Light up your life, adopt a rubber rat

Every Halloween season, for more than a decade, The Reporter has sent out a team of canny consumer journalists to rate the season’s crop of decorative rubber rats.

It’s been fun, amigos, but here in the heart of our bustling, 21st-century newsroom, we’ve got an unexpected problem due to our rigorous rubber rodent research – waaaaaay too many rubber rats.

“I’m being overrun!” shrieked our otherwise unflappable police reporter as a particularly beady-eyed denizen slipped off the top of her computer terminal and crashed down on her keyboard, interrupting a roundhouse punch she was throwing at a photographer.

Alas, we were all being overrun. I know that rubber rats are incapable of reproduction, but you couldn’t prove it by our newsroom.

We considered a seasonal hunt to thin out the herd but, let’s face it, if you shoot a rubber rat, you’ve still got a rubber rat, albeit one with a big ol’ hole in it.

As a more humane – and considerably less hazardous – solution, we’ve decided to let deserving readers adopt one or more of our cuddly newsroom rats.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all featuring pointy tails and beady eyes.

Some are a whopping 18 inches tall with tastefully decayed incisors and greenish, slimy-looking whiskers.

A few are up on their hind legs while others are in the classic “come slither” posture.

It should be noted that these rubbery rodents have a few advantages over their real-life counterparts: they don’t die, defecate or devour your doughnuts.

And many have long, strong tails that allow you to swing them vigorously over your head during periods of abject boredom.

Hey, it doesn’t get any better than that, amigos.

It’s easy to adopt a Reporter rat. Just tell us, in 25 words or less, why you want to take home one of our lovable rubber rodents.

Our team of newsroom rat wranglers will carefully read and evaluate each letter and award one or more of the beady-eyed fellows to deserving families until we run out.

No, this is not a gag.

We’ve got too many rubber rats and we’re movin’ ’em out. (I’ve always wanted to say something like that, but I’ve never owned a car dealership…)

Please include a phone number with your adoption letter. You will be advised when to pick up your rat.

Sorry, no shipping. Our accounting department could get a little testy if we start running up three-figure parcel post bills for rubber rats. They’re just kind of touchy that way.

Although it’s a little late for Halloween pick-up, all of our adoptable rubber rats are more than suitable to grace your Thanksgiving table or to hang from your Christmas tree.

Originally published October 23, 2003

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