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April 10, 2024 69 mins

Today, we talk RATS! From plague to pets, rats have had a huge impact on humanity! What was the role of rats in the plague? What even is a rat?? Should you keep them as pets??? And are we so different after all? 

Guest: Jeff May

Footnotes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/199aAaHgq-CmEoMcR4iRMnbePedjKrs0iafQalrKhp0I/edit?usp=sharing

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:07):
Welcome to Creature future production of iHeartRadio. I'm your host
of Many Parasites, Katie Golden. I studied psychology and evolutionary biology,
and today on the show Rats. There's rats in the
walls and the sewers on the subway. Why are there
so many rats around? And are they the most villainous
pests or just misunderstood? From plagues to pets, rats have

(00:30):
shaped human civilization in a variety of ways. Discover this
and more as we answer the angel question. Welcome, rats
get blamed for everything. Joining me today is front of
the show comedian and host of the podcast Jeff Has
Cool Friends. Jeff May welcome.

Speaker 2 (00:46):
Heyy welcome, It's me a rat.

Speaker 1 (00:48):
It's you a rat man. You pull up the human skin,
look great.

Speaker 2 (00:55):
Yeah, most of my rat friends are in my legs.

Speaker 1 (00:58):
Yeah, well you know, moved. I've seen this exact case
so many times where top half kind of like a
rat tar, like not a centaur, but a rat tar.
Where it's like top half human bought and half a
bunch of rats.

Speaker 2 (01:11):
Yeah, bundle a bundle of Dracula like rats, right.

Speaker 1 (01:14):
Sort of like all kind of like a Megatron made
out of rats for the lower half.

Speaker 2 (01:19):
That's probably the best way to do it.

Speaker 1 (01:21):
Yeah, exactly. So, Jeff, you actually suggested this topic, what
is what is going on in your life that involves rats?

Speaker 2 (01:32):
So? I had a uninvited rat roommate in my house
not too long ago. I was. It's one of those
ones where you start here and you're like, oh, I
think we have mice, and then you see it and
you're like, we don't. We don't have mice. We don't. Yeah,
we don't have any mice. We do have at least
a rat, right, And you know, we met a couple times.

(01:56):
He was a little dodgy but also bold. Yeah, and
I sorry for all of you friends of rats, but
I got them.

Speaker 1 (02:07):
You got them because.

Speaker 2 (02:08):
Yeah, we got them, which I'm sorry, but also like,
I don't need my house to burn down. If he's
like chew an electrical wire.

Speaker 1 (02:16):
Or put a head out on this rat, it sounds like.

Speaker 2 (02:19):
You know, you know, that would have been nice. But
I actually ended up doing it myself. Oh god, you know,
like you like, instead of hiring an assassin to come in,
you know, I will skit myself and just really went
for it, which is also scary because it turns out
I'm terrified of things that skitter.

Speaker 1 (02:35):
Yeah, well, skittering is I think the problem with skittering
is that you know, the skidery is up to something.

Speaker 2 (02:45):
Yeah. On top of that too, like when you think
about skittering, it's the creepiest, most most aggressive way to
run away from something. Yeah, but skittering is never at me,
It's always away from me. And yet I'll clutch my
if I see a cockroach, I'm gonna clutch my.

Speaker 1 (03:02):
Oh yeah, No, I'm a lover of most things considered pests,
but a cockroach. The problem is once it's in my area, right,
like a rat or a cockroach or even a mouse,
it's like there is a certain like I've made eye
contact with it, and now it's tap danced away, and
it's so inappropriate. It's so anti social to like aggressively

(03:26):
tap dance away from me and be like, well, I'm
in your house. By ah, it's upsetting, he was at.

Speaker 2 (03:36):
One point in time. They mean to assume that gender
was like in because we have like a laundry room
and and it has like the laundry room has basement energy,
but it's connected to my bedroom. So in order to
go into the laundry room to do my laundry. I
started like kind of knocking on the door because I
didn't want to see the rat.

Speaker 1 (03:56):
Right, like, are you in here doing rat?

Speaker 2 (03:59):
So then I realized it.

Speaker 1 (04:00):
I was just looking at rat pornography.

Speaker 2 (04:02):
Yeah, look at a little looking at some rat titty.
But I realized I was treating it like a slightly
hostile roommate. Yeah, like I was like, sorry for coming
in your room, man, I just got to do some
laundry real quick. Uh. And and yeah, I'm not a
fan of the rat. Telling people that a rat snuck

(04:23):
into your house through like a event or something. You
might as well tell people that you grew a rat
from all the pizza boxes that you sleeep in your house.
You know. That's that's the energy that that having a
rat in your house means, Like people automatically assume that
you are a pig. Yeah, that you are like an
absolute slob that you.

Speaker 1 (04:42):
Sort of leave like a trail of food scraps directly
to your laundry room and little signs that says welcome rat.

Speaker 2 (04:51):
Yeah, like a little rat strip club right right, so
that they can do that. But the reality is, you know,
it's been cold in Los Angeles and rainy, and that
we must have had like a hole somewhere in our house. Yeah,
that had to get plugged up. Yeah, it's and it's
not good like they sneak.

Speaker 1 (05:10):
In because the rat they do, and they do use
air vents. I had a rat in my air ventt
once and this was like this, I think it was
a brown rat and it was large. It was large
and very aggressive and the skittering aspect was interesting because
like it was in the vents, so it would wake

(05:31):
me up in the middle of the night with sort
of this aggressive scratching and skittering. And what eventually worked
was allowing my dogs to uh just go ham on
the on the rat vent area whenever she pleased. So
she usually would like sleep in her crate because she's

(05:52):
a well trained puppy, but in this time I let
her sleep on my bed so that she uh would
just like every time the rat made a noise, she
would spring up and start like screaming at this rat,
which would wake me up for sure, But in the
long term it was good because she terrorized this poor

(06:13):
rat and basically trained the rat to like not be
in my vents because like whenever it would make a
sound in my vent, my dog would like slam into
the vent and bark really loud.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
And if you're anywhere and something is like I'm gonna
kill you, Yeah, you're probably gonna be like, I don't
think I want to come back here.

Speaker 1 (06:34):
Yeah, And I felt sorry for the rat, you know,
like because again I like rats in general. Obviously, when
it's like in my vents pooping and keeping me awake
at night, that's not tinnable. But you know, it's like
I want to It's almost like, man, could I like

(06:55):
build a rat hut? And the answer is no, because
I didn't own this property, so there's no way I
could build like a rat hut for the rat to
live and I would get in trouble with the city.
So but yeah, it's just it's just not a it's
not a fun situation when you've got a rat in
your Yeah.

Speaker 2 (07:15):
Like also it's a good reminder that like there's a
massive difference between like getting a pet rat and having
it at your house. Yes, and and an invasive it's
like a person. It's like having a person, like if
it's a diffuse and some home invader. Yeah, and then
there's another another persons just in your house, You're not

(07:39):
just like you know, every life is sacred. Yeah, you'd
be like, this is a problem and we need to
remedy it.

Speaker 1 (07:45):
Lad. I would construct a giant slab of wood and
a hinge and a big metal bar and put a
burger on it, an enticing burger on there.

