As the saying goes, you can’t keep a good man down. Or, in this case, a good rat! Despite pesticides, traps, flooding, a constant lack of food and the universal hatred of almost all other life forms, Tootho the Rat just refuses to die! Will this toothsome rodent eat and do absolutely anything to survive? You bet he will!

Tootho, a wild, disease-ridden 2-year-old rat from the urban hellhole known as subterranean Manhattan, has been impressing everyone from subway patrons to municipal sewage workers with his unflappable determination. Tootho may be a flea-covered vermin with a 30-foot tapeworm in his lower digestive tract, but when it comes to making it through one more day in the city he loves, he has a look in his eyes that seems to say, “I demand more food sources.”

“We’ve seen him do just about everything: eat garbage, swim through raw human fecal matter, eat other rats,” says Jake Dones, a trash disposal worker. “I once even saw him eat the eyes out of a dead wino.”

Fellow city employee Karl Pzcyszny was equally impressed with the loathsome rodent’s tremendous will to live.

“We’ve thrown everything we’ve got against him—poison gas bombs, death powder capsules, hidden steel traps, trained attack terriers—but he still shows up every day, ready to eat,” Pzcyszny says.

Ellen Burgess, a single mother and head of a homeless family of four, adds: “You know what we saw Tootho eat the other day? You’re not going to believe it, but he ate a shoe!”

But what exactly is it that drives Tootho the Rat, giving him the stamina and tenacity to keep on keepin’ on day in and day out, never ceasing in his quest for survival? According to Clark Newman, head of New York’s De-partment of Sanitation, the answer may be simpler than it seems.

“The way we see it, Tootho is motivated largely by an instinctive urge to seek out a food supply, produce offspring, and succeed in the process we know as natural selection,” he says. “To the best of my knowledge, humans are motivated exactly the same way.”

But how long can he keep it up? He might end up chewing rubber matting, building nests out of medical waste, and impregnating female rats at an explosive rate well into the 21st century! He’s that determined.

“These vagabond shoes are leaving today! I’ll make a brand new start of it in ol’ New York!” Tootho said at a press conference. “The Big Apple! The Great White Way! I can see those neon lights on Broadway, baby! It’s NYC for me, sweetheart! There ain’t no city like New York City! Kiss me! Kiss me! If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere! I’m headin’ straight to the top, mama! Straight to the top! Watch me hitch my wagon to a star!”

After bowing repeatedly and blowing kisses to the assembled press, Tootho then scurried into a sewer pipe, where he proceeded to tear the rubber sealant off a septic tank run-off valve, gnawing vigorously at its coarse black surface while being drenched in sickening, poisonous effluvient.