Zombies and Werewolves and Rats, Oh shit!
My oldest son is a cult leader.
Not in a bad sense, mind you, just in the he-developed-a-subculture-of-zombie-in-the-park-players sense. He organized it. Now he's passed on the baton since he's heading off to college soon. But he and our daughter have spent time being zombies and human zombie-bait on many a Saturday night.
The newest craze is playing werewolves. This is not as active as playing zombies, which involves a lot of running around. Playing werewolves is like a role-playing game without thick, highly-illustrated manuals. But it can also be played in a public park, with a group of teenagers who really get into it. Good wholesome supernatural fun.
What isn't so wholesome is the story our daughter told us about playing in the public park recently. How she was over by the tennis courts, and there was something moving on the ground (zombies is played in the dark), and then she realized there were swarms of rats around her feet, scurrying and coming up to her as if she was a tasty morsel to nibble or devour, like those rats in the Indiana Jones movie, when Indie and the Nazi broad are looking for some knight's tomb.
I can't get the image of the rats out of my mind. Rats running, rats scampering, rats playing jump rope with their tails, like in the shop where Hermione buys Crookshanks the mangy cat in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I live in this nice neighborhood swarming with rats. They leap into our english ivy. They come out in broad daylight if I dare fill the bird feeders (they eat the food that drops below the feeders). They appear in the high school hallway. Portland is the most rat-infested city in America. We also have the second dirtiest river in the world, which is no coincidence. And the second-highest rate of human trafficing in underage girls in the country.
Which is waaaay more disgusting than the rats.
The high population of carrion crows, on the other hand, I'm okay with. Makes the neighborhood more interesting. It's like Leave it to Beaver crossed with The Birds. Plus they eat the dead rats.