Speaker 2 (07:56):
Big with and the burger would have like a nice
and it would like the finger on under.

Speaker 1 (08:01):
The Yeah, the aroma, the aroma smell would form an
anthropomorphic hand and lure the person over. Yeah, I mean
I think so. Like one of the things with rat control,
right is it's it is not great when it like
falls upon us to try to get rid of rats
from our places. And one of the one of the

(08:24):
ideas of a more humane rat control is actually through
like rat birth control, right, so instead of poisoning them,
which is bad for the rats and bad for you know,
other animals, right, like mountain lions, domesticated.

Speaker 2 (08:38):
Pets, you know, Yeah, like honestly, like feral cats.

Speaker 1 (08:42):
Feral cats.

Speaker 2 (08:43):
Yeah, it's terrible, like like poisoning. I used to we
were rescuing a colony of feral cats that were abandoned
in a neighborhood and one of them just straight up
we found dead. Yeah, and like based down on the ground,
no impact or anything like that. We were like, well, somebody,

(09:04):
some rat poison killed this cat.

Speaker 1 (09:06):
Yeah. That's also like there was that owl that poor
owl I think in New York had been you know,
kidnapped from I think the zoo and then escaped and
then I think its name was Flacco, I think, and
I think it died. The cause of death was mostly

(09:27):
attributed to like poison in the rodents that it would
try to eat.

Speaker 2 (09:32):
Yeah. Yes, those owl pellets would be weird coming.

Speaker 1 (09:35):
Out, huh yeah, yeah, not great. And so you know,
I mean, like I think that the idea that we should,
like there are a few ways to control rat populations
near humans that do not involve poison or you know,
mass killing. It would involve like creating sort of birth

(09:56):
control for Yeah.

Speaker 2 (09:58):
I'm fascinated by whatever the wherever you're going with birth
control with rat.

Speaker 1 (10:04):
I mean, it's not like it would not be like
tiny rat condoms. It would be capturing rats, sterilizing them,
or trying to put out baits that would have some
kind of sterilizing substance in it, so that the uh,
then you would have rats that would it would basically

(10:25):
waste the time of of other rats who are trying
to mate with them, and would reduce the rat population.
I do like the idea of rat sex ed though,
where you just have like, uh, you know, teaching rats.

Speaker 2 (10:38):
About safe little rat bananas.

Speaker 1 (10:41):
Yeah, tiny rat bananas and so. But like, I do
want to talk today about kind of this this complex
relationship we have with rats, because rats are really interesting animals,
you know, they're they're they're highly intelligent. They they're all
these kind of emotions and behaviors in them that I

(11:02):
think are very like humanizing that they can be tickled.
They seem to show care and empathy for other rats.
They'll want to help a rat who's stuck in a
bad situation, even if it doesn't seem to directly benefit themselves.

Speaker 2 (11:17):
They're great chefs.

Speaker 1 (11:18):
They're great chefs. Sometimes if you put a rat on
your head, it'll tug your hair that makes you cook
really good.

Speaker 2 (11:25):
Yeah, yeah, and that's who doesn't want that?

Speaker 1 (11:29):
Yeah? If I could just have if I could have
a rat at tuy that helps me do my taxes,
that would.

Speaker 2 (11:34):
Be on a little lawyer, a little account, right.

Speaker 1 (11:36):
Accounting rat. Rat who helps me do my taxes? Rat
who helps me keep deadlines?

Speaker 2 (11:41):
You know, like I would like a house cleaning rat.

Speaker 1 (11:44):
Yeah, like a rat where you can just like zone
out and listen to podcasts, but the rat is like
pulling on your hair and having you vacuum. Perfect. That
would be that'd be perfect.

Speaker 2 (11:55):
On it, Like or like a like a rummage sale
organization rat. Yeah, where you can be like, I got
all this stuff I don't the rat knows what I
need and what I don't need.

Speaker 1 (12:04):
Yeah, like a rat helping you simplify a life coach rat.
There's so many ratituey opportunities beyond just cooking, is our point, Like,
like we need more variety of ratituey. But yeah, so
let's let's talk a little bit about what what is
a rat. Rats are in the Rattus genus, which you know, right,

(12:30):
not really but yeah, like this includes brown rats, black rats,
domesticated pet rats which are actually descendants from brown rats.
And these are all in the Rattus genus. But there
are some things that we call rats that are not
really true rats. So pack rats, kangaroo rats, pouched rats, muskrats,

(12:52):
none of these are in the Rattus genus. They're all rodents.
What's that snitches? Well, it depends because I guess if
you have a snitch, who is a rat? Right, Like, if.

Speaker 2 (13:07):
This would have to be like that would be another.

Speaker 1 (13:08):
Ratitude, it'd be a different ratitude.

Speaker 2 (13:11):
You get a snitch ratitude.

Speaker 1 (13:12):
Snitch ratitudey, that would be the I feel like that's
not the most ideal ratitudey, like a ratituey that helps
you do your taxes but then also reports you to
the I R S.

Speaker 2 (13:23):
Yeah, that's an inside rat is.

Speaker 1 (13:26):
Right, Yeah, exactly. There are over fifty species of rats,
including domesticated rats bread to be pets or rats bread
to be used in lamps. Rats are a cosmopolitan species,
found all over the world, on every continent except for
Antarctica because it's too cold.

Speaker 2 (13:45):
I feel that rat awesome if you're like, except for Europe.
Yeah no, that's it's weird that they respect that border.

Speaker 1 (13:53):
Yeah no, they yeah, well we'll talk about Europe in
a little bit, but yeah, So they have become invasive
on islands actually sort of close to Antarctica in the
southern Hemisphere, and they do threaten the nesting seabird populations there.
Like when we think about rats as pests, we kind

(14:13):
of think about them being in our homes or eating
our grain stockpiles, Like I hate it when rats are
like in my grain silos. One of the big things
that is a problem with rats is being invasive in
areas where they are not indigenous and out competing the
native wildlife. Because rats are very good at survivors. They

(14:37):
are like amazing. They're intelligent, they are omnivorous, they will
eat pretty much anything that can be eaten. They are
also very fecund. They are very fertile, and they have
a lot of offsprings, so they are fantastic survivors. I mean,
they it's interesting that we hate them so much because

(14:57):
they kind of are very huge men like and how
successful they are, Like they their ability to take advantage
of resources, to colonize, to to you know, kind of
like exploit things and mess up the eco system where
they are. It's very humanized.

Speaker 2 (15:17):
I think it's important to note too that we are
also pests.

Speaker 1 (15:20):
Yes, well yes, I mean depends on your perspective, but yeah,
like if if, if we are talking about our impact
on ecosystems, I think very much we could be considered pests.

Speaker 2 (15:32):
I'm viewing it from the agent smith perspective.

Speaker 1 (15:35):
Yeah that's yeah, that's I'm sure that's healthy. So yeah,
the most infamous rat species, the ones you probably are
most familiar with, are the black rat and the brown rat. So,
despite the names, black and brown rats are not like like.
It's not really the coloration difference that is the most

(15:56):
notable difference between the species, because blacks can be different
shades of black, gray, or brown, and brown rats can
be gray rather than brown. So the main difference in
appearance is the size and the body shape. So brown
rats are bigger and chunkier, their tails are shorter than

(16:18):
their overall body length, their snouts are boxier, and their
ears are stubbier, and black rats are more slender. They
have tails that are longer than their total body length,
they have more pointed snouts, more sort of slender faces,
and larger ears. So yeah, that's how you tell the

(16:39):
difference if you care.

