Tuesday, July 04, 2006

1000 Rats Euthanized: Vogon Poem: Feeling Nearly Neutral

I'm really coming close to neutral, mood-wise, and it scares me. My mind is fairly blank. Depressed, my mind works overtime on the same insoluble problems--no, I wouldn't call it work, more like useless ruminations, while in better-than-neutral moods, say a touch of hypmania, I have too many ideas. It's a pleasure to have fewer ideas knocking around in my mind.

First, go have a poem produced by the BBC Hitchhiker's Guide Vogon machine. You'll love this. It's easy and you'll smile at the result.


For those who haven't heard, Roger Dier's nation of rats was euthanized. Apparently his naive hope that most humans would find rats delightful pets may have been in part due to his missing the Middle Ages in school.

Rats are things people pay other people to keep away! Scientists buy them just to torture them. They are useful as one of the last mammalian links in the scavenging of garbage, a useful pursuit if only it didn't produce more rats. An absence of garbage in a city would soon put an end to rats. Rats and garbage are like home prices and interest rates.

Roger told us "rats were clean"--except under his care, sinch health officers found a near unbearable stench when they broke into rat nation. They were properly careful of white rats with shaved heads and swastikas.

Did you know that Roger Dier is an ex-con who was involved in Frank Sinatra Jr.'s kidnapping and served time for it? Rat Pack, meet Rat Man!

As for the rats being euthanized, I don't know the method. One assumes gas would be most efficient. Hmmm...I see a comfortable little dentist's chair with Muzak playing where each rat is led and a tiny mask applied. They think it's nitrous oxide but it's really fatal!

And the beauty of it is that none of the rats in the waiting room suspect it. They think they're going to have their teeth sharpened like Ferengis.

Out back waits a 1000-rat hearse lined with disposable plastic. And at the end of this brutal day the black ambulance drives to the rodentorium. Que sera, sera.

At only half a kilorat,




  1. Yes, I've felt that way before - like the slow river here, banks cracked with the heat - a thirsty mouth wanting.

  2. Not sure I get the comment, Dave, though it's certainly poetic. I was describing my own state, fairly rare, where my mind is quiet and has to seek something to think about. Unusual for me.


  3. if you keep a rat in a cage

    If you keep a rat in a cage
    the rat will lose the impulse to bite you.
    Will take food from your hand gently, before
    running away with it, back into the corner.
    Will climb above on the perches
    like a bird in the night.
    Will race to the cage door in the dark
    and watch you pass, hoping.
    Will press its face against the bars,
    against the floor as you pet it, as you
    stroke it kindly with one finger.
    Will perch on your shoulder, and run around
    inside your coat, and try not to
    piss on you.

    If you keep a rat in a cage, and you leave
    your best wool sweater there too close by,
    the rat will drag it in, pull it through
    the narrow opening between the bars
    with a strength that seems supernatural,
    and tear the crap out of it,
    pull the shreds together in a huge rat's nest
    and sleep in it, happily shrouded in
    closeness to you.

    If you keep a rat in a cage, there is no guarantee
    the rat will come to love you, but
    chances are good. As is the likelihood the rat
    will be authentic in its affection;
    will be constant and return good treatment
    in kind. And if the rat escapes,
    the chance is strong it will return
    from beneath the eaves, chattering,
    turning its head to one side,
    showing one red rat eye, unblinking,
    entreating, freedom is not so much,
    take me back in.

    Michael McNeilley


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