Jay Beeler

We’ve got a rat problem. No, it’s not the one from the Trump Administration who recently posted an anonymous hit piece in the New York Times. Ours are the not-so-cute brown furry things that were featured in the movie “Ratatouille.”

When we had this problem decades ago the city provided small bags of poison that were very effective when placed in the fence-climbing ivy. They no longer do this. Later we had a cat, Simon, who was adept at mouse and rat control. But a few years ago Simon apparently met the fate of many neighborhood cats – coyotes.

Neighborhood rats typically hang out in ivy and climbing fig greenery. They enter the kitchen via the doggy door to dine on our dog’s kibble if the bowl is not removed from the floor. These “guests” then decide to take up residence behind appliances, chewing on water lines for the clothes washer, dishwasher and kitchen sink. Their recent destruction has exceeded $1,000, including multiple hose lines, a replacement dishwasher and faucet assembly, excluding labor.

So I’ve tried three kinds of poison (including an online source) in a dozen locations, six traps with peanut butter bait, six large glue strips, wrapping the water lines with steel wool and strategically placed wire mesh. I doubt that a professional exterminator can do much better.

Many of these visitors have thankfully passed away but, still, one extra-smart rodent remains. On Sunday morning he was daring enough to explore the counter top where we keep breads, then jumped down and darted behind the refrigerator when I entered the room.

My only remaining solution would be to get a shelter cat with sharp claws that’s at least six months old. My wife fears for the fate of the new leather couches and is against the idea.

Perhaps there is a solution that’s been overlooked. I’m all ears if you have an idea that hasn’t been tried.


Our online poll has moved on from the bollards and lane reduction on Bellflower Boulevard wherein 75 percent of the participants did not like the change. The new poll asks readers if they favor upcoming Measure BBB, which skirts around the current two-term limit for local politicians. So far 95 percent are against any change.

What’s your opinion? Go to and vote at the bottom of the first page. Feel free to leave a comment as well.

One anonymous comment states: “Even though this has been addressed twice and voted down, they keep bringing it up. It’s way past time to return our governance and the choice of whom is doing it back to “We the people.” They seem to forget they work for us, not the other way around. They remain in office to serve us. Public office is just that and not a career choice. It used to be about giving back. Now it’s about “How do I continue to stay on the taxpayers’ payroll indefinitely” and never return to the private sector? I won’t vote to re-elect my council person if for no other reason than this, the constant rubber-stamping and “group think” entitlement attitude they all seem to share.”


Here’s an “oldie but goodie” that goes back a few years and is apparently true since it did not come up negative on Snopes:

No dictionary has ever been able to satisfactorily define the difference between “complete” and “finished.” However, during a recent linguistic conference, held in London, England, and attended by some of the best linguists in the world, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese linguist, was the presenter when he was asked to make that very distinction.

The question put to him by a colleague in the erudite audience was this: “Some say there is no difference between ‘complete’ and ‘finished.’ Please explain the difference in a way that is easy to understand.”

Mr. Balgobin’s response: “When you marry the right woman, you are ‘complete.’ If you marry the wrong woman, you are ‘finished.’ And, if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are ‘completely finished.’ When the right one is finally done with your sorry butt, you are ‘finished completely’.”

His answer received a five-minute standing ovation.


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