Speaker 2 (16:41):
I feel like Los Angeles is really good at brown
rats and New York is much better with black rats.

Speaker 1 (16:46):
I think that's that's fairly accurate. Yeah, I mean they
both of these guys are found pretty much all over
the world.

Speaker 2 (16:53):
But yes, I Yeah, mine was a I'm pretty sure
it was a gray brown rat. Yeah. I remember. I
was in New York in twenty nineteen for Comic Con.
I I had a panel and I was just kind
of like exploring the area and I cut off the
subway and I came up and immediately saw just like
a black rat running around like a little park area,

(17:15):
and I was like, ah, yes, metaphors. It's good to see.
Like it's definitely like beginning of a movie energy where
you're like, there's a rat. You're in New York.

Speaker 1 (17:24):
Yeah, I mean that's it's interesting, right, because it is
used as this thing of like, ah, you're in New
York because here, here's all the rats. And I mean
the reason that rats are drawn to New York is
like the same reason that people are drawn to New
York or major cities, right, It's because there's because there's
a lot. I mean, they are drawn to where there
are huge, dense populations of people because they like the

(17:46):
same things we do. They like warmth, they like structures,
and they like food, and they like our food and
there I'm neverous. They'll eat pretty much anything that we
can eat, so like they love people. We may not
like them, but they love a us.

Speaker 2 (18:01):
You know What's it's so funny because and I can
guarantee we're going to get to this. But for those
of you that are not aware of my previous career,
I taught medieval history. I taught about the Middle Ages.
I taught about everything that happened between the Fall of
Rome and the Renaissance. And so thirteen forty seven showed
up and we did a whole unit on it. And

(18:24):
hearing you say that to me is just giving me
flashbacks of saying that to eighth breakers. So it's like,
it's very fascinating because I'm like, oh, yeah, they do
they do do that.

Speaker 1 (18:35):
I'm so excited because I am not much of a historian,
so I just did some you know, research for this podcast,
So I'm excited for you to be able to fill
in the gaps or correct my mistakes.

Speaker 2 (18:48):
Don't dust off my degree. Yeah yeah, in twelve years. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (18:54):
But yeah, like we kind of we kind of have
this disdain for rats, but the reason they're so populated
in areas where we live is because we produce waste
and we build buildings, and they will eat our food
and they will live in our buildings, and the best
way to like sort of control the problem with rats

(19:14):
is to you know, manage our waste, produce less food waste,
have good building infrastructure, and you know, I think that
is kind of all we can do in terms of
you know, because like when we do things like poison
rats and stuff, it doesn't actually really make that much
of an impact on their population, and it just causes

(19:36):
a lot of problems.

Speaker 2 (19:38):
That they're not getting the word out about the poison.

Speaker 1 (19:41):
They kind of are. Actually that's the thing that they're
so smart is that they will they will test food
sometimes and wait to see whether it has an effect,
or they'll watch another rat test food and then wait
to see if it has an effect on them. And
then they because they have they learn that things can
be poisonous, and then they will be careful about new

(20:02):
food sources. There's actually a pretty insidious way sometimes we
kill rats, which is with an I think an anticoagulant.
You give them the anticoagulant and they don't realize it
because it's the effects take so long to set in
that they don't realize it's poisoned. So even if they
do the little testing thing and then they eat it.

(20:25):
It takes a lot, there's a long delay in terms
of the effects, but then the effects happen later and
kills them in a pretty gruesome way.

Speaker 2 (20:33):
And by an you're with an anti coagulant, does that
mean you're basically just like giving them like any bola.

Speaker 1 (20:38):
Virus sort of like it's it's not a virus. I mean,
it kind of works like a snake bite works in
some cases where like some some snake bites can be
have a pro coagulant, like a more likely to form
blood cloths or be anti coagulants, and the anti coagulant
effects can cause like eternal bleeding. Yeah, it's pretty it's

(21:02):
pretty horrific. So you know, but you know, the there
are real problems that we face from rats, like in
terms of spread of disease, and we, like you kind
of hinted at Jeff, we cannot we cannot get through
this episode without talking about plague because it's such a

(21:24):
huge part of human history and when people think of
rats like they think of plague, and it is true
that rats can inadvertently spread plague. But we're gonna take.

Speaker 2 (21:35):
Oh sorry, I was gonna say so if I may
and of course, I I apologize if I'm getting anything
wrong here, but so essentially like rodents, so like we
give rats because rats are social. The reality is all
of the cases of plague that hit in modern times

(21:57):
are not usually provided rats. Actually, and first and foremost,
it's important to note that rats are not the ones
that are delivering the Eucinia pestis bacteria to people. It's
it's almost always going to be fleas. Yes, the folice
that are are hanging out on the rats, they're the ones.
They they have rat blood in there inside of them

(22:20):
that is contaminated. They jump on us, they bite, they
then vomit that blood back into our open wounds, a
little bit of yeah, a little bit, a little bit
of the Rcinia bestest bacteria. And that's how it happens.
More most often comes through uh, like in the American Southwest.

Speaker 1 (22:38):
Yeah, prairie dogs actually from prairie dogs, yes, yeah, because
there's a reservoir in prairie dogs, whereas uh, there is not,
you know, like the I think are ability to kind
of like do hygiene and use antibiotics to treat plagu

(22:59):
when it pops up like it is not it doesn't spread,
so easily to major cities nowadays, which is very good,
but this did not always. This was not always the case.
So we're going to take a quick break actually, but
then when we get back, we are going to talk
about plague and the discussion over how much blame do

(23:21):
rats have for the plague and what even is plague?
How does it work? And Jeff, I'm this is such kisman.
I had no idea that this is what you taught,
but it says if yes, I'm so excited. I don't
plan this, but maybe it's like the rats are just
communicating through me to bring this moment about a great

(23:44):
cosmic rat, you know, using us like puppets. Anyways, the
point is we'll be right back and when we come back,
we're gonna talk about the plague. Yeah, So Jeff gosh,
I'm I'm so I'm so excited because, like again, history
is not like my strong point. But I did, I
did do a little bit of homework before this episode,

(24:06):
but I'm hoping you can fill in some of the
details here or at least correct me if I say
something egregiously wrong or mispronounced something. So the plague, right,
it's like not I think when we think about or
when we think about plague. I think a lot of
people just think about the Black Death. But that was

(24:27):
not the only plague. It was a bad one. It
was a big one, for sure. But there were three
plague pandemics, and one was relatively recent. There was the
first plague pandemic from about five forty to seven fifty.

(24:49):
There was the second plague pandemic from about thirteen thirty
to eighteen fifty five ish, and then the third plague
pandemic from about eighteen fifty five ish to nineteen sixty.
Is that about right?

