Clark Hastings was depressed.
The cold, overcast day wasn’t helping his mood. San Fransisco has a population consisting of millions of people who call it home. Even so, it can be a very lonely place.
His felt like his life was over. Why not? His divorce from his wife, Sheila had been a harrowing experience. Her lawyer, Myron Abramowitz was relentless; vicious even. Clark called him “Sheila’s Attack Jew”.
He took Clark for just about everything he was worth.
Clark was starting over again, but he didn’t know how to even begin. He was 44; his marriage was over. He was beyond sad and confused. So, he decided to leave his tiny, cramped apartment (the one he was forced to move into after the divorce was final) and go walking in Chinatown. One tiny curio shop was open. He was cold and the place looked warm and inviting, so he went inside.
A short, Asian man stood behind the counter and welcomed him.
Clark looked around. The shelves were jammed packed with all the things you’d see in a typical Chinatown curio shop; except for one particular sculpture. It was a small bronze statue of a rat. Clark was inexplicably intrigued.
He asks the owner “how much”, and the owner replies $50 for the bronze rat, and $1000 for the story behind it”. Clark shook his head and said, “Man, I’m going through a nasty divorce and I’ve lost just about everything. I can’t afford a back story. Hell, I’m still working on one of my own. I just want the rat by itself.”
The tiny Asian man asks him, “You sure? You need to know story!”
“Nope”, said Clark. “Just the rat sculpture and I’m not even sure why I want it myself. I just feel this strange need to own it.”
“That why you need back story! It mean trouble if you don’t got it!”
Clark ignored the man’s pleas and plopped down 50-bucks that he really didn’t have and takes the sculpture. As he was walking down the street, he notices two rats are following him. As he continues to walk, more rats are following him. He starts to get a little concerned and heads for the waterfront. By the time he gets there there are thousands and thousands of rats following him. The street and sidewalk are teeming with the critters.
He realizes that the rats are hanging on his every movement. If he holds the sculpture to the right, the rats move to the right. If he backs up, the rats back up. He jumped up and down….and so did the rats. Anything the sculpture does, the rats mimic.
Then, he gets this great idea: he walks up to the end of the pier and throws the bronze rat into the bay and lo and behold, the rats all follow and leap off of the pier and drown. The bay is covered with floating, dead rats.
Clark can’t believe what happened. Imagine, a bronze sculpture of a rat lures all the other dirty, filthy rats out of their hiding places! What a great way to exterminate all the vermin in San Francisco!!
So, he runs back to the little shop in Chinatown just as it’s about to close. He bangs on the door and the little Asian man let’s him in,
He smiles, “Ah, so you come back for rat story, yes?”
“Oh, hell no!” says Clark. “I was wondering if you have any bronze lawyers?”
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