A misspoken word.
A reluctant glance.
A gang of monkeys destroying a library.
Thanks to my training and experience — and several highlighted newspaper clippings sent in by concerned readers following last week’s column about crazed squirrels — I have painstakingly pieced together what I, as a member of the conservative media, believe is undeniable evidence that animals are planning to take over the world.
We will begin in eastern India, where scores of monkeys have swamped a college in Darjeeling, which, until recently, had taken great pride in its school slogan:
Loreto College—Unlimited tea and monkey-free!
“That has all changed now,” said one student, who refused to be identified out of fear of reprisal. “They interrupt my classes, steal my lunch, hassle me and the other students. It’s like junior high school all over again.”
According to the article, which was first reported by the Indo-Asian News Service and sent to me by Norman Buckner of Kalamazoo, Mich., the biggest problem is that the monkeys have no fear of humans. This in spite of repeated threats by angry school officials to “fail each and every student without an opposable thumb.”
As unsettling as that article was, it wasn’t until reading this next piece from the Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., that I began to consider cancelling my PETA membership. This story was frightening for two reasons. First, because it involves rats (which, as many of you know, I would gladly recall from Earth given the proper authority). And second, because the thought of rats popping up in any toilet within 100-miles of my home has caused me to consider switching to a full-time liquid diet.
According to an article sent in by Tammy Ruger of Creswell, Ore., a Eugene woman heard splashing in her toilet one night and, after lifting the lid, was startled to find …
You guessed it:
Okay, not really. It was a rat, which had apparently been a pearl diver at some point in its life, because that’s the only explanation I have for this phenomenon. The woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, said that she immediately dropped the lid, called the city’s Public Works Department, and was told that she wasn’t alone, and that rats were everywhere, emerging from the sewers by the thousands and consuming people in SLOBBERING, RABID HORDES!
This was followed by screaming, laughter and a dial tone.
Later, Public Works officials admitted that, like many larger cities, Eugene’s sewers have rats, and that they can sometimes scurry up a pipe and into someone’s toilet bowl, leaving residents “a little shaken.”
Or, in the case of one humor columnist who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, too traumatized to sit on anything other than a hammock.
Our final piece of the puzzle comes from Doreen Kimble of Santa Clara, Calif., who called my attention to an incident in which hawks — specially trained to keep pigeons from doing what pigeons do on visitors to the New York Public Library — were grounded after one swooped down on an unsuspecting Chihuahua.
The dog’s owner, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, said that the falconer believes the Chihuahua was mistaken for a rat—a notion that the dog owner deems ridiculous.
And I have to agree.
According to the report, they weren’t even anywhere near the bathroom.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439)