Sunday, December 11, 2005

Scientist Claims There Are No Super Rats...Ha.

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

According to the Associated Press, there is no such animal as a "super rat." We know Karl Rove is one. Indeed, there are infestations of such animals in DC! But aside from that, I actually fought and killed a real live "super rat" in NYC.

From Yahoo:
City officials — hoping better educated foot soldiers can wage a smarter battle against an all-time high rat population — have opened the Rodent Control Academy, an insitution of higher learning about vermin that scurry around in low places.

The city enlisted Bobby Corrigan to teach a decidedly creepy curriculum that strives to show city workers how to properly bait, trap and poison the rodents in ways that don't just drive an infestation down the block.

Rodent complaints and health department exterminations are at unprecedented highs in New York, and the little ruffians are everywhere — scampering through subway tunnels, rooting through trash, dashing across parks, burrowing into the walls of apartment buildings. They can transmit disease, start fires by gnawing on electrical cords, and sometimes bite, usually children and the elderly.
I had to deal all the time with the rodents as well as roaches. I used to be a super in slums in NYC, superwoman super. The biggest cockroaches I had to remove were about six feet tall and pretty foul mouthed. The insects were smaller but not by much. When working in the cellar to restart the boiler or fix a broken pipe, I would hit the roaches with a hammer. Bam.

But the rats. Well, they love cellars. This is their subway system. So if you want to meet a rat, go into a damp, dark NY slum cellar like I used to do. I had this wonderful street cat named Mr. Thomas. He walked like a bulldog and was scared of nothing. He roamed the neighborhood and ruled the roost. He was top tom cat. His head was broad and completely covered with scars and one ear was torn in half. I took him with me when working down below and he would remove and eat the rats. He loved eating rats. He would chomp on them and leave the head and spit out the kidney sacs as well as other unmentionable stuff. Yummy.

But some rats he left alone. According the the news story today,
After explaining the rat's formal name, "rattus norvegicus," Corrigan projects a giant photograph of a scrawny rat up on the wall and tells his students that, despite widespread rumors and tall tales, New York City's rodents are not "as big as cats."

"People like to say, 'I saw a super rat in the subway, or I saw a super rat in the alley way. It was a giant,'" Corrigan said.

In fact, he says, the biggest rat in New York would weigh about a pound and three ounces (half a kilogram). Other widely believed rat trivia that are untrue: They don't urinate uncontrollably, they're not blind and there aren't legions of rats below the city — most are at ground level or living in walls and ceilings. In extreme cases, rats have been found nesting in bases of beds, chairs and couches.

Now, I really wish I had this particular rat stuffed and sent to the Museum of Natural History:

One day, I was walking down Prospect Place when I saw what I thought was Susan's black cat, Coco, trying to jump up to the cat door which was high up to prevent rats from entering. I wondered why the cat was struggling so I went over to pet him and help him.

A gigantic warf rat (who was not Karl, he can't jump!) turned and squeaked a warning at me. Susan heard something and came to open the door. "NO!" I screamed, "Keep it shut!" She looked out the window and right into the face of the furious, giant rat. She fainted.

I yelled, "I'll come in and help you," for I was worried about her, she had health problems. So I picked up a broken brick (lots of those in thes places) and aimed at the rat and struck him with considerable force. He screamed in pain and bunched up and flung himself at my face!

I grabbed a garbage can lid and he hit it with a loud, ringing bang. I slammed the lid to the sidewalk.

Now, I had a giant rat under a garbage can lid and I couldn't let go of the damn thing.

A crowd gathered, this being NYC. "Oh my god, I can't lift the lid or it will attack me!" I said, looking for help.

"I'll call 9-1-1," said Oxana, a neighbor. The cops came. The rat was running around insde the lid and every time his fat body passed under my feet which were holding the lid down, it bulged upwards.

"OK, where's the rat," said the first cop.

"Want to see him?" I asked. He showed me his teeth and decided this was a really bad idea. "Why don't you shoot it when I lift the lid," I asked.

"We can't do that, every bullet has to be accounted for and we will get in trouble if we shoot a rat, unless it is six feet tall," (yes, he really said that). The cops decided to call the NYC rat control office. This is what they said to me, via the police radio: "We will dispose of the rat if you bring it in."

This being a super rat and the idiot in the office a super idiot, I said, "Someone bring me a steel box so I can personally bring this rat to them!" Alas, we didn't have one.

The cops decided to put a heavy weight on the lid. They found some big bricks and as the little boys yelled with suspense, we piled them on and I started to step off. Super rat shoved the lid and his head came out. I stomped on the lid, being nuts. A truck driver showed up and told the cops all the traffic was stopped and he couldn't move. He was angry until the crowd told him about super rat. He came back with a huge tire iron. I took the club of the cop and he and I stood on opposite sides of the lid and began to bang on it trying to hit the bulge showing where super rat was.

We hit and hit and blood flowed out but this rat kept on going round and round. "Damn," said the trucker and hit really hard. The watching boys were jubilant. The rat shot out of the now utterly smashed lid and whirled around to attack the trucker and he and I hit it simultaneously.

Finally, super rat breathed his last.

We put him in a plastic bag and a pot dealer came with his scales and weighed the rat who bent the scales at nearly five pounds.

Months later, I and my plumber cornered a criminal. When the cops showed up, it was the same pair as before and they said, 'Good thing you surrendered. She is the lady who killed the super rat with her bare hands."

"Don't exaggerate," I said, "I used your club."

If you don't believe me, ask the 98th Precienct.

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