We here in Houston are going to be besieged by rats -- not just the four-legged kind, but the ten-legged, ten-armed, sucking-talentless kind, too.
How else to interpret two announcements? One: "New Report Ranks Cities At Risk For Rodents This Year -- Houston Is Number Three." Two, from the official website of the black-hole of metal known as Ratt: " PREPARE FOR AN INFESTATION! LEGENDARY HARD ROCK ICONS ANNOUNCE INFESTATION AS TITLE OF NEW ALBUM DUE MARCH 2010 THROUGH LOUD & PROUD/ROADRUNNER."
Since the second item is in all-caps, it is obviously more important. And since the first one comes -- as could be fully expected -- from a company that pitches merchandise to fight rats, both discussions of rat(t) infestation are probably equally substantive.
Sure enough, the "new report" ranking cities comes from d-Con, "America's number one selling brand of rodent control products." Their helpful solution to the fact that Houston's warm weather, "associated lush vegetation, deterioration of structures and heavy sewer flows" will increase the rat population?
"When preparing your home for winter, the first step is to stock up on baits and traps, like d-CON(r) Ready Mixed Baitbits and Quick Kill(tm) Glue Traps," one of the report's authors said.
Okay. But which would be worse, having an infestation of rats or Ratt in your house?
Rats: Highly annoying scavengers who feast on the scraps of those higher on the evolutionary tree.
Rats: One-hit wonders.
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Rats: Exposed as utterly unloveable things that people really would just rather not think about at all in a fascinating book.
Ratt: Exposed as utterly unloveable things that people really would just rather not think about at all in a not-so-fascinating Behind the Music.
Rats: Why they're dangerous to humans: "Wild rats can carry many different "zoonotic" pathogens, such as Leptospira, Toxoplasma gondii and Campylobacter, and may transfer these across species, for example to humans. The Black Death is traditionally believed to have been caused by the micro-organism Yersinia pestis, carried by the Tropical Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) which preyed on Black Rats living in European cities during the epidemic outbreaks of the Middle Ages."
Ratt: Why they're dangerous to humans: "You make a move, I'll make you feel like a human target / In my eyes I've got you, well, in my sights / And by the rope, you will hang / It's your neck, from this Ratt gang"
Rats: Most liable to inflict pain at night, while unsuspecting humans sleep.
Ratt: Most liable to inflict pain at night, when idiot roommate needs to headbang.