Speaker 2 (25:02):
I it might be. I take an interesting form of
umbrage with the fact that we went thirteen roughly thirteen
thirty to eighteen fifty five. That's a big span. Yeah,
it's a pandemic, but that's again, that's that's mostly that's
not me correcting you. That's just me being like, in
my head, I'm.

Speaker 1 (25:22):
Like, I can't be no reason. So there is a
little bit of uh, you know, I think that that
is sort of the general span in terms of like
how they categorize these pandemics. But it's not like there
were a bunch of pandemics within that, And it's kind

(25:44):
of like there's some disagreement on how exactly one should
categorize these time periods, right, like this is it's not
like it's a little bit. It's kind of like a
taxonomy with animals, where it's like sometimes it's like, well,
where is exactly the cutoff with where one starts and

(26:04):
where the other begins.

Speaker 2 (26:07):
It's important to note that the plague, that is the
famous plague. It's important because plague in general just means
an epidemic or however we want to say at a
pandemic or whatnot, that is sweeps across a massive amount
of the population. And again, if you're a pedant listening

(26:28):
to this, jumping into the comments, tell me I'm wrong.
I'm probably wrong about some stuff. It's been twelve years
since I've taught this. I have a degree, obviously in history.
My minor was in biology, and actually the focus on
that was infectious diseases. So I do bring a little
bit in here, but I'm not a scientist.

Speaker 1 (26:48):
Plague heads are plague heads are coming for you, Jeff.

Speaker 2 (26:51):
They might so, but I do need to classify that
because you know, I haven't been a teacher of this
since twenty twelve. But essentially the one we talk about
like the main one, because that's the one that everybody discusses,
right if you're talking like five fifty seven or whatever,
you know you're talking, you know, that's an earlier one.

(27:12):
That's not the one that's super famous. Roughly, we look
at the period and it's generally considered that thirteen forty seven,
that's like, yeah, that.

Speaker 1 (27:24):
Was like when that's the Black plague, right.

Speaker 2 (27:27):
Yeah, that's the Black Death, and the Black Death is
you know, it really comes down due to the growth
of towns in trade. So the growth of a market
economy is what led to this epidemic. When you talk
about where Europe was in the thirteen hundreds and when

(27:47):
you were establishing trade routes, and you look at the
areas that were affected the most, you see that it's
coming in into these trading towns, these trading centers, and
then it is being spread because the people that got
infected by those fleas from those rats in those areas
are then going to travel. And when all of you,

(28:09):
all of your hearers and blames are like about God,
you're kind of screwed. The results of plague created the
modern world, and that is something that is a very
ugly benefit, because there are massive benefits that happened as

(28:31):
a result of the Black Death.

Speaker 1 (28:33):
Yeah, it's like a silver or sort of blackish bloody
lining to the plague.

Speaker 2 (28:40):
It's it's probably I would say that Black Death has
the silverist lining in of all pretty much horrible events
that have happened. And I know that that sounds really careless,
because you know, estimates go from anywhere from twelve to
thirty percent of the population where wiped out. But the

(29:04):
middle class rip was created. Around this time, the church
took a massive hit in its influence and power. The
church no longer became the global dominator that it once was.
The nobility and feudalism started to crash heavily. Like it Also,
the Renaissance is birthed of this. The awakening of science

(29:29):
and technology and medicine is starting to grow. And it
really all comes from the fact that like the failures
of the survivors and like the wealth that was accumulated
and the pulling of the population, which is such a
dystopian sci fi thing that they do. Yeah, we're like,
you know, half the time, if you're ever on like

(29:50):
an episode of hype Cast or something, with Tom Rayman
and David Bell or whatever, and they're like, hey, there's
another sci fi movie coming out, and they're like, we
have to kill eight percent of the population.

Speaker 1 (30:00):
The thing is, like, the thing about like the idea
of calling is that we don't I mean, like, I
definitely agree that there were direct results of the of
the uh, the Black Death and the plague that resulted
in good societal changes, but we don't have the counterfactual, right, Like,

(30:21):
if it hadn't happened, we could have also had really
good societal changes, and we just don't know what would
have happened.

Speaker 2 (30:29):
Yes, but we can also use historical patterns.

Speaker 1 (30:33):
Yeah, we could guess.

Speaker 2 (30:35):
You can make a pretty strong hypothesis that there are
certain things that would have been maintained. And the status
quo at that time was pretty strong. And when you
look at you know, warfare being what it was, and
I don't know it's the church would not have been

(30:56):
would not have lost the power that it did, right,
and the middle class would not have risen the way
it did. We can't say for sure, but we can
say judging from the patterns of societies at that time,
judging from the fact that you know, Islam had been
stopped at Spain as opposed to crossing over and then
spreading all the way across. Like there are certain tent

(31:20):
pole or if we want to go pop culture canon
events that had happened up to that point which had
established patterns in there, Like if Islam had spread, maybe
science and technology would have moved faster at that time,
but it didn't. It was yeah, it was you know,

(31:41):
it was stopped Charles Martel stopped him at tour and
pushed him back. So at that point in time, then
you have to be like, all right, well, the plague
caused certain things to happen. Yeah, and those things led
to that immediate and it's like it's not that gradual,
it's a relatively immediate shift. When you talk about wages

(32:06):
going exponentially higher, a lot of that came from the
fact that people weren't supplying the labor that they needed,
so the market equilibrium for that went up. But also
past that, like there was a lot of superstition that
was leading people to not work with like the irony
being that, like the people that worked with dead bodies

(32:28):
were the safest people, and they also were like the
most well paid.

Speaker 1 (32:33):
Why were they the safest, did they like practice better
hygiene or was it that like by the time someone
was dead, the fleas were gone.

Speaker 2 (32:41):
Thing, Go, Yeah, it's exactly that. So like fleas don't
they don't hang out on a dead body. They don't
like a cold body, so they would leave.

Speaker 1 (32:49):
Yeah, then I correct me if I'm wrong. But I
think there were other jobs that people saw as potentially
really dirty but that actually didn't actually resulted in lower
death rates, like people who would clean like sort of
the sewage systems, which were sometimes just like canals through

(33:10):
the streets, and people would wash more regularly when they
did that because it was stinky and the plague didn't.
Like there was this idea that foul odors might cause illness.
And while there's something really kind of interesting about that
right where it's like there's a bit of a there's
a bit of an yeah, exactly a correlation in this case,

(33:32):
like plague was not spread through feces, uh, And so
people who worked directly with feces, well not always some
like there's certain types of plague. We'll get into that
a bit, where there is a type of plague that
could potentially be spread from the bodily fluids of people.
But the main spread was through fleas, and so people

(33:54):
who would work, who would work with like you know,
the sewage, they would be washed a lot because it
was gross, and so that washing actually may have had
a protective effect where they didn't get as many fleas.

Speaker 2 (34:09):
It's a lot like how religions that forbade pork, you
had a significant drop in trichinosis.

Speaker 1 (34:18):
Yeah, just by chance essentially.

Speaker 2 (34:20):
Yeah, and it's just like, oh, okay, well.

Speaker 1 (34:23):
Either by chance or that either by chance or people
made a correlation, but they didn't know why this happened.
And then it became sort of religious doctrine because it
like there were certain recipes for medications and stuff where
you would say a prayer as you were doing it,
and that actually provided the timing for like a chemical

(34:44):
reaction and it had obviously nothing to do with the
prayer incantation, but that kept time because people didn't have
stop watches.

