When we lived across the street from Bellingham Bay in WA, our cat the Woo (a lifelong outdoor cat) was constantly dragging in rats through the cat door. Being a cat, they were often dismembered and displayed Hannibal Lecter style. The Woo's all time best rat body part arrangement involved some glistening, unidentifiable viscera and the rat's neatly severed nose cone complete with whiskers and top teeth. Occasionally the Woo would loose interest in the victim before it expired, leaving us with a very freaked out rat in the house. One fine morning, I open the "stuff" drawer in the kitchen and am surprised and very perplexed to find an energetically wiggling earthworm in the drawer. Whilst trying to make some sense out of the situation, I resolved to remove it from the drawer. I grasp the worm between my thumb and index finger and all hell breaks loose inside the drawer, at which point it becomes apparent, even to me, that; HOLY SH!T, THERE IS A F&#CKING RAT IN THE F&#CKING DRAWER. While I am busy freaking out, the rat jumps out of the drawer and dashes into the living room and under a stuffed armchair. Enlisting my now freaked out wife to open the front door, I grab a broom and attempt to get the rat out from under the chair and herd it out the front door. The rat was having none of this and immediately scooted under the cover of a baseboard radiator. Luckily, the Rat's tail was tail was sticking out of the baseboard, so I don some thick welders gloves and attempt to pull the rat out from under there by its tail. So I start tugging on the tail, but the rat was digging in with his claws and wouldn't come out. I pull harder and harder and the rat pulls harder and harder and that's when it happened. One minute I am pulling and the next I am holding what looks like a deflated earthworm or an empty hot dog casing, only it's no longer attached to the rat. The skin came right off the tail. Now what's sticking out of the radiator is this disgusting skinny, spiny, veiny thingy. So I grab the rat again by what's left of the tail and this time manage to get it out of the radiator and outside the house. The image of that squiggling skinless rat tail still gives me the eebie jeebies.
Folk Heroes - In September of 1961 the *New York Times*’ folk music critic Robert Shelton saw an unknown 20-year-old perform at a club in Greenwich Village. The singer...
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