Monday, August 15, 2011

Uptown Rats

It seems the New York Daily News is the place to go for rat stories. Not that I don't have a wealth of personal and empirical experience to share with you all. It's just I sometimes need a little more inspiration than my morning/early-afternoon cup(s) of coffee.

You've heard of the Plaza hotel I'm sure.Well, it seems the fountain in front of the historic building is attracting some unwanted visitors. The city park, Grand Army Plaza, on Fifth is a longtime rat haunt, and it seems the little pests have established  a little thoroughfare between the water source and the green space adjacent to the Plaza. This appears to be a rat control problem of hoighty-toighty proportions.

Tourists are freaking out, and apparently hardened locals are getting the creeps, too.One cart vendor told the Daily News the rats are rabbit-sized. Passers-by can see the shrubs shaking and hear the horrifying rat chatter as the little beasts spill out onto the sidewalk.

The same vendor put the blame on the horse-drawn-carriage operators, who he claims leave their animals' food behind. A local hansom cab driver says he's seen the population boom over the past few months promoting him to park his carriage elsewhere as not to scare of potential fares.

The hansom cab operators blame the tourists, saying it's their food that's causing the infestation. Here's what I think: The rats are to blame. You can pawn this thing off on whomever you want, but when it comes down to it, it's those nasty, resilient, reproductively savvy rats that deserve reproach.

A spokesman for the Central Park Conservancy said there had been no increase in rat numbers in the area. Which really isn't a surprise. What is a surprise is the burgeoning ease they display around humans. Here's what I'd say to these rats if I thought they understood me:

Rats, we liked you better when you were scared of us. "Like" is a strong word, fellas. Actually, we wanted to destroy you less when you were scared of us.


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