Speaker 2 (34:52):
Yeah, it's wild like the stuff that happened, Like there
were like touring groups of flagelens that would like they
would just go to different towns whipping themselves and being
but they were also like generally like scummy people that
would go by and would self flagellate in order to
like absorb the sins of the community, you know, like

(35:17):
because the thing about it was is like the church
was the center of everything at the time, and the
church fell apart during the Black Death, and the papacy
had already sort of revealed itself to be self serving
as they had relocated to Avignon in France at the time,
so during the.

Speaker 1 (35:37):
Plague, always taking a charter plane off to Avignon. As
soon as stuff hits the flat, stuff hits the fan.

Speaker 2 (35:44):
Well, so like there was the great Schism of where
they moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon, which caused
Rome to like fall apart anyway, and then you know
it was really just a king buying a pope and
having him live in his area. So it's one of
those things where like the papacy people were already like

(36:08):
this doesn't seem it doesn't seem very godly that you
guys just decides that you can move it. And then
when this shit's going down and the churches are closing,
they're refusing to give last rites while these rock star
flageleans are walking around and like they're like we'll do it,

(36:28):
and they became you know, you hate to say it,
but like they're like the Tea Party of very populous
that era, where like they're they're being populist, They're they
they're the ones that are diagnosing and recognizing problems. They
don't have an actual cure for it, but by recognizing it,
people felt seen. That's that's kind of one of the

(36:51):
ways that Trump got elected if you really think about it,
of he sees a problem and diagnosed it the way
Hillary didn't. He didn't have a plan forul no, but
just by seeing people people were like, oh, okay.

Speaker 1 (37:03):
Yeah, no, I mean it's a good point. I mean
I think that like, I mean, obviously there are a
lot of uh there, there are a lot of scapegoats.
During the plague times, there's a ton a ton of
anti semitism because you know, whenever, whenever there's a social problem,
it's just like, well, let's slap some anti semitism and

(37:24):
see how that works.

Speaker 2 (37:26):
Ah poison Well term yeah was really popularized because of
the plague and the plug ROMs that would happen because
of the plague.

Speaker 1 (37:34):
Yeah, And but really what the plague was caused by
was Ersinia pestis, which you mentioned earlier, like in every
case in like regardless of your your feelings about like
the years that you categorize these plagues, the first plague pandemic,
second plague pandemic, and the third plane plague pandemic, the
most recent one, all caused by this Orcinia pestis bacteria.

(37:59):
There are different forms or there are different types of
infection that this can cause. It can be pneumonic, which
is long infection, septusmic.

Speaker 2 (38:09):
That's the coughing and sneezing one that's the mnemonic is
the one that spreads like wildfire.

Speaker 1 (38:15):
Yes, because that one doesn't spread just through fleas. That
can also spread through body fluids and even droplets.

Speaker 2 (38:23):
Of yes, because I think the words that they used.

Speaker 1 (38:28):
There's also septasmic, which is blood infection, and bubonic, which
is I think the most well known one. And the
bubonic is infection of the lymph nodes, and those lymph
nodes when they swell, they form the bubos, the like
gross gnarly grape like bubbles on your skin, which is
really these like super inflamed lymph nodes.

Speaker 2 (38:52):
Yeah. So so bubonic plague is the one that we
equate for the most part with and the two major
ones were numonic and bubonic at the time. Yeah, those
were the ones that people would see obviously knemonic can
see somebody coughing near you. That is going to give

(39:13):
us a much more recent example of a pandemic that
you have to be you know, it's one of those
things where like you can see now, and like why
I was really on edge because I also when I
was a teacher, I got swine flu. I got swine

(39:33):
flu from the kids I taught about plague. And so
when the pandemic had hit in twenty twenty, I was like,
and everyone's like, masks don't work. I was like, let
me explain to you how these like. I was like, look,
I'm not an expert, but I do. I am an
expert in the specific thing. So, but bubonic plague it
became the one that like was the visible, like oh

(39:54):
scenario and people the one thing people don't forget, like
it was isn't the death sentence that we think it
was at the time. People did survive it. There are
instances where there was like one town that like clearly
had immunity to it. Yeah, where they had gone through
and like there's also been fascinating studies about survivors of

(40:19):
plague having their descendants having an immunity to the HIV virus,
which is a weird phenomenon. That I'm not smart enough
to kind.

Speaker 1 (40:31):
Of ampogenetic change maybe.

Speaker 2 (40:33):
Yeah, yeah, like literally changing DNA to do that, and
that that's wild to me. But and again, I cannot
stress enough that even though I feel like I'm sounding smart,
I'm a very dumb mate. So don't ask me.

Speaker 1 (40:48):
We're just we're all we're all dumb dumbs struggling in
this big world.

Speaker 2 (40:52):
So like when you talk about your lymph nodes, the
ones that we most often think are right sort of
right the sides of your throats, right under the back
of your jaw, Yeah, the armpits and uh, unfortunately you're grond, you're.

Speaker 1 (41:07):
Grind sort of in the you know where, like where
the Barbie Doll hinges are. It's the v But yeah,
we actually have we have many more lymph nodes than
that we have. Yeah, we have like a pair at
the back of our neck. We have a pair, like
there's both a pair like under your chin and then
at the base of your neck. Like you said, armpits.

(41:28):
We also have lymph nodes in the legs.

Speaker 2 (41:31):
But yeah, they're clustered, they're most there, Their most visible
clusters are on those folds, I guess.

Speaker 1 (41:38):
Right, And you'll feel them like if you have if
you ever had an infection. Sometimes you'll feel them and
they actually swell up a bit because they get inflamed
because they are kind of like the uh, waste management
centers of the body, where like they will help with
the flow of inflammatory cells. Uh. And then like when

(42:00):
when sort of like inflammation goes down, a lot of
that material is carried into the lymph nodes. Uh. And
so like it is kind of like they are very
reactive when you have an infection. But that's generally a
good thing, right because like you do want it's a
sign that your immune system is working.

Speaker 2 (42:19):
Yeah. The unfortunate thing is that you're the human The
average human body cannot handle the speed at which your
siniopestics bacteria replicates. And so therefore it's basically and I'm
I'm trying to find a way to use this without
using another disease, but it's essentially giving your lymph nodes
a cancerous form of replication almost and I know that

(42:40):
that's not technically correct, but it's.

Speaker 1 (42:44):
The exponential, right, It's the exponential growth of the bacteria.
It's like, there are so we can especially today, we
treat a lot of things with antibiotics, a lot of
bacterial infections with antibiotics, and so a lot of times
like bacterial infections are not such a big deal because
it's like, all right, we take an antibiotic and that

(43:05):
clears it up. There are some bacterial infections where it's
like the rate of replication of the bacteria are so
fast even our modern antibiotics can struggle to take care
of the infection. So things like necrotizing fasciitis is a
type of bacterial infection usually from like flesh wounds, where

(43:27):
it's just the rate of the bacterial growth is so
fast that it can be hard to treat it with antibiotics.

Speaker 2 (43:35):
I mean, do you know what isn't one of those though, Yeah,
lague is a routine cycle of antibiotics will eliminate nowadays.

