I spent most of this show alternately lifting my feet up off the floor and itching. The former was because the sight of rats scurrying around on the TV made me instinctively feel like they were running round me, and the latter because we were treated to a scene where big fat bed bugs were rampantly taking over a teenaged boy’s bedroom.
Welcome to the workaday lives of Ricky and Jimmy Clark, Pest Controllers. Their third team mate is terrier Charlie who loves nothing more than hunting out rats. According to Ricky, London’s rat population is booming with an increase of around 400% this year. That’s scary, and yet again, I’m patting myself on the back because I live up North where there are – I’m sure – rats, but I don’t think they out number people. I hope.
So this show took us into the heart of the action with Ricky, Jimmy and Charlie who dealt with not only rats last night but a rotting dead cat, a frenzied trapped pigeon and the aforementioned bed bugs…
They’re a cheerful team who aren’t fazed by much but one of them farts a lot when he’s excited, which causes something of an unpleasant odour in their van. I’ll let you guess which one is the culprit.
However, flatulence aside, these guys make a pretty crack team really; the humans drag out furniture and empty out suspect sheds, thereby giving Charlie the space he needs to do his bit, which involves massive amounts of sniffing, excited whining and positively manic chasing before the inevitable kill.
We saw Charlie performing at his rat assassin best when a rat jumped clean out of a bucket then shot up a drain pipe. See, I’d always just thought that “like a rat up a drain pipe” thing was just a saying, but apparently not. So that makes me think that the horror stories one hears of rats popping up in the loo while you’re on it may also be true… my blasé approach to sitting on the white porcelain throne may not be so blasé in future.
Anyway, Charlie got his man, or rat, when it finally came out of the drainpipe. The happy terrier shook it to death then wanted to play with it for a bit. But there are hazards for Charlie; he might get bitten and he might get worms or fleas, so regular trips to the vet are in order. The one we saw last night involved Charlie getting an injection, and he wasn’t a happy hombre about that at all. Quaking like a little puppy, he endured the jab and the undignified muzzle with a sort of accepting but begrudging good grace, but it was easy to see he’d rather face big rat’s teeth than a vet any day.
Ricky and Jimmy were full of tales of past conquests, bug and rodent wise, and they waxed lyrical on the relative merits of chocolate, peanut butter or – Jimmy’s personal weapon of choice – Nutella as bait for traps. Rats, it seems, have a sweet tooth, so traps baited with sugary treats are most likely to yield a corpse for the lads. Result.
Next week, we’re to see Jimmy almost crashing the car he’s learning to drive in as well as how some fearsome looking traps are to be the curtain call for some pesky squirrels. But it’s all in a day’s work for The Rat Pack.
This was a really good fun watch, albeit a rather gross one, but the nice thing about this rat pack is that – like their namesakes – they’re charming, handsome and have an easy wit. And, they don’t take themselves too seriously. If you missed the show, you can catch it on BBC iPlayer here.