For twenty odd years the "Lemony Snickets of Berkeley", who is actually the owner of a music store and a few other businesses, has kept a vacant lot out of spite. "Sam" actually keeps it empty to thumb his nose at his major competitor Amoeba Records across the street. Not content with that, he purchased another adjacent famous building and left that vacant as well. What it actually boils down to is a war of power to remain the "King of the Music" on legendary Telegraph Avenue.
A few year ago rats were noticed frolicking on his vacant lot and they started to multiply. According to a rodent internet legend, for every one rat you see there are ten more. They have underground tunnels and dens and their population has probably expanded under the streets and sidewalks to a bustling "ratropolis".
One block up the street is an easy dine and dash for rodents called People’s Park. Food not Bombs after serving their free meals to the homeless leave trash and daily leftovers which keeps the rat population healthy. To add to the problem there is a local pigeon lover who dumps seed in the dark of night and is expanding them tenfold with his offerings.
The owner of a white Honda can also be seen scattering his seed all over town and leaves his final huge sack smack dab in the baseball field at Willard Middle School. He, along with People’s Park have allowed the area to become a literal rodent petting zoo. Twelve days after it was reported in a local paper last year not one city official came out to verify the problem. So what do they do before the Bubonic plague starts? I have an idea that might work.
Cap'n Crunch is quietly hanging up his hat due to pressure from the Food Police because of its 12 grams of sugar per single serving. As a child that was introduced to such great sugary cereals as Lucky Charms, I am quite saddened by this. No longer will a child experience the loss of skin on the roof of their mouth from the corners of the sugary squares or bounce off walls.
The Cap’n is no longer featured on the Quaker website but they did launch a Facebook page for their adult consumers. Adult comsumers? Is this but yet but another plot to kill off our generation slowly? Which brings me back to the rats of Berkeley.
I am sure Quaker has extra boxes it wants to be rid of now as adults are limited consumers. So if Quaker were to hire a small vehicle dispensing the Cap’n Crunch Cereal they could easily lead all these rats to their demise in the San Francisco Bay.
I don’t want to hear comments that your child or grandchild owns a lovely rodent as a pet. Imagine the film Ben if you will and then realize that these are big ugly disease spreading rats. Would you want this in your home? I thought not- so let’s lead them all the way to the Bay and while they are at it maybe they could invite "Sam" the music store owner as I sense he is the largest rat of them all.
Well, maybe the pigeon feeder who is driving the white 4 door Honda sedan with CA license plate XXXX should go too. He probably has enough food for them all in his trunk should they need a snack.
Images and text: Linda Seccaspina 2011
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"Short Shorts by Linda Seccaspina: The Cookie Truck
Poetry reading of Bone Dream by Eric Ashford