Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dead Rats and Other Signs of New York's Summer

Summer in New York is a complicated beast. Part welcome of course because we shed the winter blues, the outdoors bars open up and we get to spend more time with our kids. (I know this is not a sentiment shared by all. Spare me) But for most of us it's also the time of The Rat.

Having lived here for nearly half my life now (stop adding) I sync summer to rats. Legions appear in the warmer months often just at that golden hour when the sun begins to set and bath the city in a magical light. And rats. You can be walking home after a few glasses of prosecco (stop adding) when they dart across your path -- New York reminding you that beneath that $14 glass of joy lies a repugnant fat piece of vermin. And there's never just one. They come in packs. And yes, I am here to report, they squeal.

The city of course tries to poison them. Which is worse because they just don't like to die alone. In the dark. They stagger down streets. Show up paws up on subway stairs. Kick off death rattles by the bus stops. It's beyond.

Not everyone hates the summer rat ritual. The Prince even has an activity he calls Hackey Rat where he'll gallantly pick up an offending creature with the front top of his shoe and kick it it away soccer-style. Most of us scream.

Luckily The Rabbit still associates anything with fur as akin to a stuffed animal. But I suppose as a true native New Yorker she'll probably eventually adopt the uniform reaction all locals develop to anything repugnant, offensive and horrible. She'll blink, bored, and look away. I, however, am not giving up my scream.

1 comment:

Kate S. said...

I'm with the scream, Mama. Euwww.