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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

rats

...these fuckers, they weigh a few pounds – did you know – they’re too heavy to truly scuttle like their smaller cousins; even fear-drenched, they still have this ugly swagger when they trespass across your living room, leaving shits as they go. In India they have rat-mercenaries, barefoot street-folk with makeshift lances who bring evil unto the Kingdom of Rats. I would invite such a man into my home – my new home – I would pay him generously, not per kilo of tail, like his employers in Mumbai, but for the whole Goddam operation. Contract and all: Please sign here sir. And would you like a new stick for that lance. The Chinese have the Year of the Rat, the most fortuitous on their calendar – wtf! – vermin that bring famine, disarray and stink. It must be the symbolism. Tell me.

To begin, it is a fact that there is nothing more gruesome than a rat’s tail. It is a juicy, inorganic looking thing, like a piece of cable, and I would go so far as to theorize – listen up evolutionary biologists – that they’re actually fake! Those things are plug-ins, enlargements of some kind rats got on the cheap a few eons back when it was fashionable. They’re fake. I dare you to check!

I don’t hate rats, I just find them completely lacking in anything dignified! Even a dung-beetle has that fancy gloss on his back he can be proud of, but a rat.... I am a lowly thing, he says – just check his body language – I have nothing going for me. I would trade with a pigeon, or even one of those screechy baboons with a snout and a scorched back-end. I would trade today!

Alas, Rat, such is life! Without that tail you could have masqueraded as a guinea pig, but you blew it! You had to get pimped-up, and look where you are now, forever the prey of barefoot mercenaries with lances and nothing to lose. I pity you Rat.

Now, existentially – this is a point in their favor... maybe – existentially they do better than many of us (why do I feel blah blah when I do blah with blah). Rats have come to terms with themselves. Simply: I eat therefore I am. Cardboard, teabags, socks, dirt, poop, and even – when the going gets tough – a fellow rat. In the end, only their tails remain because these are synthetic and indigestible.

Jesus, Labas, what are you on about? You're getting obsessive. No one wants to read about this crap. No one gives a rat’s ass!

Well they would if they nearly shared a flat with three of them, X Y and Z; all more than a pound in weight; distinguishable only by the intensity of their fright and the size of their rodent-turds. But I ask you: Where did they come from and how did they enter my home? It’s a mystery. My space is darker than most, but I do not live underground, and every nook and cranny is exposed. I suspect otherworldliness and Faustian arrangements. Is this the Year of Rat? Are these creatures back in favor, strutting the streets, eyeing new prosthetics? I shudder...

Enough. Anyway, who I am to judge! Maybe, if it came down to it, a rat would trade with all of God’s creatures EXCEPT Man: gangly, two-legged, hairless like the back-end of those baboons. Man: Noisy, forever stomping around, disrupting the peace, planting poison right and left, killing, maiming, usurping, duping, excavating grounds unannounced, dislocating families. Man!

Would a rat do such a thing?