Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

Laughs for a Wednesday

Posted April 18, 2007 8:19 a.m. EDT

One of the real joys of my morning is purusing the world's newspapers, looking for weird stories to feature on the Siteseeing segment.

We didn't have time to feature these, but they're pretty good for a giggle this morning.  Police say a couple of guys in L.A. were trying to page their dealer for some pot.  They were in such a hurry, they dialed the cops.  Oops.

I've been to Chicago, but I've never been to its suburb of Cicero.  If I ever visit, I may want to bring some goodies for all the rats.  The Chicago Tribune reports that the town's rat problem is so bad, they've got an 11-member Rat Patrol that goes out and hunts down the varmints.

Apparently, Cicero has a dark history with rats.  Says the Tribune:

In 1971, the town unleashed deadly cyanide gas to kill the animals, a practice that - like strychnine poison - later fell out of favor. The chief sanitarian for the Cicero Health Department said at the time that he hoped that the colorless gas would help destroy the idea that the town was "overrun with rats."

It didn't. In 1984, more than 70 Cicero residents stormed a meeting to complain about a "heavy traffic of rats" marauding about on the northeast side.

Twenty years later, the town fielded 872 rat complaints.

On a recent afternoon, members of Cicero's Rat Patrol fanned out into the alley of the 2400 block of 50th Avenue, where a resident had called to complain that rats had overrun her garage. As a patrol member drew closer, he spotted tiny footprints and several burrows surrounding the one-car structure. A nearby brown trash container bore chew marks, exposing a section of the lid.

About this Blog:

WRAL's Brian Shrader blogs about cool video clips and other interesting Web sites. If you have any video you would like to share, please let us know.