9 Inches of Rat

Posted on June 23, 2012

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No need for captions here.

I hate to post this when so much that is good in commerce and the arts is going on in Lynn today, but feel that these events have their skillful promoters and word is getting out. Still I don’t think this is going to ruin their party. I may even attend Open DTL.

I live in Lynn, and I’m dealing with rats in my backyard. These rats are huge. The one in this picture is 9 inches from snout to rear end, not including tail. They drive me, my wife and my dogs crazy. One night we set a Flip camera up in the backyard, lit up a corner and later watched as 23 of them scooted past on their way between destinations. Here is that video.

I don’t think we’re particularly messy. We put all our trash in one covered heavy-duty barrel. We recycle. I mow the lawn most weeks and whack the weeds regularly. I’m digging out a rat’s nest under my front porch. Why has our neighborhood become a perfect storm for a rat infestation? Is it because we are surrounded by “pigs” as more than just one person has said?

I call out the use of such words to describe people as dehumanizing, unnecessary and unhelpful. I stop short of labeling the people who use this word and others like it racist, but agree that it can be understood as frustrated, deeply felt, and–yes–racist behavior. Furthermore, I am not immune to it, and I don’t think any human being is. But let’s call this rhetoric out for what it is and recognize that it’s only purpose is to divide people.

Still, I see a lot of trash, litter, discarded half-eaten take out boxes of food and empty liquor bottles in my neighborhood. I have no doubt that this contributes significantly to the problem we’re facing. Trash days here are a smorgasbord for rats featuring overflowing barrels, naked garbage bags and all manner of weather conditions and animals that take this trash and spew it about even more.

Well, there you have it. That’s all I feel like writing now. I’m sure there will be more to come.

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