Speaker 1 (43:44):
It is. It is something that is highly treatable. You
just do have to get it treated because if you don't,
it'll have the same effect as someone living, you know,
in the dark ages it's.

Speaker 2 (43:56):
It's certainly one of those things. I see this happen
a lot on social media where somebody will share a
story about how somebody got plague Phoenix man gets plague.

Speaker 1 (44:08):
And people panic.

Speaker 2 (44:09):
And they go, oh, like we need this again.

Speaker 1 (44:12):
Yeah, it's it happens. It happens every year. A few
people get plague in the US, about.

Speaker 2 (44:18):
Twelve people a year. Yeah, get plague in the US.
It is the it's it's funny because of how dominant
it was back in the Y. It's like Michael Jordan
playing for the Wizards. You're like, man, you were dominant
at one point in time. I'm just not impressed.

Speaker 1 (44:35):
Yeah. There's a few. Yeah, there's a few reasons that
plague is no longer a huge concern. One is like antibiotics,
that the power of antibiotics is really incredible. Also hygiene,
the fact that we human beings are no longer covered

(44:56):
in fleas and body lice pretty much at all times
we used to be. And so the combination of like
hygiene and antibiotics, like changes in our hygiene practices and
in our anti like people did not people would not
regularly bathe a lot like they would do some washing

(45:16):
like it's not true that they just like would never
wash themselves right there. There would be some forms of washing,
of course, like people people were not so fundamentally different
in you know, the olden times like in the Middle
Ages or medieval period that they also did not want
to reek and be stinky and gross. But it's not

(45:39):
like they had showers, and like heating up enough bath water,
getting enough bath water to take a bath was really hard.
So people would do things like wipe themselves down essentially
right like they do like little bird baths, like to
kind of like wipe themselves down to clean themselves. But
having like it's not like everyone had soap. That was
not like, you know, something that everyone could afford to have. Uh,

(46:04):
certainly people didn't just all have indoor plumbing. That was
you know, the mass availability of plumbing of like water.

Speaker 2 (46:14):
Explaining chamber pots to eighth graders was real fun and
something something to wit to which we had mentioned earlier,
and I forgot to mention that like obviously like feces
doesn't carry plague, rats don't hate feces, that's true, and
and so they would Uh that's actually one of the

(46:36):
problems would with sort of the rats, and how it
was spread is that the as you had said, essentially
you'd have ditches, like sewage was ditches in the streets
that people would empty their pots into and the rats
fucking loved that. They that is like that is like
a rat yeah and so h and so in that

(46:59):
regard too, like that's that is how a lot of
people would you know, literally that the process of showing
away a rat could get Yeah, the thing that would
have given And actually.

Speaker 1 (47:10):
Like even if it was like, well we can kill
rats and that should help with the plague, right, Well,
when a rat dies, where do the fleas go?

Speaker 2 (47:19):
Yeah? Yeah, they're not going to stick around, so they're
going to move.

Speaker 1 (47:22):
So like, in fact, a lot of plagues were preceded
by something called rat fall, where it was like a
bunch of rats dying and then you started seeing plague
and people because the rats would get the plague first
and they'd start dying. And then when the rats die,
the fleas jump to somewhere else, which was often humans
because they lived near humans, and so you would get

(47:42):
this kind of like very notable rat die off before
a plague outbreak. But something that is really interesting is
like the commonly understood knowledge is that rats were the
main drivers of plague and we're the drivers of the

(48:02):
Black Death. But there is a more recent sort of
method of research that is examining this and it's not
it's not questioning whether rats transmit the plague. That's absolutely
know that we know that rats carry plague and can
transmit it to humans and can definitely either spark a

(48:25):
plague or contribute to a plague. But the question is
we're rats the main culprits behind the Black Death plague.

Speaker 2 (48:35):
That's interesting. I'm interested to see where this is going.

Speaker 1 (48:37):
Yeah, So this is covered by a National Geographic article
by Michael Greshko which highlights a paper in PNAS called
Human Ectoparasites in the Spread of Plague in Europe during
the Second Pandemic by Dean Krawer, Wallow, and Schmid. So,
these researchers used these models to kind of plot out

(49:04):
essentially expected human versus rat caused propagation of plague. So
like if you they looked at like, okay, if you
if it was primarily rap to human propagation of plague
or human to human propagation of plague, what would it
look like in this model? That they created and then
compared that to historical records of mortality patterns during the

(49:30):
Second Plague pandemic during like different kind of plague outbreaks,
different cities, and they found that not in all, but
in most cases that they examined, the human spread model,
like primarily it being from human to human was a
better fit for historical mortality records than rat to human driven.

Speaker 2 (49:54):
That's interesting. I obviously, you know, I'm not an expert
and I'm not s studying that. I think that that
also does kind of feel like it has a slightly
semantic point to it, which is like, well, once it
got into the humans, they spread it faster. It's like, well, yeah,
we hang out with humans more than we hang out
with rats. But the fact that the usiniapesist bacteria lays

(50:17):
essentially dormant in a rat's body, it doesn't particularly kill
them the way it kills us, obviously like they're going
to have a more a greater efficacy in doing that,
as opposed to the humans who are like, oh yeah,
these swellings in here. People are like I'm out, I'm gone.

Speaker 1 (50:40):
No, I mean, it's an it's an unexpected thing, right,
But like the idea is not necessarily that I think
it's like, it's not it's not necessarily semantic, because it
is the idea of like what because if it's kind
of tracking like the patterns of the Black Death and

(51:03):
the plague in terms of like, was it like these
human sort of social and travel patterns driving plague or
was it that you know, you had, say, like a
rat population in this area that was the one that
like triggered the plague or drove the plague. And in
terms of like, I think that the the interesting aspect

(51:27):
of this is like, obviously it's not like disproving that
rats can cause or exacerbate plague in areas. It is
kind of figuring out what exactly, like what drove specific
plague outright, Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (51:44):
Exactly, Yeah, absolutely, trade and and so that that's that's
a point. That's a part of it is that you know, yes,
humans did that, but also it's important to note how
many rats like to hang out on trade chips.

Speaker 1 (51:56):
No, I mean that's a that's a really complicating factor.
I mean, well, rats and trade routes, like trade routes
determined the where rats ended up because rats are not
it's not like rats suddenly popped up on every continent
in the world. Rats probably originated I mean I think

(52:17):
they may have originated in Southeast Asia or China, and
then they eventually got into all corners of the route
of the world through human trade. So like so if
you're looking at trade routes, right, it's it's gonna be
hard to tease a part whether the humans on the
boat were spreading plague or whether the rats on the

(52:39):
boat were spreading plague, because there was not a boat
that didn't have rats on it at this time.

Speaker 2 (52:45):
And it's it's important to see too because obviously, like
when when I would teach about trade and you would
talk about like, look, it's the answer for all trade
is water. Like water is is your trade inlet so
like your highways. And if I may kind of branch
off for a split second, I would I would actually

(53:06):
compare because this was you know, you know, twenty twelve,
and before I would, I would compare towns and cities
to malls. And you would say, like if you pick
a mall, like imagine a mall in your head, and
anybody who is listening picture your local mall if it's
still open, and you will know that it is among
two major trade routes, and by say trade routes, I

(53:26):
mean highways. So like malls are almost always wedged between
two major highways, Los Angeles has a slightly different scenario
on that because it's a more of a whatever.

