Moncton — Christmas is coming, and that means it’s time for people everywhere to exercise goodwill toward men. Or in Moncton’s case, toward rats.
Because of the cold weather setting in, hundreds of the beady-eyed rodents have been trying to sneak into warm Hub City homes to bed down for the winter.
“Charity is charity, and instead of seeing a rat infestation as some sort of problem, I believe Monctonians should open their hearts to these poor creatures who want nothing more than a roof over their furry little heads,” said Mayor Dawn Arnold, while cradling a writhing white rat in her arms. “We’re considering offering some kind of tax rebate to anyone who adopts rats instead of hiring an exterminator.”
“Typically, owning rats, as with all exotic pets, has been the domain of weird creeps who are trying to seem interesting, probably in order to get laid,” said local veterinarian Monique Boudreau. “While that obviously doesn’t work and in fact deters the object of the creep’s affection, there still remains a segment of the population who pretend to find rats cute.
“We just need Moncton’s ‘weird creep’ population to expand a little. If rats are seen as pets instead of a pestilence, my business will be stronger than ever.”
Mike Moorehouse, who owns an extermination company, disagrees with the shift in perspective being pushed by the municipal government.
“Rats is rats,” he said, spitting on the concrete floor of a basement on Mountain Road where he was setting traps. “No one can tell me a rat has a soul like a human or a dog. They’re no different than cockroaches or centipedes. Let ’em into your house if you want, but you’ll regret it come spring when they’ve mated and you have the little devils running around, clawing at your face in the night.”
Moorehouse then pulled a hunting knife from his pocket and stabbed a huge rat right through the skull. “See?” he said, proudly. “They’re pretty friggen’ easy to kill, but damn near impossible to love.”
Mayor Arnold maintains that even families with children and other pets should welcome rats into their homes.
“You can actually train them to all get along,” she said, rather unconvincingly. “I put this little guy — I’m calling him ‘Stinky — in a room with my dog and they seemed to like playing together. My dog suffered some minor facial wounds but I could tell he was having fun overall.”
The mayor admitted that she worries about the impact the rat plague will have on Moncton’s reputation if people advertise the issue as a problem.
“I personally don’t find their pointed pink mitts and dagger-like yellow teeth off-putting, but we’re sunk if this gets out to the rest of Canada. If we just take these little guys in, maybe we’ll be seen as that quirky Atlantic Canadian city with exotic pets. Not just as weird creeps.”