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Nina In New York: Rat Sterilization 2 More News Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.

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By Nina Pajak

Are we in the “out like a lamb” portion of the month yet?

Frankly, I’ve lived in the area my entire life and I can’t really recall a single year when March went out like a lamb. More like: in like a lion, out like a crankier, whinier, very slightly smaller lion. Stupid lions. I’m freezing.

Whatever stories you were tracking this week, here are some I want to make sure you didn’t miss.

Rats. We has them. Lots of them. And the MTA is proposing a new way to attempt to control the problem: sterilize them. The New York Times reported a meeting this week in which a pilot program to sterilize female rats was discussed. It involves the distribution of a product called ContraPest, which targets rat ovaries, causing the eggs to die off and not regenerate. Here are some key facts I’ve pulled out from the piece:

  • The typical city rat can start procreating at 8 to 12 weeks and can pop out as many as 84 baby rats in a year, which is about as long as a rat lives.
  • “Rats would need to consume roughly 10 percent of their body weight in ContraPest for 5 to 10 days to become sterile.”
  • If they manage to do that, they’ll start popping out fewer baby rats within a month, after which point they become infertile and start fighting a lot more with their husbands but also appreciating the baby rats they already have a lot more.
  • The female babies of a rat who has consumed ContraPest will likely be born sterile. These rats will probably go through a promiscuous phase but ultimately find ways to lead perfectly fulfilling lives.
  • The guy who has been studying ContraPest has a ridic number of pregnant grad students working for him.

Now, I don’t do math, but these numbers don’t sound very promising. I guess this is what they call “the long con.”

More: Brooklyn Residents Say Rats Are Taking Over

On a very different note, the town of Riverhead out on Long Island (which I know to have an excellent Tanger Outlet shopping center) has repealed its ban on boo-ing at town board meetings. However, it upheld a rule which forbids disruptive behavior. I believe this is what is commonly referred to as, “a real humdinger.” I look forward to the creative ways in which dismayed townspeople manage to boo without being disruptive. Perhaps they could hold up signs with the word “BOO” written on them in large and bold type. Or perhaps they could raise their hands, wait to be called on, and then boo. Or maybe there should be a boo-ing portion of the meeting set aside so that everyone can get their boos out without interfering with municipal business or the flow of the agenda. All of these are good ideas, and I offer them freely to my friends in a town which has provided me with several excellent deals on BCBG dresses and high end housewares.

Finally, LIRR commuters are currently being horrified by a tasteless ad advertising . . . what. Tight vaginas? The ad states, “Ladies, admit it. You’re doing kegels right now.” It is apparently sponsored by Veria Living, a health and wellness television channel no one had heard of until their outrageous ad prompted local news covera—ooooh, I get it. Yeah, real dumb. Anyway, my guess from the sound of the name and the content of the ad is that Veria Living contains programming that pertains exclusively to the health and wellness of vaginas, which have been long overdue for their own dedicated TV network. Some riders find the ad offensive and worry about the children who ride the train, but I don’t think most children have any idea what a kegel is and probably wouldn’t even bother asking if their parents weren’t acting like it was so darn interesting. I’m more concerned with how out of touch Veria appears to be with the average lady commuter, who is likely no more doing kegels on the train than she is searching for her diaphragm or drinking cosmos or chatting with her best blonde, brunette and redhead best girlfriends about diaphragms and cosmos. She’s sleeping, she’s emailing, or she’s playing Bejeweled. Don’t condescend to know us, Vagina TV.