Speaker 1 (53:39):
Endless web of tangled intersections.

Speaker 2 (53:43):
But for most people, like if you live in you know, Massachusetts,
and you're like, oh, the Auburn Mall, because that was ours,
the Auburn Mall, and I'd be like, look, there's the
mass Pike, there's two ninety, there's three ninety five, there's
rough twenty right in the middle of those intersections as
a mall, and you would do that with every major
mall in an area. Yeah, and you'd be like, here's
where the two highways intersect. There's them all, and the

(54:04):
bigger the highway, the more successful to them all that
so that same thing. Waterways were the highways of history obviously,
and so the more waterways you had, if you look
at it, you're going to say, obviously, the more trade.
But that's also going to show you the more plague.

Speaker 1 (54:23):
Deaths, right, and the more and the more rats.

Speaker 2 (54:27):
Which is yeah, which is why Italy got hit so
brutally is because they were the trade center of Europe. Yeah,
and so you know when you talk about you know,
the Lombard Leagues and all the stuff that went through
there and all the trade battles and wars that were
going on.

Speaker 1 (54:47):
And also Italy used to be a bunch of different
countries ruled by like incredibly wealthy families.

Speaker 2 (54:53):
So yeah, yeah, everyone thinks Italy is super old, and
it's like that's like eighteen eighty or something.

Speaker 1 (54:59):
Yeah, I mean, definitely stuff is super old here because
like there's the buildings still exist. But yeah, Italy is
a unified countries relatively recent from the eighteen hundreds.

Speaker 2 (55:12):
Italy and Germany are incredibly young countries, yes, just they
happen to be existing on incredibly ancient Yeah.

Speaker 1 (55:21):
Younger than the US.

Speaker 2 (55:23):
Oh yeah, by like by a century, yes, but so
like but when you see like Italy got decimated and
then you look at like all the different trade porting
cities in all these different areas and they got absolutely destroyed.
It's actually one of the reasons that the like the
web the crust of the of Britain got absolutely decimated

(55:46):
because of of all the trade. Like islands got hit
real bad because you know, there's no there's no escape really.

Speaker 1 (55:55):
Yeah, And so I think like when you're looking at
like whether it fall, it's it absolutely follows trade routes.
But then that doesn't really inform us too much about
whether it was humans or rats. Right, Like you could
say like, well, humans caused it because we're the ones
on the boats, But when we're talking in terms of
sort of an epidemiological perspective, it's like, well, y is
it from rat to human or human to human? And

(56:16):
so what this these researchers are contending is that while
it doesn't account for all of the outbreaks, like a
lot of outbreaks at this time may have been mainly
like driven from human, like direct human to human transmission
rather than rat to human. Even if the rat to

(56:37):
human initiated it, there may have been greater amounts of
like human to human transmission once the ball got rolling.

Speaker 2 (56:45):
Yeah, it's I think it's it's the rats are the
match and the forest fire happened, Yeah, exactly off the match.

Speaker 1 (56:55):
So one one last thing I want to talk about
with in terms of rats is there's this really interesting thing,
which is that because rats are so closely tied to
humans in terms of they I mean, they love us,
they love our buildings, they love our food, and anywhere
humans go pretty much rats will follow. They can actually

(57:19):
give us clues in terms of human history, archaeological clues
when we can't say use like direct evidence from humans,
we can actually examine rats, you know, rat bones in
order to understand what humans were doing at the time,
because the rats would be essentially hanging around the humans.
So there's a study by Swift at All that looked

(57:41):
at rat bones found on Polynesian islands, and analysis of
these bones allowed researchers to actually infer the diet of
humans from two thousand years ago, because the rats were
understood to have probably eaten a lot of our scraps.
And so if you find these rat bones that have

(58:01):
sort of interesting sort of composition in an area of
the island, you can actually kind of infer like what
kind of agriculture were we doing? Were people eating a
lot of fish or were they eating a lot of
sort of you know, fruits and vegetables and stuff and so.
And the reason you would use rat bones not human
bones is just because of the abundance of rat bones.

(58:25):
Rats are super abundant and they can provide a huge
amount of archaeological samples over vast periods of time, so.

Speaker 2 (58:33):
Many bones, so many bones. We love a rat bone. Yeah,
and again like it's one of those things where we
came in here, and like, obviously there's a lot of
negativity about rats. I get it, Like I understand. I
don't feel comfortable when I see a rat. No, I
feel like if we're over someone like there are there
are also like and this is weird, not to be

(58:55):
not to insult any listeners, but like rat ownership is
like right on a par with snake ownership with me,
where like when I know somebody that has one of
those animals, I'm like, I don't think we need to
hang out, maybe a little judgmental.

Speaker 1 (59:09):
I like them. I don't have a rat or a snake,
but if someone owns a rat or a snake, I
want to pet the rat. Well, I don't want to
pet the snake. I want the snake to just I
want to chill with the snake because I don't think
the snake likes to be pet but I'm into it.
I don't. I don't like to me. The the problem
with owning a rat to me is I feel like

(59:29):
I would make an emotional connection to this rat. And
the rats live span is pretty short. It's like two
to four years, and that just feels because like apparently
rats get really like attached to you and like they
will snuggle up to you and come when you call
their name and stuff, and that's like like okay, So
essentially this is a small trash dog and so if

(59:50):
it's got such a short live span, I feel like
it would destroy me.

Speaker 2 (59:54):
Every two years, you'd have to make across to that
rainbow bridge.

Speaker 1 (59:58):
Yeah, yeah, no, it's that's too much. That's too much
for me. But look, I I I understand the appeal
of them as pets because they are I mean, you.

Speaker 2 (01:00:08):
Can tickle the guys.

Speaker 1 (01:00:10):
You can tickle, you can tickle them, and then they
I mean, we can't necessarily hear uh these squeaks because
they're so high pitched. But you can tickle them and
then they make really high pitched squeaks because they're essentially
giggling and that's adorable.

Speaker 2 (01:00:23):
Yeah, and then you know, they wipe out a massive population. Yeah.
Also and also like take little dumps by my laundry. Well,
and I don't like that. Well, I don't like that
I have to I have to. I had to take
a little dustbuster and suck up some turds that were
next to my.

Speaker 1 (01:00:42):
Uh who among us hasn't done taken a dump near
Jeff's laundry?

Speaker 2 (01:00:47):
Though, well it is fair. I do have a rotating
scenario where that does happen.

Speaker 1 (01:00:54):
Uh. Anyways, Jeff, before we go, we got to play
a little game called Guess Who's squaw and the Mystery
Animal Sound Game. Every week I select a sound for you,
and you the listener, and you the guests, try to
guess who is making this sound. It can be any
animal in the world. The hint for this one is
this is a very common sound, so the trick is

(01:01:17):
more about the timing. All right, you.

Speaker 2 (01:01:26):
Got any guesses, I'm gonna guess it's We used to
call them peepers, the little frogs, A little frog.

