I hate rats

No, this post is not about the fact that Edwin Mellen Press is suing one of my colleagues* for publicly evaluating the quality of their publications.

This is about actual rodent-y rats. I hate them. I do not scare easily, and it usually takes a lot to gross me out — but rats completely gross me out. I hate them.
So when I saw “Mobile home rat hoarder who lived with 300 furry friends will be evicted” in my Google Reader yesterday afternoon, I was just too squicked out to even click on it. Then I arrived home to find this pamphlet stuck in my door:

How to prevent Rats pamphlet

How to prevent Rats pamphlet, courtesy of Santa Clara County

That’s right, a notice informing me that “there has been a notable rodent presence in your immediate neighborhood.” Are you f*ing kidding me? We live next door to the original “crazy cat lady”, with at least 10 semi-feral cats who think our yard is their litter box and our porch their second home. Really cats? You couldn’t pitch in to help alleviate the “rodent presence”?

Plenty to be grossed out by this week. If the idea of publishers suing librarians for publicly evaluating the quality of scholarly publications grosses you out too, there is a petition to end the libel suit filed by Edwin Mellen Press against Dale Askey and McMaster University.

(Edited to add: Another colleague, Rick Anderson, has a nice post about the Mellen v. Askey case.)

(Edited to add: The Scholarly Kitchen has removed Rick’s post and one other due to letters from Edwin Mellen Press’ attorney.)

(Also edited to add: I still hate rats.)

*Hi Dale – I’m not sure we have met in person, but I know you online, so hope it is OK to call you a colleague.

6 Responses to “I hate rats”


  1. 1 Cathy Aster February 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    A colleague who survived one year in a “lovely” PA College Terrace rental with his wife and baby (and a pack o’ rats who wouldn’t give up) discovered that Santa Clara County has an entire department devoted to rat abatement. Apparently staffed with close to 40 people.

  2. 3 AmyK February 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Chris, you have met our colleague Dale. He was at the DLF/Taiga mtg. Super nice guy. He’s on the Taiga Board (but wasn’t able to be at ALA).

    • 4 Chris Bourg February 9, 2013 at 11:19 am

      I know he’s on the board, and assumed we had been in same room once or twice; but don’t know if we’ve ever had an actual conversation. Didn’t want to presume that he remembered meeting me. You know how that hierarchy of colleague goes: people you’ve been in meetings with, people you chat with at meetings, people you share coffee or meal with outside of meetings.

  3. 5 Katie February 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

    OMG. I, too, hate rats. When I lived in Palo Alto, there was always this skittering noise on my roof. I asked my landlord about it, and she smiled and shrugged and said, “Oh, that’s just roof rats.” What?! JUST roof RATS??

    Then when I lived in Mountain View, I’d see rats running up trees and the sides of buildings. I’ve also seen rats in SF and Berkeley. I just find ‘em super gross. Why can’t they evolve a cute little fluffy tail like squirrels (aka “tree rats”)? Then at least I’d want to eradicate them slightly less.


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