Sunday, 7 January 2007


by Charles Pooter

I was on my way to the station this morning, to catch a train to meet with Edwin for our weekly squash game, when I saw a most enormous rat. He was fat little blighter who waddled out of the railway siding, which doubles as a de facto rubbish dump, onto the pavement, looked at me nonchalantly and then waddled back into the undergrowth.

This ratty encounter (my first since moving to London) immediately got my synchronicity sense tingling, as I had heard Rattus rattus mentioned in two media reports this week. Only about an hour before I left the flat this morning there was a news item on Radio 4 about new research suggesting that the whiskered ones were responsible for the decimation of Easter Island, rather than it being the fault of statue-obsessed humans as previously thought. Also, earlier this week I heard that Britain's mania for recycling may be leading to a huge increase in our rat population.

So, could it be that the Easter Islanders were wiped out by rats after the tribal elders enacted a full-scale program of recycling and composting? Maybe not, but if so I, for one, welcome our new furry overlords.

Stenciled Graffiti Rat by Banksy, photographed by DG Jones at Victoria Embankment, London.

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