Written by Gail Farrelly
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Topics: Rats, Lassie, tickle

Monday, 16 July 2012

image for Rats Laugh If Tickled, But There's More to the Story
Settling in for his favorite sitcom.

Scientists were quite elated recently with their earthshaking discovery.

Spoof reporters, however, have gone behind the scenes to get all the details about the observed connection between tickling and rat laughter. Like the scientists, they used special equipment (essential, since the laughter of rats can't be heard by the human ear without mechanical help). They found that rats laugh, not only when they are tickled, but also when they watch their favorite DVDs (stuff like Mister Ed, The Mickey Mouse Club, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Disney cartoons, etc.) as well as Congressional Hearings on TV. The latter are especially entertaining, a rat who wishes to remain anonymous confided, "Because politicians make complete fools of themselves while preening before the cameras." The rat added, "Their performances are really hysterically funny."

But in-depth interviews with a few of the rats in the experiment make the tickling and laughter research results somewhat questionable. For example, one of the rats admitted, "Actually, tickling doesn't make me laugh at all. But I pretend it does, just to make the researchers happy. After all, those guys give us three square meals a day and provide a roof over our heads. The least we can do is give them a few chuckles in exchange to support their research hypothesis. Fair is fair."

Meanwhile one of the scientists involved in the original experiment admitted that she was delighted the basic project had been completed. She sighed as she commented to a reporter, "What's worse than having to make your living by tickling rats? It's not exactly a dream job."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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