Who'd Give a Rat's Ass | Letters | Chicago Reader

Who'd Give a Rat's Ass 

Thanks to the Reader for the first and only expose of the Hill case, in which the Tribune accused the Hills of feeding their children fried rats and cockroaches, thereby artfully circumventing the arduous nuisance of due process.

Though I was surprised to find a liberal paper in opposition to the ancient attempt of the elites to take away the children of the poor on specious grounds. Liberals usually think the state can raise children best (ask Hillary).

But it didn't require even a tenth of the attention you gave to this story to know that it was junk. Only an idiot or a Tribune reporter could possibly believe that child abusers would go to all the trouble it takes to prepare fried rats for their kids.

1. Just try catching a rat. It's not so damned easy. A Tribune reporter, completely outfitted with modern safari gear, and serviced with a dozen bearers, plus beaters to ruffle the bushes, could not catch a rat with 24 hours' worth of serious effort. When's the last time you saw a rat?

2. But even seeing one is precious little. They're damned fast.

3. But let's suppose the Hills merely spent a lot of money on traps, checking them on a regular basis. And suppose they finally trapped one.

4. Now you've got to pluck the feathers off the damned things, arduously prepare a batter, buy oil and a special Agriculture Department-approved deep-fat rat fryer. Costs can mount up fast, due to environmental concerns.

No, I'm afraid the rat story never floated to begin with, especially considering the reasonable cost of feeding the kids bologna sandwiches.

But how about the cockroaches? Well, the much-maligned roach, friend to man, has been given a pretty bad press in the West, but the fact remains that in many parts of the world this protein-filled delicacy is considered a staple of the nutritional chain. Just ask the Masai warrior whether he'd rather have a plate of cockroaches or a bowl of sushi immediately before the next hunt.

So, considering that the noble rat and the hard-shelled roach are just one mammal plus one tasty protein dish on a long list of species, just what was it that so panicked the Tribune journalists?

To say nothing of the fact that, had they had their thinking caps on, it might have dawned on them that there is nothing whatever illegal about eating rats and roaches, or feeding them to your kids.


Neil Elliott


Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

More by Neil Elliott

Popular Stories