Speaker 1 (01:01:36):
That is a very good guess. This is actually a cricket,
but it has been slowed down significantly. So this is
the sound that a cricket chirp makes. And we're not
just slowing it down to trick you, although that's definitely
part of it, and I love tricking people. But part

(01:01:59):
of it is this concept that something like a cricket
may experience the world in a different way that we
do in terms of like the sort of the idea
is that there is a rate at which their brains
can process information that is a lot slower, and so

(01:02:20):
when they would experience the world things would actually kind
of be slowed down in a crickety way. It's hard
to know what it would be like to be a
cricket because they're just so incredibly different. It's not like
avataring a human consciousness inside a cricket body.

Speaker 2 (01:02:35):
No, you'd have to like rub your legs together.

Speaker 1 (01:02:37):
Yeah, well essentially, yes, So crickets use stridulation to produce
their chip chirping sound, which is rubbing these textured parts together,
like their legs, and male crickets chirp to attract females
as well as worn males away from their territory. Weirdly,
sometimes they also will chirp after mating as a way

(01:02:59):
to encourage the female to kind of like stick around
and lay our eggs rather than just go off and
mate with another male immediately. So very romantic.

Speaker 2 (01:03:11):
Yeah, I I always like, uh so not to make
this episode about things that have been in my house,
but like you know, whenever a cricket gets in the house.
Cricket gets in the house and it starts chirping, and
you're like, you're not gonna get laid in here, man, Yeah,
it's not gonna work. What are you doing. Let's get
out of here.

Speaker 1 (01:03:28):
This isn't This isn't speed dating for crickets. It's the
laundry room with a pile of rath turns in it.

Speaker 2 (01:03:34):
Yeah, it's just two humans in a rat. You're not
going to get anything out of this, right.

Speaker 1 (01:03:39):
That would be a great name for like a singles bar, though,
two humans in a rat, Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:03:44):
I mean that's that. Seems like every third person would
get side eyed pretty hard in there.

Speaker 1 (01:03:49):
Yeah. But you know, if we could have like a
ratituey for dating, right, like a Ratituey wingman, I guess
that was in the movie.

Speaker 2 (01:03:57):
That would make my life so much easier. Oh my god.
If I could have a ratitudey for dating, I think
I think a lot of men have tried that, and
those are called the rats are called pickup artists.

Speaker 1 (01:04:09):
Right exactly, We've already got I'm not going to.

Speaker 2 (01:04:11):
I'm not going to insult rats, no compe them to
mystery like but I think.

Speaker 1 (01:04:17):
If you put a rat on your head, just a
normal rat, not even a Pixar ratituy rat, just a
normal rat, you would still be more attractive to women
than if you listen to a pickup.

Speaker 2 (01:04:27):
Artist and that's your peacocking putting the rat on you,
I'll be like, what's that rat on.

Speaker 1 (01:04:32):
Your You will be I can guarantee you. I can
guarantee you this. You will be noticed if you put
a rat on your head. So here is another sound
for you to give. This is the hint for this
one is uh. It gets its name from the sound
it makes, not for sitting at the cool kids table

(01:04:53):
in high school? All right, Jeff, you got any guesses?

Speaker 2 (01:05:05):
Was the sound I was listening for that little like knocking?

Speaker 1 (01:05:07):
Yes?

Speaker 2 (01:05:09):
Oh cracle, yeah circle?

Speaker 1 (01:05:15):
You got it?

Speaker 2 (01:05:17):
Did I guess that? I mean? Now? That was that
that I couldn't even figure out, Like I was so
focused on the uh, the hint that I was like,
not from the cool kids table? Got nothing?

Speaker 1 (01:05:37):
All right? Is it c ercle or cucku Burrough? Well
we'll find out next time on Creature feature. Jeff, thank
you so much for joining Where can people find you?

Speaker 2 (01:05:47):
Thanks for having me? Well I am at hey there,
Jeff row h y t h e r e j
E f f r O on all social media, including
my YouTube. My YouTube. Every Wednesday I opened up packs
of trading cards on camera and Katie it is the most.

Speaker 1 (01:06:00):
Fun thing that it sounds very fun.

Speaker 2 (01:06:03):
It's so fun and people really like it, so I'm
gonna keep doing it. But you can check that out.
I do some would say too many podcasts, but not me.
I have shows like Jeff Has Cool Friends, which you
had mentioned earlier. I do a great show called Nerd
with Drey Alvarez and U Fine with Kim Crawl. Those
are all available at pictureon dot com slash Jeff may
for early access to on some episodes with bonus content,

(01:06:23):
or you can get them for free Otherwise. I do
Tom and Jeff watch Fatman with Tom Raeman of Gamefully Unemployed,
and I do a lot of shows with Adam Todd
Brown on that you don't even like podcast Networks, which
is you don't even like this show, you don't even
like sports, and you don't even like sports live every
Wednesday at four o'clock on his YouTube. I also do
a live stand up show called Mint on Card the

(01:06:45):
second Friday of every month at Blast from the Past
on Magnolia and Burbank, California. It is a comedy show
and a toy store for free. It's my favorite. I
have a lot of really fun things that I do,
and I love my little life that I get to do,
and I get to work with lovely people like Katie Golden,
brilliant and charming and making great, great shows. So I

(01:07:09):
love that I get to do that.

Speaker 1 (01:07:10):
Well, thank you for that. That's very kind. And yeah,
podcasts are kind of like rats, like once you've got one,
probably got a whole bunch of other ones too.

Speaker 2 (01:07:19):
I'm invested with podcasts.

Speaker 1 (01:07:22):
Well, thank you guys so much for listening. And if
you're enjoying the show and you leave a radio or review,
that's greatly appreciated. I read every single one of them.
And thanks to the Space Classics for their super awesome
song ex So Lumina. Creature features a production of iHeartRadio
for more podcasts like the one she us Hurd Is
it a hurryo app Apple podcast? Or Hi guess what
wherever you listening to your favorite shows. I'm not your

(01:07:43):
mom can't tell you what you do. You got to
live your own life, make your own decisions, your own mistakes.
Can't let a ratituy do everything for you. You know,
at a certain point you got to pick yourself up
by your own pants and make your own decisions.

Speaker 2 (01:07:58):
Learn, learn to cook those reviews. I this is actually
something that I will say, and this is something that
I think our mutual friend Logan Trent had started doing
when he'd got when he guests on podcasts. Folks, please
go rate and review this podcast, leave a comment. All
of those free things. These things are free for you
to do, to leave a review, to give a rate, comments,

(01:08:20):
to subscribe to notifications, bell thing the free stuck helps
get these people paid better.

Speaker 1 (01:08:28):
It puts food on my family and for my mini
rats that I your many rat like.

Speaker 2 (01:08:32):
It's such a free thing you could do, Like, just
do that.

Speaker 1 (01:08:35):
Yeah, I have hundreds, I have literally hundreds of mouths
to feed all the rats that I am.

Speaker 2 (01:08:40):
So many rats and horny crickets.

Speaker 1 (01:08:43):
Horny crickets rats. My apartment is so full of life
and fun and laughs, live, laugh, love, feed all the
rats in my apartments live, laugh, louse perfect. See you
next Wednesday.

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