Hartford Has a Rat Problem. Blame Chickens.

img_0396copyMany years ago I was rushing from a friend’s Hartford apartment to the car on a cold winter night. I tripped a little, and assumed I’d hit a bump in the sidewalk with the toe of my shoe. But my friend, who was walking behind me, yelled, “Oh my God. A rat!” Yes, dear readers, a rat had run between my feet as I was jogging to the car, and I’d unwittingly kicked the little guy. At this point I screeched, broke out into a full out run, and started scratching at the car door! I had to get out of there, and go home and shower for hours.

Then I spent years in New York City where rats are like furtive little squirrels. You see them hanging out on the train tracks, and they scare the bejesus out of you when you’re sitting in the park and you see one scurry into a tree grate out of the corner of your eye. This is all to say, I thought I was used to rats.

This summer proved me wrong. I was digging around in a friend’s West End basement looking for painting supplies. Just as she finished saying the words, “My neighbor says there’s been a rat down here…” we heard the tell tale squeak of a frightened rat. I turned on a dime and sprang up the basement stairs, and then up another flight of stairs to her apartment. Somewhere in there I hit my hand on something and scratched it all to hell. It’s a miracle I’m not dead. (more…)


Hey Glastonbury, Roundabouts Are Terrible!

There are a lot of pressing issues in Glastonbury. First and foremost is the chicken question: How many is too many? It seems that anything over 10 chickens is too many for anyone with under an acre of land. (That actually seems like way too many chickens for some parts of town.) Weirdly, anything over 15 chickens is too many for someone with up to five acres of land. (This seems arbitrary to me, but I’m just pissed because I live in East Hartford and technically I can’t have any chickens…though many of my neighbors are giving a big eff you to the town!) The next big question on the Glastonbury town council’s plate is whether or not to ruin a perfectly good intersection with a roundabout.

A terrifying look into the future.

You may know “roundabouts” by the much more boring name of “traffic circles” but the first time I was ever aware of one of these unholy traffic terrors was in England so I refuse to use your lame, American name. Anyway… Glastonbury is considering putting a roundabout in at the intersection of Hebron Avenue and New London Turnpike. I have no idea why they would do this, because as far as I’m concerned the only decent use for these things are in parking lots where the traffic is slow. (more…)

Beware the Chicken Rebellion

Today on my way to work I saw a couple of chickens hunting for their morning breakfast on the side of the road. I drive through Easton, so  that’s not all that weird. But if you knew me, then you’d know this is the third commute that has been plagued by fowl of the edible kind, and frankly, it’s starting to get weird.

During a very dark time in my life, I lived in New Jersey. I commuted from Edgewater into NYC every day via NJ Transit bus. Quite often I read, or just went to sleep, but every once in awhile, I just stared out the window. On one such occasion I was rather surprised to see a couple of chickens hanging out on the roadside. (more…)