August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012

You Dirty Rat

Every time I find a new reality show on cable (Shipping Wars) or network TV (Time Machine Chefs), I’m certain that the genre has reached its limits. I mean, there can’t be any more concepts, professions, or hobbies yet unexplored, right?

Then, while watching an old episode of Spike’s Bar Rescue, I noticed Rat Bastards. Well, technically it might be Rat B*stards. Hard to tell. Anyway, it’s about three pairs of men in Louisiana who spend their days ridding various properties of swamp rats. Swamp rats are really some sort of vicious beaver originally imported from South America for their fur or something. Though the show provided a delightful animation of this story, the overt “LOOKIT THESE FOREIGNERS INVADING AND DESTROYING OUR LAND” vibe was distracting.

As someone who’s watched several episodes of Big Shrimpin’ and part of an American Hoggers, I expected the men of the bayou to be subtitled. Sadly, this was not the case. Between the gunfire, the giant bears, and the accents, I caught very little of what was being said. I think, though, that words are less important than actions on this show.

What it comes down to is red-blooded American man vs. reckless foreign beaver. And unlike the delightful lisping fellow who lives near Pooh Corner, these things are vicious. They eat the vegetation of the bayou, ruining the land, the water, and anything built thereon. Therefore they must be killed killt. Don’t mess with our country, foreigners, because we will git you! (It’s not subtext. This is the overriding sentiment of the show.)

Now, the six men of the show have various ways to get rid of the things. Shooting, mostly, but at various times and with various guns. Some use dogs. Some use GPS. They’re usually paid by the rat ($10-$20 seems to be the norm), but sometimes they get a lump sum to clear an entire property.

So, to sum it up: Imagine two large, bearded white guys in camo walking through a swamp, occasionally yelling unintelligibly and shooting at the ground in front of them. That’s the show.

It’s definitely no Prime Minister’s Question Time, I’ll tell you that.

1 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

If you're. King to incorporate a star into the word bastards, clearly the solution would be "Ba*ds".


Also swamp rats are referred to as "Nutria" in an ill-fated attempt to get people to eat them. True story.