A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
By Nina Pajak
Hello! Excuse me! Hello? Attention, everyone! Hey! Pipe down and quit the squeaking and the rustling! Put the wrappers away, guys. Larry? Larry. Larry, I’m looking at you, buddy.
Okay, thank you, everybody. I hereby call to order the first ever Emergency Rat Summit. Templeton, to my right, will be passing around a sign-in sheet and taking minutes.
I’d like to begin by thanking you all for coming together tonight. Fred, thanks for opening up your nest to everyone in the beautiful 42nd street Shuttle tunnel, and thanks to the Outer Borough rats for schlepping in. Judy, the garbage is delicious as always. Nobody puts together a scavenger spread like you do.
Now to the business at hand. I don’t have to tell you how long we rats have been living in New York City. My family alone has been here for 4,000 generations since my ancestors came over from Holland. We’ve made our homes here. We’ve raised families on these tracks and in these sewers. We’ve built a sophisticated civilization under oppressive circumstances and in the face of great hardship. And in the name of the greater good, we’ve seen our share of tragedy and made great strides. I’m proud to say that, as of last year, our cat- and hawk-related deaths are at an all-time low. We’ve successfully identified 78 different types of poison, and we haven’t had a rat caught on a sticky trap in over six days! Those who have gone before us will surely not have died in vain!
Yes, thank you. Please hold your applause and tail-pounding to the end.
Now, the recent hurricane was just another obstacle, albeit a brutal one. Entire extended families were wiped out. Tunnels were flooded, nests washed away in the blink of an eye. The humans went to ground and food became scarce. For weeks, in some areas, all we had to eat was the sediment from the bottom of wine bottles. I myself lived off of scraps of soaked cardboard for a bleak time.
But as they say, when life gives you lemons, let them rot until you have moldy lemon rinds. We have emerged from this challenge stronger, smarter, and more resourceful. The laziest and most deleterious to our society–the so-called “dominant rats”–perished first, leaving the rest of us to rebuild, finally free of their tyranny!
Now we have infiltrated neighborhoods which were previously closed to us. We’ve found routes inside luxury human strongholds which have revealed their weaknesses. We own the tunnels AND the streets and soon this entire city will be ours! No longer will we be relegated to basements and garden levels! No longer will we need to hide away in ivy bushes and beneath garbage hutches! Soon, we rise!
Please, friends, hold your applause.
The humans have called for their own emergency summit, no doubt to come up with new and aggressive means of warfare. We must all keep our noses to the ground. Report all possible threats. Jerry here has installed himself in the utility closet in City Hall, and Roy and Susan are working hard to find a way into the Department of Sanitation. We’ve got to have eyes and ears at all levels of government.
We’re in uncharted territory, folks. Not since the Great Heyday of the Bubonic Plague has our kind been poised so well for mass takeover. But where our ancestors failed, we shall succeed. The streets will run with trash! Cats and dogs will cower before us! Humans will taste OUR poison! We will pour into their buildings and subway cars like hot lava! We will finally get the respect and territory we deserve!
Thank you. Thank you.
At this time I will allow for a brief question and answer session before we break into committees.