The Rats Are Winning

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Everyone likes to talk about Old New York. “It used to be you could get an apartment right on Central Park for $240/month,” they say. “Time was,” they continue, “you’d get mugged every time you went to the subway, twice while you were on the subway, and three more times before you got to where you were going.” Old New York! It was the best. It had cheap rent and crime and Canadian politician’s wives dancing at Studio 54. You know what else it had? Less rats.

Someday when we’re all feeling nostalgic for this New York, we’re going to talk about how nice it was when the rent for a studio apartment was only $2,000/month and also about how cool it was before we declared our official surrender to our rat overlords. Or something like that.

Via ABC News, it seems that “the rats are winning.” Maybe you’ve guessed this already, what with the popularity of pizza rat, but in case you had any doubt, the city has been lately receiving such an abundance of rat-related complaints (one Upper West Side woman described the situation in a neighborhood park as being “like the Burning Man of rats,” which is literally the scariest thing we’ve ever heard), that city comptroller Scott Stringer has appointed himself as the city’s rat czar; Stringer tells ABC News, “I’ve seen rats walking upright, saying, ‘Good morning, Mr. Comptroller… It’s unsightly to see rats running through neighborhoods like they actually bought a co-op somewhere.”

And while we are generally happy for our city’s future to be in the capable hands of Mr. Stringer, when it comes to rat control, we remain skeptical. Why? Well, to start with, there’s the title “rat czar.” You know what other civic war was fought with the aid of a “czar”? The War on Drugs. And we all know how that ended. Or didn’t end. Or whatever.

So, good luck, Mr. Comptroller. Hopefully your anecdote about a bipedal, conversationally fluent rat remains hyperbole. Only time will tell.


  1. Back in the day before bullshit articles about millennials, roaches ruled NY apartments. Then Contact was invented and people could resume their lives without fear of witnessing bordello-like scurrying around one’s apartment when the lights were turned on. They were relentless and everywhere — it did not matter if you lived in a Manhattan luxury high or a Bushwick tenement — roaches were freeloading guests who helped themselves to your food like a roving teenager on weekend leave . Rats will never be that successdul.


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