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Anyone seen this?

Essentially, a pair of ladies, who were also identical twins, moved to a suburb of LA in 2002. At some point, they started feeding wild rats they found living near their house. Rats, as you might know, breed quite rapidly. Hilarity ensues as some neighbors who just move in notice a truly absurd number of rats in the area.

You can read the original LA Weekly article here. Here’s an excerpt:

The number of wild rats the Barthels bred in one year— if they began with a single male and a single female — is, by the association’s calculations, 2,258. That number of rats would be capable of devouring 10,931 pounds of food and excreting 56,400 rat droppings.

But the sisters fed the rats for much longer than a year. They did so from the time they returned from Santa Ynez in 2002 until late 2007 — not to mention possible rat-feeding during the decades that Margaret continued teaching in Redondo to support their refuge in Santa Ynez.

Theoretically, during a second year, 2,258 rats in the Palisades could grow “a thousand-fold,” to more than two million rats, says Greg Baumann of the association. That’s only a mathematical figure, because the food needed to sustain two million rats would be impossibly huge, and cats were in the area.

But, estimating conservatively, the two sisters added tens of thousands of rats to L.A.’s tony Westside. And perhaps far, far more.

Can we talk about this? Let’s look at some big “creepy” markers:

  • Identical twins
  • Thousands and thousands of rats

Of course, my first thought was about how I’d use this in a World of Darkness game. Beyond the obvious beshilu-type connections, this offers all sorts of interesting possibilities.

A hive mind composed of rats, who perhaps share a mind with these ladies? Women who’re made of rats? Rat-spirits gathering in advance of some event? Post-apocalyptic food supply for some messed up people? Eventual carriers of an as-yet unknown plague? An animal-based spy ring for some bizarre or sinister purpose?

Shit, this is one of those plot hooks that just writes itself.

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