Remote-controlled rats could lead to Stepford Husbands

imageAs I’ve mentioned before, because of our home’s proximity to the local wharf, from time to time we have a problem with rodents. Now, when I say “rodents,” I mean rats.

And when I say “problem,” I mean finding mysterious entries scrawled on our grocery list that read:

Git mor cheeez

However, I know that we aren’t alone in this, and that our neighbors undoubtedly have the same rodent problem. I know this because 1) They are our neighbors, and therefore live as close to the wharf as we do, and 2) Because we routinely lob assorted cheese curds into their yards before going to bed.

[Note to neighbors: We are NOT trying to entice the rats from our house into yours; we’re simply trying to entice you to eat more cheese.]

That said, some recent discoveries could change the way we go about solving our rat problem. According to a recent article in the journal Nature, researchers at the State University of New York have created the world’s first living remote-controlled rat. By implanting tiny electrodes in rats’ brains, scientists can command the rats to turn left or right, climb trees, navigate mazes, and, in some cases, stage dramatic light saber duels while dressed as tiny Star Wars characters. 

The science involves three electrodes, implanted at specific locations in the brain, which are then triggered by a remote device which produces controlled responses in the rat.

Interestingly enough, this very same technology is utilized by many wives, who use the TV remote to trigger controlled responses from husbands by switching the channel whenever they get up to use the bathroom.

“Hey, what happened to the game?”
“You weren’t watching it.”
“I was in the bathroom for 30 seconds!”
“Did you put the lid back down?”
[Controlled response:]
“…I’ll go check.”

Understandably, there are those who think that manipulating rats (or husbands) is inhumane, and that it is only the first step toward an “Orwellian” world of human-control technology. While this is certainly possible, others argue that we can’t dismiss the many practical applications that Robo-rats offer. For example, Professor Howard Eichenbaum of Boston University says the research “holds the promise of using animals as couriers to reach trapped victims.”

I don’t know about you, but when trapped beneath a crumbled overpass, I can honestly say a rat is just about the LAST thing I want coming in after me (not counting someone from FOX News.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Robo-rats don’t have their place. It just doesn’t happen to be anywhere near ME.

Or my house.

But at my neighbors’ is fine.

To be honest, it wouldn’t exactly come as a shock. Especially with all of that cheese they’ve got lying around…




This has been an excerpt from Ned’s book, Humor at the Speed of Life, available from Port Hole Publishing, Amazon Book, Barnes and Noble or the trunk of Ned’s car! Here’s a testimonial from Canadian humorist Randall Willis, who recently received a copy…

On second thought, let's not wake him right now.
On second thought, let’s not wake him right now.



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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

35 thoughts on “Remote-controlled rats could lead to Stepford Husbands”

  1. Once again, you’ve left me in awe, Ned.
    Not only are you a world-class jurnalist,a firefighting hero, a creator of unparalleled mustaches, you’re damn funny, Ned!

                1. ,,, and the number one groupie and cheerleader watches from the sidelines again… thanking the Universe for two of the deepest nuts I’ve had the pleasure to chortle with…Make no mistake, you two are effin nuts!

  2. I want some of those electrodes to implant into my neighbor’s brain, to make her clean up her yard and get rid of the rats. She’s the only one on the street that has rats. Better yet, maybe I can program the electrodes to tell her to just move already.

  3. Did you know there exists a race of rodent mutants capable of nibbling the cheese from a mousetrap without the trap actually trapping them? At least that’s what’s going on at my house:S I think throwing cheese at the neighbor is a good Plan B. Thank you:)

    I’m taking the liberty to inform you of my latest writing project. As you may remember, I expanded on the Kim Jong-un diary bits I did for my site a while back. Long story short, the book “Kim Jong-un – The Super Secret Diary of a Young Dictator” just went for sale on Amazon this week: , should you be interested, or you can read more about it on
    I’m not really a fan of advertising my own work on other people’s sites, but I’m doing so regardless for the very simple reason that I will donate half of what this book earns to Amnesty International, which I believe is a cause worth littering your site with…kinda on par with you throwing cheese at the neighbors perhaps?:P

    Best to you for the new year!

    1. That’s fantastic! (The book, not the mutant rats). I loved that Kim Jong-un Diary series. It was brilliant. I’ll definitely be getting my own copy — for the read and the cause.

      Thanks for the update, links and cheese!

      And best wishes to you in the New Year as well 😉

      1. Wow, thanks for that. Seriously, I should hang a picture of you above my bed (kinda like the people do of Kim Jong-un in North Korea), for you are officially the first person to ever buy my book! I’m truly honored. Again, I don’t mean to impose on your time, but if you have an opinion on its quality (any opinion), a review on the Amazon sales page would be like the frame to go with that portrait already hanging above my bed;)

  4. Ha! I loved this. Very funny. I was hoping you were going to mention the fact that many husbands already have a remote control.

    I am also chuckling at the thought of being rescued by a remote controlled rat. I would really prefer not to be trapped in a bunch of rubble, but if you have to go through that, the only good part is being rescued by a handsome fireman. They would take that away from us too, and just send in a rat?? What’s this world coming too?!

    1. Haha! Maybe they’ll send a rat with a tiny helmet and air pack? Not handsome but at least cute. Of course, being a firefighter myself, being rescued by a handsome FF isn’t all that exciting…

  5. To be fair, your book did arrive just as most Canadians head underground to hibernate, drink beer and watch hockey…so really any month other than June, July or August, when we go to the cottage to hibernate, drink beer and watch hockey.

  6. I read your article with cheese dip on my fingers. I am already in my wife’s control and I had better like it or else she will push the button and i will fade into a stepfo…..

    1. Serves him right. I heard that “measles” outbreak at Disneyland a while back was actually to cover up for the herpes he brought home to Minnie after a trip to Disneyland — Tijuana…

  7. Ha,ha,ha,ha! You always get me, just when I think you can’t be any ‘funnier’, you go ahead and make me crack up! I had a mole in my bedroom once (not too long ago) and I am still traumatized. I can’t imagine rats!

  8. Oh Gawd! Rats are horrible! Little rodents carry all kinds of disease etc. They are nasty little buggers! I don’t see how remote control rats could be of any use! But the idea of remote control husbands?? Hmmmm…. wait! I think I already have one of those! he he! 😉

No one is watching, I swear...

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