August 27, 2004

Rat Race

News is apparently a bit slow in Danville, Kentucky, this week, because that town’s Advocate Messenger newspaper decided to profile a local actress who keeps several pet rats, and sometimes even carries them on her soldiers.

Yes, that’s all strange enough. But then read the rats’ names, and learn why this story is of pertinent interest to this blog:

The rats she has now not only distinguish themselves with tricks, such as jumping through an embroidery hoop, but they have fancy names. Whingybum Fisticuffs the Amazingly Incontinent has a hooded pattern on its skin. Merkin McGillicuddy is black and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is champagne colored.
It’s bad enough that she named one of her rats after the Manson Family member who tried to assassinate Gerald Ford. But Merkin McGillicuddy?

The reporter’s explanation is even better:

Arleth explains that Whingybum means whiny butt in British. Merkin is a specific type of wig.
Oh, it’s specific all right. Now I know why Ben Affleck once said “I try not to date actresses, because they’re all insane.”

If I were a reporter for that paper and got assigned a story like this, I might just have to start firebombing. Even if the story does have a merkin component. That alone, I'd say, edges it ahead of the one about my high school classmate who got profiled by NPR when he built a compost- with worms- in his LA apartment.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 27, 2004 03:27 AM

"Whingybum Fisticuffs" also sounds like that Eddie Izzard routine on the origin of the name Englebert Humperdinck.

Posted by: LilB at August 28, 2004 04:34 PM
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