As a city dweller – make that a city dweller dwelling in reclaimed ocean – I am no stranger to rat sightings.
Sometimes they’re scurrying in and out of a sewer. Sometimes they cross my path while I’m strolling on posh Newbury Street. Sometimes – and these are, rat-wise, the best of times, even with the blood and gore – I see one flattened out in the middle of the street. One down, I always tell myself, another couple of hundreds of thousands to go.
There are few things I despise more than rats. Perhaps even worse than bedbugs, they’re the stuff that my nightmares are made of.
City’s are full of them, but mostly they’re out of sight. And, blessedly, out of doors.
The only place I’ve experienced indoor rats up close and personal was when I was a waitress at the Union Oyster House.
Screaming when one ran over your waitress shoes was a firing offense. If the rats came out while we were cleaning our stations, we could leave the dirty plates right there. And on one memorable day a dishboy known as The Animal unclogged a sink by pulling a drowned rat out of it. Our hero!
This was, of course, decades ago. I’m sure that there’s been an exterminator or two on site since I hung up my waitress shoes and served my last platter of cherrystones. (“Whaddya mean these are uncooked?”)
Outdoor rats are bad enough – and plentiful enough in these parts.
But, inside rats.
Nasty business, that…
Blessedly, while my workplaces may have had an occasional mouse, they have been four-legged rat free.
Those who labor to make the world safe for fashion, however, are not so lucky – at least those who call Vogue home. The magazine recently moved from mid-town to the new World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. What happened when they began occupying their new digs is downright Condé Nasty. I mean, there you are working with fashionistas, dressing to the nines, and asking yourself the big questions like “does the devil really wear Prada?” – and here you go: a bunch of fashion-forward rats are peering over your shoulder to see what’s in this month’s fashion spread.
According to the New York Daily News (excerpted in Jezebel):
"A bunch ate through the ceiling of a sports editor's office and crawled all over his desk and left poops on his keyboard," said a different source. "They ate through his rug to fit under his door."
We're told that Conde has sent a memo to their staff in the building telling them that "they cannot eat at their desks" and that a complaint to the city's health department is next on the agenda. (Source: Jezebel)
Rats, as it happens, are almost always found found where there’s new urban construction.
Their burrows are dislodged when the digging starts, and they eventually find their way inside of the structure, where they hunker down as squatters until the paying tenants come in and – eventually – evict them.
But you’d think that the owners of the building would try to do a bit of rodent control before the human occupiers move in, wouldn’t you?
It apparently didn’t happen in the new World Trade Center.
One thing to think of trading floors and other fin-serv offices being overrun with rats. Not that anyone wants to work in a smelly, germy, scary, rat-filled environment, but if this happened at a brokerage, say, I’m sure that the rat jokes would be flying, and “the boys” would be running contests to see who could bag the biggest rat. Rat Patrol!
Quite another when it’s the voice of American fashion where no one but no one wants to step toe of their Jimmy Choos into a rat turd, or find the edge of their Tory Burch bag gnawed.
Anna Wintour, the last word in fashion, is reportedly quite a bit unnerved by the rat-festation. Not that I blame her, but it would be kind of fun to be a fly on the wall as she takes on the landlord over this debacle.
How unnerved is the Divine Miss W?
I’d have thought she’d keep those glasses on, the better to block out rat-spotting. On the other hand, she might want to keep her eyes peeled, just in case one of those little critters that don’t lend themselves – or their pelts – to a good, pricey fur coat decides to cross her path.
The thought of working in a rat hole is beyond disgusting.
Hope that Vogue’s holiday party is off premises this year…
Source for both pics: Daily Mail