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Due To Budget Cuts, Times Square Ball Drop Replaced With Rat On String

On New Year’s Eve, the Times Square Ball Drop tradition underwent a singular change. However, it was significant enough to wake up millions of half-asleep Americans on their Lazy Boys, even for just a couple of minutes.
Due+To+Budget+Cuts%2C+Times+Square+Ball+Drop+Replaced+With+Rat+On+String
Brett Jordan

On New Year’s Eve, the Times Square Ball Drop tradition underwent a singular change. However, it was significant enough to wake up millions of half-asleep Americans on their Lazy Boys, even for just a couple of minutes. As part of the series of spending cuts and budget redistribution initiated by Mayor Adams, the ball drop was replaced with a lone rat on a string. Instead of a dazzling display to commemorate the zero hour, the selected rat bit through the string when it sensed the new year approaching—albeit a couple of minutes late—and crashed to the ground unscathed, as we saw on Sunday. Funds from the ball drop have been diverted to a new fleet of armored SUVs with automated, facial recognition machine guns. The mayor stressed the importance of the upgrade in an interview late last Tuesday, claiming the fleet will be deployed, “when those protesters get a little frisky.”

Not just any rat was right for the job. The New York City Ball Drop Commission selected Lozza Mozza, a Columbia University graduate with a degree in Assorted Dairy Products and a minor in Gnawing, to bid farewell to 2023. Mozza rose to fame when he gained the ability to speak English (with a Staten Island accent) after taking a sip from the local tap water. Because of corrosive levels of microplastics and backwash, genetic mutations took place altering his vocal cords and frontal lobe. As the winner of the National Filth Scholarship, Lozza was already a likely hire. Other candidates, like Stuart Little, that one rat from Flushed Away, and Pete Davidson, did not make the cut. Everything did not come easy to Lozza. Mayor Adams appointed Kathleen Corrardi last April to handle rodent mitigation in the city, dubbed the “rat czar”, and has declared a “war on rats”. Lozza had to flee constant persecution and avoid countless strategically placed black boxes that smelled too good to be true. Thankfully, Mozza succeeded and lived to be hung from a little rope and entertain our morbid curiosity on New Year’s Eve.

To learn more about the ball drop and the hoops he had to wiggle his filthy little body through to get where he is now, we sent our very own Snitch rat correspondent, Big Chedda, to interview Mozza.

CHEDDA: Hey, Lozza. How did you feel about your new post as the ball drop replacement? Were you excited?

MOZZA: Well, Big, this was just an ordinary Tuesday for me. If I’m not scaling the Himalayas with Tom Cruise*, then I’m on a moon tour with Elon*, or being the most memorable rat out there*. Sure, I’m excited but I wasn’t surprised I can tell you that much.

*These claims remain unsubstantiated as of January 2024 per the Snitch fact-checking team

CHEDDA: What do you say to the accusations that being a nepo-baby got you the job considering your grandfather was a fellow Columbia Graduate, and 2010s viral sensation Pizza Rat?

MOZZA: Sure, my great-gramps’ was a big shot. So what? They’re just haters who haven’t seen the blood, sweat, and stink I put into being the most repulsive little guy I could be to win the scholarship. Even the mayor don’t like me and that’s sayin’ something. He’s a vegan, so something’s for sure not right upstairs, ya’ know what I mean?

CHEDDA: …Sure. Moving on, why do you think the commission chose you over the other candidates?

MOZZA: First of all, Stuart Little, old news, okay? No one past the age of five is watching your movies. And that one guy from Flushed Away? Should’ve stayed in the sewers. Just some Ratatouille rip-off if you ask me. Stack your own bread. Oh, and, don’t get me started with Pete. He was a rat who drank Staten Island tap water just like me, but he grew up and turned out looking like a disfigured rat-human hybrid on Adderall. But me? I’m Lozza Mozza, baby, ain’t nobody topping me, okay?

CHEDDA: Fortunately, that’s all the time we have for today. I wish you anything but whatever this is in the new year.

Though Mozza’s qualifications were dubious at best, the event was just about as mediocre as any other year. If anything, the Times Square rat drop was more amusing than the usual celebration. The little guy woke up from his nap, remembered what day it was, bit through the rope for a solid minute, plopped to the ground, and carried on with his life.

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