I Don’t Have Any Scientific Data to Back This Up, But It’s Affecting the Rat Population!

I am aware that if ever there were a time not to be smoking, it would be during a global pandemic that basically destroys your lungs. But…it’s also incredibly hard not to do when it is such a habit, source of comfort, and the number one thing I enjoy doing when I’m really bored. So, for now I am still smoking, and I go outside frequently at night (and now, during the day!) to do so. Luckily, I don’t live in a big building with an elevator situation or any of that, and we have a little courtyard for me to sit in, so aside from being a terrible habit, doing so isn’t putting me at much risk for picking up a bunch of germs or anything.

We have a decent sized rat population burrowing in our garden in the courtyard, and probably under the bamboo tree. Last summer it was downright out of control, and I was repeatedly amazed that air bnb guests weren’t complaining. But I guess if you aren’t tuned in to them and just walk by you might not notice. They also are FAR more active at night. Usually late at night It is not unusual for me to see them scurrying around, and I often hear them rustling around in the bamboo.

At the beginning of this thing, I thought it maybe was just that it was too cold for them to be coming out much, but the past week has been warmer, and I DEFINITELY would be seeing and hearing them under normal circumstances. I have not seen or heard one in our yard in I think two weeks. I think it’s because there is a lot less garbage on the streets, and the Supers are able to keep a lot better control of how clean the garbage enclosures in front of the buildings are. The neighboring buildings also have the rat bait stations out, so with less garbage on the ground to eat, they must be going straight for the poison. I feel bad saying I approve of animals dying, but I do make an exception for the rats running around our courtyard. And if the poisoning is being done by other people that I have no control over, I’m all for it. I am super curious to see if and how fast they will repopulate in our garden. It would be so nice if they just relocated somewhere else where they have a food source and never came back!

I would love to see if New York in General sees a declining rat population from this. I am genuinely curious. Probably the rat trackers are on hiatus right now though.

Writing about the funeral home guy yesterday reminded me of some of the other crazy customers at Bob’s – god, there were so many. I think just because the place was so cheap and kind of rundown looking that it attracted misfits in general….Anyway, here is a very short story of the Lemon Lady:

The Lemon Lady, as we called her, is solely to blame for ruining the sweet deal Bob’s offered on refills, for EVERYONE…..

Bob’s for a while made 32 ounce plastic cups festooned with the Bob’s Logo. I can’t remember if for a time we just gave them out as our large drink, or if (and I think this was actually the case) you had to purchase one of these cups for a couple bucks or something. Anyway, once you had the cup, if you brought it in, we would fill it up with the drink of your choice really cheap – it was like twenty five cents or something. Maybe even less.

Anyhow, our biggest fan of that deal was the Lemon Lady. I don’t believe she ever ordered food once. She would just come through the drive through in her brown station wagon and order an iced tea “with a slice of lemon” in her plastic cup. She’d pull up to the window and hand us the cup. Sometimes we would flip a coin over who had to take it, because … who knew where it had been?…

It was unclear what her situation was. Her car was FILLED with crap. Garbage, clothes, random objects…It looked kind of like she might live in her car, but at the same time it had so much stuff in it that I don’t see how she possibly could have reclined her seat or wedged herself on top of the pile to sleep comfortably. Or even uncomfortably. She had bleach blond hair and was probably in her forties. She wasn’t terrible looking, but she was always completely dazed and out of it, and most of the time she had this bright pink lipstick on, smeared all over her face. It literally looked like she applied it without a mirror while falling down drunk . When she dug her cup out from under the heap of garbage in her car, her signature lipstick was smeared all over the cup. We all wondered how she got the gas money to drive around all day, and should she really be driving at all?

After months of this, it seemed like she was getting worse. Or maybe we were just fed up with her. But none of us really wanted to touch her cup or have it near our sanitized drink station. We started telling her we would not refill her cup unless she washed it first. She would argue that she did wash it, and hand it over with the telltale lipstick smeared all over it.

Finally we just stopped. No more cup refills for anybody. After that, she never came around except for a token appearance every few months to get a full priced iced tea with lemon. And then it was like a celebrity pulling in, especially for new employees who had only heard about her, so we happily obliged.

When Sheri Oteri had that character on SNL, I totally laughed, because I swear to god she was channeling the Lemon Lady. This character:

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