The thousand dollar rat –or– Let this be a warning my bewiskeréd moochers gobbling birdseed, wires, and baseboards not meant for you

Monday, 17 September 2007

I got a break-barrel air rifle instead of a repeater, or something easier to load, for the intersection of two particular reasons.

  1. It only fires one shot at a time, then you have to crack it open with serious effort, carefully feed a pellet, close it, and snap a very noisy safety to off.
  2. Blood lust isn’t some alien disease impossible for mankind to understand, it’s in-built and once it’s on, even reasonable, professional people start doing fucking stupid shit like firing wildly when they have no aim or idea what’s 50 yards behind the target; here’s just one example.

Responsibility starts before you’re in the middle of a thing. For the younger readers who might have enough uncorrupted gray matter to accept this as axiomatic—if you live this, you will live long and large, your way.

A lesser pantheon fan I’d linked posted on his site some pictures of dead song birds he’d shot. I removed all links on Sedition·com to him within 5 minutes. Why?

Shooting songbirds is illegal, I believe in all the US. They are protected. But beyond that, there is not one good reason to shoot one unless, and this is debatably reasonable, you’re a taxidermist or a natural history curator. You can’t eat them. A blue bird could in no manner be considered a pest or vermin. He shot them, presumably, just to show off his aim. Oh, and because someone called him a pussy. Killing a couple of totally innocuous 3 ounce animals out of peer pressure doesn’t make you a man. It makes you the kind of perdedor who will end up in real trouble someday because you can’t stand up for yourself.

You know why I miss Neil so much sometimes? Because when I called him a pussy the first time he didn’t go start a fight with his girlfriend, steal from his roommate, or shoot a bird. He lunged for me. I hook-kicked him in the face. He rolled me right the fuck over anyway.

This fellow, indeed a male, got on the bird feeder one time too many today.

The thousand dollar rat

But, but Ashley… but you just said… but I thought you loved animals. How could you?!

I do love animals. I love them more than you could guess because I haven’t published the story this is from yet–

I had a really terrific girlfriend then and to prove how terrific she was she didn’t even care that I cried like a fucking baby for much longer than any man should ever cry about anything but maybe a dead child. I couldn’t even stand up. I had to fall down, that’s how hard I was crying. I thought it was really sad that a dog that liked to play so much had to die and give up playing for good…

I’ve cried over birds, snakes, dogs, cats, the works. Even a pet tarantula who took a spill from a height.

So, how could I? That rat, and his family, ate the electrical wiring in my wife’s car; not once, because I let that slide, not twice because even that didn’t garner a killing, but three times. Then they ate the fuel line on my car. Then they ate the baby birds in a nest of house finches I’d been watching in the ivy on our chimney. Left the bones. Chewed the flesh off the chicks. At least two (one, two) of the rats have died in the walls of the house and stunk everything up while producing clouds of flies inside. One thousand dollars of car repairs and a stack of dead song birds bought that little guy a .177 caliber wake-up call.

Bad as that picture might look, it was all over in 5 seconds for him and he never knew what was going on. The impersonal stuff is far worse. Traps—takes days to die, usually of starvation/dehydration. Agony. Poison—it’s an anti-coagulant that makes you bleed to death from the inside, plus the squirrels or other animals I’ve got no beef with might get into it.

Why post the picture, now you cry? There are more reasons than you might expect.

Nature is bloody, vicious, painful, and awful. Awful in the original sense really. I don’t know how valuable it might be for humans to escape the animal but most of you seem to have forgot that you have any at all. That’s a dangerous illusion. You believe yourself so eager to love and protect nature, yet you’re so utterly disconnected from it and ignorant of what it means.

You think you’re not a killer. You are. Walking down the street, you kill animals. Taking a shower, you kill animals. Rub your eyes. You just killed animals. Even the painfully empathetic who lean all the way to vegan are mass killers. A bag of produce which wasn’t sprayed with pesticide is loaded, loaded, with bugs. Harvesting the produce and grains kills by the million. Harvesting it at all causes mass starvation of the survivors. It’s not a zero sum game but you might not have time to make your own chair before the music stops.

You should use what you kill. It’s a nice photo. It’s a jumping off place. A note on that point—that rat didn’t die to give me something to write about. He died so we could afford to own a car. This piece and photo are reuse.

That’s a Chinese animal with no business in this environment. I advocate shooting, where it’s legal, domestic cats too. For the crybabies who think Exxon is the Devil, your tabbies and seal-points do more damage every three weeks than the Valdez did.

Heart shot, you’ll notice. No scope. The break-barrel only affording one chance at it. The rat only allowing two seconds to try.

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Re: The thousand dollar rat –or– Let this be a warning my bewiskeréd moochers gobbling birdseed, wires, and baseboards not meant for …

Responsibility starts before you’re in the middle of a thing.

Best axiom ever. Really, really good recounting for people interested in ethics too. Intent, means and outcome are all covered, with a know thyself. I really hope no one gets hung up the picture past the zen slap of it.

By Vagrant on 17 September 2007 · 19:00

A is A

Re^2: Oh, rats

«Zen slap» I really like that. It’s my idiom when I’m on my game: say something important and entirely reasonable in a way that is so off-putting no one will be able to take it.

I think the best example was 10 steps to solve the problems with America.

It was linked several times by bloggers and forum-posters who were incensed at most of the literal proposals which fell above the fold. Of course they found a few they could agree with… SIGH!

By A is A on 18 September 2007 · 20:54

William Shakesweasel

Re: The thousand dollar rat –or– Let this be a warning my bewiskeréd moochers gobbling birdseed, wires, and baseboards not meant for …

Been in Japan for 3's good to be remembered for something...

Can we call the rat bastard - "Barnaby"

By William Shakesweasel on 24 September 2007 · 10:47

A is A

This title is too long

Fat bastard, rat bastard, it’s all the same to… oh, fill in your own harelip-Asian joke. I can’t pick which country will lobby against me if I do.

Can’t we all just get along?

You’re shooting us up, up here!

And other hits of the 90s by ______ and Ashley.

By A is A on 24 September 2007 · 22:46

William Shakesweasel

Re: This title is too long sir...just makin' music.....

By William Shakesweasel on 25 September 2007 · 13:19