Thursday, December 20, 2007

DC Rats Party in Wee Hours

Here is the online link to this week's The List: Top Home & Garden Events on page 29 of today's print edition in the Washington Examiner. No big surprise that most of the events are Christmas-related.

I'm scrambling to get the Jan/Feb issue of Washington Gardener Magazine finished and to the printer before this weekend. I feel like the whole world has taken off work these past few weeks and it is making it tough to get those last few photos, stories, ads, etc. pried out of them so I can complete the layout. Clue to PR folks everywhere: if you want to pitch a story to your local media, holiday and vacation time is a great window and be available for last-minute, odd-hour calls -- our usual sources are all MIA and real news is pretty scarce.

Meanwhile, I'm at the DC Holiday Market in booth #3 (Antique Prints) today and tomorrow. I have shifted my hours to 11am-1pm as the few folks who did walk through the market before 11am were not interested in doing anything but looking and chatting.

I have a gross story to share about city wildlife. ** Stop reading here if you have a delicate constitution.** Yesterday, as I was opening the booth for the day and putting everything to rights, I looked down and saw the toolbox had been pushed forward and was peaking out from under the back table. Thinking it was a bit odd, but not terribly unusual, I lifted up the table skirt to push it back in. What greeted me was the detritus of a rocking rodent holiday party. Scattered, half-chewed chocolate-covered pretzels, rat urine, and miniature poops -- all neatly arranged on a plastic case lid that had fallen just behind the toolbox. No one who worked in or near the booth will admit having left those pretzels out, so I can only guess that some rats found them in a nearby garbage can and brought them over for sharing at their party. I don't know if I'm more miffed about the leftover mess or about not receiving an invitation! Where is the Inside Edition rat patrol when you need them to enforce these etiquette rules?


rache said...

Ugh!! My office is not far from the DC Holiday Market. We have had several rodent episodes, ranging from rat poop in the bathroom to snacks in desk drawers being demolished. (Everyone now keeps snacks in plastic bins.)

My former boss's office faced on an alley. Construction was being done on the roof, and one day she looked out and saw a rat climbing nonchalantly up a wire cable right outside her window.

Oh, and one of the first times I ate in Chinatown, a mouse ran across the floor. I've heard that the Chinatown area is particularly bad, but the Rat Patrol article makes it sound like it is not restricted to one area of the city...

But hey, as long as they don't mess with my compost bin, I'm ok...

WashingtonGardener said...

The worst rat runs in I've personally had were in the Adams-Morgan section of the city. Tip: at night do NOT cut through the little pocket park at 16th and Columbia, the dozens of rats there just give you the stink-eye as you cross their path and they don't budge an inch.
My worst rat incident was at the Union Station AMC theaters (now changed to new management). As I was watching a completely full preview screening of the Will Smith comedy "Hitch" - I felt 'something' brush by my foot but tried to ignore it - then a minute later a rat came running up the aisle and entered the row ahead of me - this caused much murmuring of "what touched my foot" and stifled screams. It was actually pretty funny watching the audience in front of me as the rat made his rounds. Note that the movie was so good that NO ONE left the theater or even their seat - we all just pulled our feet off the floor. LOL - I guess that is city life!
And yes, rats are everywhere - keep your food tightly sealed and a cloe eye on your compost pile.