Once upon a time there were some Rats. Not you common or garden variety but the PanDimensional & TranSubstantial kind. Ultra Rats, you could say. One day I might tell you the whole story. One of these Rats, Calpurnia of The Romans by name, has been expecting her first batch of babies for sometime now. Ages, in fact. In the meantime she’s been driving us all ’round the twist with her gravid vagaries -her prerogative and privilege, no question, but a bloody drag all the same. Particularly trying for to her mate, Aziz of The Egyptians, a life-long supporter of Manchester United, has been her frequent and casual transfer of team loyalties. A devout Man U fan since infancy, she dawned one fine day and decided to go over to Liverpool on no more solid grounds that she liked the colours better. Oh, the drama and the upheaval! Aziz was gutted. Gamal, Aziz’s half-brother on their mother’s side, was shocked. We were all deeply distressed. Things got worse… But all things, good or bad, come to an end. Two days ago, Aziz and I tricked her into delivering the babies at last, in the hope that motherhood may stabilize her, and so she may come back to the true faith. I’m not sure that our little cunning plan has worked, but the babies are bliss. Now, the best we can hope for is that they won’t get into too much trouble before they reach the age of self-determination, in a few weeks time. Hope springs eternal… Update 17/12/09  Cards, cards and more damned cards!