Montag, 5. Oktober 2009

Rats, Otters, and Double Rats

A lot of interesting things happened in the news this week, which I would summarize and link to, but I'm pretty tired so actually I'd rather slow fuck a dalmatian. There is this, though:

It turns out over the last couple of years, crops in Bangladesh have been systematically ravaged by a plague of ravenous rodents, forcing some families to smoke and eat the rats. As a result, the authorities are offering an annual prize of a color TV to whomever catches the most rats and produces their severed tails as evidence. Which is AWESOME.

This week, Bangladesh has crowned a new champion rat catcher. According to the BBC, a certain Mr. Mokhairul Islam was awarded a brand new color television in Dakar, Bangladesh this week as a reward for reportedly killing some 83,450 rats. Which is just a Holy Mackerel number of dead rats, I think.

(When I read the headline I did think of the Pied Piper, but actually it doesn't seem like the rat catcher did any piping, nor did he steal any village children. Although someone else did, apparently.)

I was pretty stoked about the story. But then, as per fucking usual, my illusions were dashed on the rocks like a baby otter that got confused after its mommy was eaten by an enormous white shark.

"Mr Islam - a wealthy farmer who owns about 300 acres of land and six poultry farms near the capital - said it was a great honour to receive the award."

This isn't the hardworking serf I imagined, attacking and killing 83,450 rats one after the other on a personal mission to pull his family out of the shit. No! This guy didn't lay away hardening rat tails in terracotta pots by his door-hole, painstakingly amassing a vast wealth of them, dreaming of the color television. And the glory, of course. If he had, it would have been pretty inspiring. Kind of like in The Pursuit of Happiness, with all the hard work and determination, but without any of the ridiculously good fortune.

No, the king of rats is not one of the deserving needy. This rat catcher is basically some wealthy chicken mogul who probably forced all of his minions to go out and catch vermin for him, probably as some kind of fanciful team-building exercise, and you know they can't say no because they're not allowed to unionize, and then at the end this asshole gets a color TV.

Which he probably doesn't even appreciate because, and I quote, he owns "about 300 acres of land and six poultry farms near the capital." I know one guy with one poultry farm, and he has at least three color TVs. His are flat, too. So while six might not seem like the hugest number of poultry farms out there, it's kind of a big deal.

And then I became even more skeptical (crushed, disillusioned) of this Mr. Islam and his alleged successes. Mr. Islam says that he and his team killed some 83,450 rats; however, a local official even went ahead and TOLD the BBC that "We couldn't count all the tails because of the stench."

Also worth noting is that our friend Mokhairul says that all the tail-gathering was done in February, but "other reports" say it took him eight months. Excuse me. That's a big difference. I don't know how resilient severed rat tails are where YOU live, but in my experience six months more or less would make a pretty huge difference to how rotten the things are.

Do Mr. Islam and his team (of SLAVES) expect us to believe that they harvested some 85,000 tails, which are made out of dead rat, in February and then they just held on to them for the next seven months? I don't even know why the person who wrote this (there's no byline) didn't just spell it out and write, "so the obvious revelation here is that Mr. Islam is a dishonest, lying cheat and someone should immediately go count the alleged tails or at least check whether some are actually dirty string." Oh please, Mokhairul and team. Enough already.

Anyway, even if that hideous lie about getting the tails in February WAS true, Mokhairul, you shouldn't get the prize. Because you just bought yourself a team to go kill rats FOR you. In fact, if you didn't kill at least 10,000 of those rats with your own hoe, or I say you should give the prize back.

Oh, and one more thing. I was googling for different stories on this rat killer king and I saw that the Dallas Morning News had posted the AP article on their website. Which made me pretty suspicious. The BBC is allowed to print dreck like this because they also print all the real news, all the time. But a summary search of Dallas Morning News website for "Bangladesh" shows that, since this summer, they've run an additional ONE story on Bangladesh, which doesn't even count because it was about how the tropical storm caused floods in India...and Bangladesh.

The Dallas Morning News carried the rat tail story, but has never covered the destruction that the rat infestation was wreaking on farms across the country.

Shame on you, Dallas Morning News. I know that you, like most newspapers, are in a falling sales/falling advertising downward spiral of doom that has forced you to make brutal cuts at the expense of common sense, knowledge, and our children's children, but STILL. More baby otters beaten into pulp by the driving waves.

P.S. The picture of the otter is from here. The picture of the rat is from here.

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