2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Graphic by Julieanne Acosta

Rats attempt to take over Alberta

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, December 4 2023—

Announced in the last week of October, the Government of Alberta declared a state of emergency as it is facing one of the biggest threats yet — rats. For decades, Alberta held the moniker of being “rat-free” with one of the strictest pest control programs that has New Yorkers green with envy. Despite the strict regulations, there have been sightings of rats nesting near Calgary at recycling centres. While the recycling centres assure the public that the situation is under control according to Alberta’s pest control standards, there are concerns of rats infiltrating the urban areas of Calgary and even community members working with the rats.

While popular animated films featuring rats breaking the cuisine world’s barriers might act as an inspiration to some, it has brought the possibility of rat-induced behaviours (RIBs) to light. As winter approaches and the reports have been coming in, the danger of RIBs is a threat that cannot be ignored and the Government of Alberta has released a handy guide to identify someone with RIBs. 

Trash taste

Humans have a developed sense of taste and smell that has led to different types of cuisines around the world that are not only delicious but also edible. While some rats may appreciate a decent meal, they are not as picky as humans. So if you see someone who will eat anything (i.e., ketchup on pizza, a shrivelled apple, a can of tuna with the can), this may be a sign of RIBs. This also applies to the surroundings you might find a person in. If your friend keeps going back to that guy who lives in what would be considered a dumpster, she might not be in control of herself as RIBs cause her to see that environment as familiar.


This one is trickier to identify. The act of scurrying could have many actions fall under the category, but there is a sense of urgency in it that could give it away. This could be seen in someone running from thing to thing aimlessly bumping into others, a person speeding and weaving in traffic recklessly or even sending 50+ memes on Instagram before you even respond to the previous batch. 

Working with the Rat King

The Rat King works with secrets so beware of airing your dirty laundry — figuratively and literally. If you find someone playing devil’s advocate or trying to see both sides, they might want to get you to reveal a secret or two for the Rat King to use against you. While seemingly harmless, secrets have a way of getting back to you.

If you encounter anyone displaying these behaviours, contact your local pest control and alert them of a person suffering from RIBs. Keep Alberta rat-free and keep your streets and rooms clean.

This article is part of our humour section.

Tagged: , , ,

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet