Eating Rats In An Urban Jungle

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Wednesday, June 21, 2000

from the taking-the-wrong-interstate-exit dept.

EAST ST. LOUIS -- Soon after "Who Wants To Be Embarrased On National TV By Regis Philbin?" became popular, all the other networks scrambled to produce clone quiz shows. Now that "Survivor" is the hot show, all the other networks are scrambling to produce clone survival shows. FOX has already announced plans to send contestants to the urban wasteland of East St. Louis in which they will try to survive for two weeks.

"Who needs to send idio... er, contestants to some remote Pacific island when we can just drop them off in Metro East St. Louis? It should be a much greater challenge to survive the mean streets of Sauget or Collinsville than an unspoiled tropical paradise," explained a PR flak for the FOX Network. "We're gonna flatten the SeeBS Network with this one..."

Production on "When Greenhorn Surbanites Enter The Slums" should begin this fall. The sixteen selected contestants will all be dropped in a random part of the East St. Louis area with no maps, no weapons, and only very little food. They'll have to survive for two weeks in order to win. "We haven't yet decided on the rules," the PR flak admitted, "Certainly if someone gets killed in a drive-by shooting then they won't win the million bucks. That shouldn't happen. More likely someone will try to hitch a ride on I-55 and escape into the comfort of St. Louis, but of course they'll lose."

Observers are mixed on just how challenging this game show will actually be. Said one TV critic, "What's to stop these people from just eating at a Burglar King restaurant the whole time? I know the restaurants in East St. Louis all have barbed wire around the perimeter, they require strip-searches of all patrons for drugs and weapons, they only allow people to linger in the lobby for 25 minutes, and the acne-laden teen workers all wear bullet-proof vests... but none of that should be a concern."

Somebody else rebutted, "Those restaurants probably all put rat hairs in their food anyways. You might as well just eat real rats found behind tenements. At least you know what you're getting. No, this show promises to present quite a challenge to the moro... er, participants."

The possibility that the East St. Louis survivors might eat stray rats or other handy vermin has various animal-rights groups up in arms. Said one spokesperson for PETA (People Embracing Television Attention) during a press conference, "This is an outrage! I'd rather go hungry than eat an animal!" The leader of the opposition MEAT (Men Enjoying Animal Tastes) organization, who happened to be at the press conference, yelled, "I wish you would go hungry!"

For more information on the game show, including the chance to win tickets to watch the action from behind bullet-proof glass, you can visit the FOX website at