Have you ever come home at the end of a great 8-hour-day to discover that a hostile foreign government has helped create a rat infestation in your apartment building?

Did most of the residents of the apartment building not want the rat infestation, but thanks to an arcane provision in the tenant agreement, the rats are allowed to stay?

Have the rats run off the head of security? Did the city appoint a health inspector to look into the conditions that led to the rat infestation and whether any ordinances were broken in trying to cover up the rat infestation, but no one is reading his 500-page report that clearly outlines the behaviors and motivations of rats? Have the rats somehow managed to make two lifetime appointments to the co-op board?

If this sounds like you, you might feel like you have no other options. But that’s not true! You can call us, Pelosi and Company Exterminators.

The first thing we at Pelosi and Company will do is tell you straight up that there’s no way we’re going to even talk about removing the rats until we’ve had a chance to review and double-check every piece of evidence the health inspector came across in the two years he worked on the case. Frankly, we don’t have all the facts yet. Are these even rats? They might be squirrels. Who can say for sure?

Now, we know the health inspector concluded that a lot of shady shit happened before and during this rat infestation and the only effective recourse to addressing the rat infestation problem is exterminators. We’re prepared to tell you right now that this is not at all what we wanted to hear. We really thought the health inspector was going to get rid of the rats. But there is no imaginable reality where we go after the rats without first talking to the rats ourselves. We’ll be here when the rats are ready to talk.

So how can we help? Great question! No one is disputing that we have the power to exterminate the rats. The real question is whether we’ve built enough of a consensus to exterminate the rats. Sure, the tenants who phoned us in record-shattering numbers are favorable to extermination, but where do the tenants who are hand-feeding rats in the hallways stand on the topic? If you can’t get the rat-feeders to buy into extermination, then proceed with caution. This is what the founders of our company intended.

Here’s what we think is our strongest play. We delay by telling people we need to build a consensus to exterminate, but we prohibit all meaningful talk that would build that consensus. Every week we’ll come by your apartment and let you know that we intend to hold the rats accountable. In the meantime, we’re hopeful that the tenants who are feeding the rats will do the right thing and tell the rats to step aside. Until then, we have to acknowledge our hands are tied and encourage you to stay focused on kitchen-table issues (aside from the kitchen tables currently full of rats).

Look, we know the options aren’t great. If we don’t go after the rats, they will almost certainly become stronger, more brazen, more authoritarian, more willing to defy the terms of the tenant agreement. If we go after the rats, we might not get rid of every rat but the extermination process will centralize and publicize all of our efforts and help the people who didn’t read the health inspector’s report become aware of the sordid and unsavory conditions that led to the rat infestation and what the rats have done since they’ve been here and what preparations the apartment building should take to prevent this kind of rat infestation again. As we said, no good options. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. 

In the end, we appreciate that you’ve entrusted us with the power to exterminate the rats. Even though the rats defied all expectations and ended up in your apartment building, we think there are at least even odds the whole rat situation is somehow going to work itself out in 2020. We’ll be crossing our fingers that the rats don’t take advantage of that arcane provision in the tenant agreement and end up staying until 2024.