All this leads me to one inescapable conclusion. Like the racist grandmother in that Flannery O'Connor story that I don't even like, you guys are at your best only when I am threatening you with a messy death. That is why I say to you: Unless you ingrates go read Chapter Five pretty damned soon, I am going to sic my crack team of trained rats on you.
I'll do it, man. I'm crazy.
The rats became part of my household on Saturday. They are three does whose previous custodian could not take them with her to California. With their wedge-shaped heads and round bulging eyes, they bear more than a passing resemblance to Edward Gorey's Mr. Earbrass, and they are cheerful, sociable, inquisitive, and altogether delightful little animals. Regardless, if they thought you were a potato chip, or a raisin, they would not hesitate to eat you. Just so we all know where we stand.
I feed the rats a carefully concocted mash of which the ingredients include tofu, pearled barley, flax, oatmeal, millet, nutritional yeast, and blackstrap molasses, fortified with calcium, chromium picolinate, vitamin B12, and manganese; I supplement this with fresh fruits and vegetables, and, on occasion, a few clams from a linguine my friends consumed at a fancy Italian restaurant last week. These rats are fit, feisty, and ready to rumble. They drink only filtered water, and I have been reading them the Book of Mormon.
Believe me, people. You don't want to cross these rats.
Total word count: 38,676