Judge John Hodgman on Bringing Home the Rat Juice

Jeff writes: My wife has a fear of rats that’s getting worse. She now insists that I remove my shoes as soon as I enter our apartment because she believes that anyone who walks in Manhattan gets “rat juice” on their footwear. Please order that there is no such thing and that a vigorous workout on the welcome mat is reasonable.

I once had a small acting job that required me to walk barefoot through Times Square. It was thrilling and transgressive because, let me tell you: These streets are full of rat juice! Literally? I can’t say. But there are a lot of rats in N.Y.C., and a lot of other gross fauna (humans included) wetting the pavement with their spills and droppings. So after I disinfected my post-42nd-Street feet, I switched to taking my shoes off at home, and you should too. Per my “soft clothes” dictum last week, go get some house shoes and leave the rat juice at the door.

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