Sunday, September 19, 2010

They Rule the World

There are three things that a Sydneysider can take for granted no matter what their race, colour, wealth, class or creed. These things are; pigeons, rats and cockroaches. They are silent partners in our civilisation. Wherever the human race flourishes so these eternal companions flourish right along with us. Of course there are more of them in cities; there has to be, in cities there are more humans for them to look after. Incidentally has anybody noticed that cities, while moderately acceptable to humans, are ideal for rats, pigeons and cockroaches? Coincidence? I think not.

With few exceptions people loathe them, avoid them and from time to time make a concerted effort to exterminate them but to no avail. The simple truth is that even at its most hostile our fat, luxury sodden civilisation is infinitely more appealing to them than living in the wild. I firmly believe that this scabby triumvirate have been secretly manipulating us for millennia. As our civilisation has risen towards the stars they have risen with us, the grotty standard bearers of our ascension.

Much is made of vanishing species these days. Amphibians are apparently dying out all over the place and bees are making themselves scare as well. Various doomsayers have seized on this as evidence of our planets environmental collapse and perhaps they're right but I personally won't start to worry until the rats, pigeons and cockroaches start disappearing. When you can toss away a half eaten sandwich without pigeons descending Hitchcock like from the skies; when you can turn on the light in the middle of the night and not see a group of cockroaches heading for the skirting boards; when you can sift through piles of rubbish without having to be concerned about rat bites, then you will know that we are doomed.

We have a symbiotic relationship with these creatures, they urge us on to greater things, a better, more civilised world and they grow fat on its offcuts. I think it is past time for a serious reappraisal of our secret manipulators. I don't say we should like them or even care for them very much but I do feel that a level of healthy respect is in order. We should also keep a close eye on them; it might be the difference between life and death. On a purely intellectual level it would be fascinating to find out where the human race is going to go next. What plans do our shadow masters have for our future? Perhaps a little discreet study will reveal them.

Although god knows what we're going to do if we don't like them.

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