Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Amazon Trail: Rats fleeing a sinking ship
by Lee Lynch
2020-11-14

This article shared 1552 times since Sat Nov 14, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


I've heard the idiom "like rats fleeing a sinking ship" often lately, and while the metaphor is apt for what's going on in the United States, at our house it's even more befitting.

Merriam Webster notes, "Almost all the early uses of the 'sinking ship' analogy were in reference to political scandals." The phrase goes back four hundred years. Originally, the rodents, thought to sense impending calamity, were said to escape from buildings. In the late 17th century, the phrase changed to sinking ships.

However we choose to describe what's happening in D.C., the exodus is welcome. As every type of haughty, sinister, conniving, autocratic rodent changes course, here at home we have been under assault by honest vermin: rats and moles. Shudder.

We get a bit of rain on the Oregon Coast. As a matter of fact, last night we had a drenching storm that tore yet more shingles from our roof, dismantled the neighbors' shed, and generally made a mess outside. One can hardly blame critters for taking shelter.

But not in our house. The wretched beasts.

'Tis the season for rats, but moles? They are gradually digging bulwarks around our home, or a moat—it's hard to tell which. Someone said to leave them alone, they aerate the soil. That would be fine on a bit of acreage, but our house takes up most of our land. One of our kind community members is somewhat of an expert at mole dispersal. He does this only for friends and we are fortunate in our friends.

"Let's hope it works," he said when I thanked him. All the more so because we just put down a mini lawn for our unbelievably adorable rescue dog Betty. No moles allowed. Par for the course, little eight-pound Betty doesn't care for the grass potty patch. I suppose we could turn it into a, L-shaped putting green for my sweetheart.

Meanwhile, a demolition crew has been taking down the house two over from us. It stood empty for a while, including a few weeks with no doors. The inhabitants tended toward the small, gnawing, whiskered mammal type. The ones with long hairless tails which they neither comb over nor color. The abhorred rats.

Once the backhoe sank its teeth into that forty- or fifty-year-old home, the rats abandoned ship. Several of them found refuge under our house. At first, we weren't sure what was making those sounds, and we already had a contract with an exterminator, of whom we've become quite fond. As a matter of fact, the deceased owner of the demolished house always had him in for tea and conversation during his service calls.

I have a memory from way back in my university days. There was a crash pad a few blocks from my school, owned by a slumlord whose son was a fellow student. The school intellectuals spent long nights there, drinking, doping, and discussing the urgent matters college kids everywhere worry about. One of the uninvited residents was Ralph the Rat who, it was explained, spent his time brushing his teeth behind the walls. That was the sound we were hearing beneath our subflooring.

Manufactured homes, these days, can be as permanent as politicians in Washington. We own our bit of land so the house was installed with the intention of staying put and, because of its foundation, is considered real property. Our poured concrete slab sits a few feet below ground level. From there a contractor secured the house with piers and anchoring equipment, creating a considerable crawl space. The metal supports are sheathed in blocks of wood.

Rats like to brush their teeth—chew—on wood. From there, they might create openings into the insulation and, unstopped, gnaw through the plywood subflooring and, like Ralph, gain access to the inside of the walls. I once had a cat named Poppins, who, when I moved into a house, spent the entirety of his days chasing the rat that had gotten into the wall while the house lay vacant. Poor guy never made his capture—the rat was evicted in a less dramatic way.

It creeps me out even to write about these creatures who, with equally creepy insects, will likely inherit the earth once humans destroy it.

Finally, our exterminator was here so often over a period of about three weeks, he'd practically moved in with my sweetheart and me. It's been three days now and no toothbrushing from the netherworld. Our pied piper will come back to remove any new little corpses, but we're hopeful any live critters, rats or moles, will have fled. If only it were so easy and relatively quick in our capital.

A problem remains on the home front: we still don't know how the rats got in. We urgently need to find that cursed crevice. But now that I think of it, we even more urgently need to block the rat route into the White House.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2020

11/2020


This article shared 1552 times since Sat Nov 14, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who is my neighbor?
2022-01-20
The notion of functioning as a Good Samaritan is one that transcends any particular faith tradition. The idea of humans treating humans in a humane way sounds so simple, yet history and modernity are replete with ...


Gay News

Failure to enact Freedom to Vote is a blow to vulnerable groups
2022-01-20
-- From a press release - From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure ...


Gay News

Revry's Black History Month of LGBTQ-First Films and Series celebrates Black stories
2022-01-20
-- From a press release - Los Angeles - This Black History Month, Revry is programming LGBTQ-first Black stories with themes from the differently-abled, LGBTQ athletes, activists and the lesbian, trans and the cis-gender lesbian community. Over 35% of Revry's audience is ...


Gay News

Nominations announced for 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards
2022-01-19
-- From a press release - New York, NY - Wed., Jan. 19, 2022 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. RuPaul's Drag ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases new data on the LGBTQ+ wage gap
2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released ...


Gay News

VIEWS Trans women passing the torch
2022-01-19
I am writing this letter to the editor to compliment Windy City Times on its recent article "Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy," by Max Lubbers. The article highlights how the ...


Gay News

Nat'l Black Justice Coalition celebrates openly LGBTQ+/SGL NAACP Image Award nominees
2022-01-18
-- From a press release - The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the historic number of openly Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) nominees for the NAACP Image Awards. The Image ...


Gay News

Two join races for state office, Personal PAC comments on threats to reproductive rights
2022-01-18
-- From a Personal PAC press release - Chicago, IL — Today, following the news that anti-choice extremists Richard Irvin and Avery Bourne would run as Republicans for governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove released the following ...


Gay News

WORLD Archbishop demoted, Israel ruling, Denmark petition, tennis icon
2022-01-16
Pope Francis demoted Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, the number-two official in the doctrine office, due to the belief that he is responsible for the controversial document that bars blessings for same-sex couples, according to Newsweek. Morandi is ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Veronica Drake
2022-01-13
Veronica Drake—a onetime Chicago resident and longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist—recently passed away in October. She was 58. She last resided in Florida. According to an obituary at Marvin C. Zanders Funeral Home, Inc., Drake was born Sept. 15 ...


Gay News

POLITICS Laura Ricketts co-chairing Valencia's finance committee
2022-01-13
Laura Ricketts—a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, along with her family, and a leader in the LGBTQ+ community—is co-chairing the finance committee of Illinois secretary of state candidate Anna Valencia, according to the Politico Illinois Playbook. ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Youth Led Study on Youth and Young Adult COVID-19 Vaccination Finds Surprising Results
2022-01-10
—From a news release - BOULDER, CO - Out Boulder County in partnership with El Centro AMISTAD and Unwoven Ventures with the leadership of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth created ...


Gay News

VIEWS Hoarders
2022-01-10
One TV program that I alternately love and hate is Hoarders. The producers send a team of psychologists, organizers and laborers into a person's home and they all work (and argue) about cleaning the place up ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For LGBTQ community, the movement behind Jan. 6 is an existential threat
2022-01-08
The stakes could not be higher. The LGBTQ movement has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams in democratic societies worldwide. Where we have had access to freedom of speech and assembly, remarkable advances have followed. This is ...


Gay News

LETTER Continue the dialogue on racism
2022-01-08
I am writing this letter to the editor about the article that appeared on the Windy City Times website titled "A look at Northalsted/Boystown bars since 2020 town hall on racism," written by Cris Villalonga-Vivoni. Also, ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.