A Gothamist reporter noted on Tuesday that there are currently “two ongoing rat lawsuits” in New York City, each offering its own unique horrors: In one case, a man plunged into a sidewalk sinkhole filled with rats; he was reportedly afraid to scream, lest the rats travel into his mouth. In another, a handyman sued after a rat-filled ceiling collapsed on him. As the reporter, Jake Offenhartz, wrote, this raises “an interesting philosophical question about the relative merits of falling into a nest of rats compared to having a nest of rats fall onto you.” As often happens on the topic of rodents, Slate’s Slack wasted the better part of the afternoon discussing this, so we’re now posting our debate for you so it seems like we did some work.
Would you rather?
fall on rats
definitely fall on rats
But then they are MAD
rat rain definitely better
you don’t know how deep the rat pit goes
you don’t know what else is in the rat rain
the falling rat situation implies that they are then in your house, though
you can escape the rat rain after it falls!! you can’t get out of the rat pit though!!
if you fall on rats, is it better if you crush them to death with your fall, or that they get angry and scamper around?
they’re gonna be mad, dan
they cushion the fall
crushing the rats is a win-win
comfortable landing + no more rats
i guess it’s not a win for the rats
Given rats’ ability to squeeze through very tight spaces, I am worried about how crushable they are
I don’t think it’s no more rats. It’s a gyrating mass of furious rats.
rats would be on you longer in a rat pit though. and wouldn’t they bite?
IIRC the guy in the rat pit literally had to specify that he did not scream after falling because he was worried the rats would climb into his MOUTH
he simply did not kill them when he fell!
Rat rain is obviously the answer
i am definitely having nightmares tonight.
It just seems better to end up standing above the rats than to be lying amongst the rats, definitely rat rain.
Also if you fall in the rat pit you might get injured, further hindering your escape from the rats
also if you struggle in the pit you might sink down into the rats more
how deep is this rat pit? is it a single layer of rats or are we talking, like, ball pit depth?
this conversation is v rude
was waiting for slate’s rat defender to arrive
this article describes it as a “chasm” “brimming with rats”
so it sounds about ball-pit-ish
This song but replace “eels” with “rats”
cleo, what would the replacement be here for you, as a rat defender?
I mean, as a human, you get what, some psychological distress, a few bites, which may or may not get infected, and mayyybe an outside chance of getting the plague or something
But for a rat, there’s no coming back from having a human land on you
just putting this in perspective
“Okay so maybe you’ll get the plague. Big whoop” - @cleo.levin
Well are we arguing about the full specific experiences or just the general principle?
I’d rather fall through a sidewalk vault into a pit of rats than have the ceiling of my own home give way under the weight of the rat infestation there
But if both are on a neutral site, with no implied continuation of a larger rat problem and no personal duty to clean up the results, I think I’d have to take the quick shower of debris and rats over the prolonged immersion in the rat pit.
Interestingly enough the CDC does NOT list the Norway rat as a carrier of hantavirus, so the chance of catching a lethal disease in the debris cloud from above is not so bad.
don’t forget about asbestos, Tom!
Seems like an extrinsic factor to the rat question
And you could stir up asbestos insulation from the pipes down below
set the channel topic: rat rain vs. rat pit
one of my friend’s friends witnessed the guy fall into the rat sinkhole
she was very freaked out
If you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend a 1933 Cecil B. DeMille film called This Day and Age. To defeat the local mob, teenagers round up every rat in town into a barn, kidnap the boss, and dangle him over the rat pit until he confesses
Then they parade his strung-up body through the streets
All I can think of is Charlie from Always Sunny and his prized rat stick.