This story makes my skin crawl. Rats have invaded South Amboy.

According to Adam Hochron’s story, city officials seem to be taking the problem seriously, but once they get in, do they ever really leave? My feeling toward rodents is similar to Winston Smith’s in the George Orwell novel, 1984. In that book, the protagonist, Winston Smith is forced to suffer a punishment described by his interrogator as “the worst thing in the world,” something “unendurable.” The worst thing in the world is different for every person, but for Winston, it was rats. His punishment was a having a mask contains two hungry rats affixed to his face while he was immobilized.

That is how I feel about rats, and mice aren’t far behind. Seeing mice in my house sends me into an irrational rage. I have killed mice by bludgeoning them with a broom before. Back to South Amboy, twenty summonses have been issued for properties harboring rats, but if I lived in one of the neighborhoods affected by this scourge, I don’t know if I would ever feel comfortable again, knowing the beady-eyed, yellow toothed rats were out there, planning their return.

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