state rodent, which seems like the sort of injustice that should incite a Rat Lives Matter movement and perhaps a Million Mice March.

In addition, it has come to the attention of some Liberals that thousands of prairie dogs have been stopped at the border and separated from their prairie puppies who have been . . .

Wait! I’ve just been informed that the study about American cities wasn’t tracking rat complaints, it was tracking complaints about rats. That’s an entirely different matter.

The conclusion many people would come to is that Chicago has over twice the amount of vermin as New York City, but I should point out that the study was counting rat complaints, not actual rats. I would contend that New York City has as many rats as Chicago and probably a lot more. New Yorkers simply don’t complain about them as much. For instance, one couple in Brooklyn witnessed a baby rat come out of their bathroom sink. Did they complain? No, they took pictures, posted them with a clever line, and it went viral.

Suck it up, Chicago! They’re just tailless squirrels.

Meanwhile in Central Park . . .

The New York Post reports that there have been sightings of zombie raccoons, which are technically not rodents, but should be.

And although raccoons are also not dogs, these uptown coons have tested positive for canine distemper, which makes them “act strange — appearing tame or confused before losing their coordination, becoming unconscious and sometimes dying.” I’m not a zoologist or a veterinarian, but even I know that becoming unconscious is a strange way for a raccoon–or really any creature–to act.

The Post quotes Upper East Sider Bob Cucurullo as saying the following when informed about the zombie critters, “Now I’m freaked out. Holy moly!”

I wish I could see see how freaked out Mr. Cucurullo will be when his New York neighbors and co-workers start tearing into him for saying “holy moly” to a New York Post reporter.

“Holy moly?” Seriously?

That’s something only a Chicagoan would be caught saying. As in, “Holy moly, there goes another rat!”

See you soon.

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