How A Dead Rat Trapped Us!

February 3, 2021

After spending January trying to drum up subscriptions, I am turning my attention to actually writing something now. The prospects are certainly daunting.

Why? [and what does it have to do with a rat? Well, keep reading for that story]

Because I am drawing my subscribers from quite a varied domains of interest. The unifying theme is not a topic niche, but just my family or friends. I have tried to enlist support from most of the different groups I am part of.

I am a Toastmaster, interested in honing my communication and leadership skills. Some Toastmasters are here.

I have been a software engineer with analytical skills and a head for numbers. Naturally, I have a great interest in personal finance and financial topics in general. Some people interested in personal finance are here.

I hated history classes in school. But I find in my later years that that was just the fault of the curriculum. These days, history is alluring. In some sense, life is all about history, recent or of the distant past. Some who love history are here.

Interest in history naturally translates to an interest in travel. Only with travel and personal experiences of different cultures can you broaden the horizons and understand and appreciate humanity and, frankly, life. A good number of travel writers are here.

After my stint at software engineering, I turned my attention to copywriting, the art of persuasive writing. I have an appreciation and utmost respect for what it is: A truly potent and powerful weapon! Just like any weapon, it can be put to good use or a bad one. Most of my close circle of copywriter friends are here.

It is a good story how I got into copywriting; that’s for another day, however. Suffice it to say that it stemmed from my interest in writing. I have been interested in writing from my youth. Only now am I truly turning my attention to it. I have many writers in this group.

So the question arises, what can I write that will appeal to most if not all of the subscribers in the list?

My initial plan is to have two parallel tracks of writing.

One that covers personal finance, specifically: Swing Trading. Limited to explorations through paper trading for strategies that any individual investor can employ. This may not appeal to many.

The other that tackles topics of general interest, something so fundamental to humanity that it is likely to appeal to anyone. I am presenting one such article below.

Many of you may have already read this story before. Perhaps it is new to some. Writing it up was certainly therapeutic for me.

Hope this issue gives you an idea of what I am trying to do.

It will be immensely helpful to me if you let me know what you liked, what you see can be improved (also known as what you hated), and any new ideas to strengthen the overall experience.

Next week, I will share something in the Personal Finance topic.

Till then, Have a Great Week!

P. Venkat Raman


Feature Story

How a Dead Rat Trapped Us!

“I don’t have a coverall to go into the crawl space,” said the technician.

He said that with a straight face too. I was watching him closely.

You may not think much of it, except, he was the one the extermination company, let’s call X, sent to deal with precisely our situation. A stinky one at that.

I mean it literally. The stink in the air was unmistakable. However, it was building for a few days and it took my wife and me a couple of days to make sure it was reason enough to call X.

We put through the call on a Friday. Big mistake. Extermination needs are supposed to arise just on weekdays, during working hours. How dare we hope for prompt service when all the overworked technicians were more than ready to throw in the towel on the work week and were dreaming of a cold beer to ring in the weekend!

We got graciously pencilled in for a visit by the gentleman who stood in front of us. Not on the Friday when we called, but on Saturday, in the afternoon. In the meantime, the stink was getting meaner.

The Battle

At the point when the technician declared his inability to visit our crawl space, we got into a staring contest. He was hoping for a quick and easy resolution where we’d excuse him and he could go his merry way home. And we were incredulous at his preposterous declaration and were also waiting for a resolution that would make him relent.“I don’t have a coverall to go into the crawl space.”

The silence was deafening and seemed interminable.

We won that battle in the end (the war was another matter). He mumbled something to the effect that he’d try and find a dirty coverall from a previous job and go down to take a look. He vanished for a few minutes and returned, clad in a coverall. The garment didn’t look dirty!

We were relieved to have someone finally go into that crawl space and get rid of that pesky rodent that was stinking up the place. We were sure that our problems would be solved in a matter of a few minutes, once the technician went under there.

Little did we know.

Like it so far? You can read the full story here.