So there you were with a harmless name like Mick or Tom or Joe or Mary or Noreen, minding your own business.
All of a sudden you're a storm that blows away half the country and floods the other half.
Your mam and dad could have called you Maolsheachlann or after some obscure saint from Padua who was the go-to girl for a cure for warts. They didn't want you to be different.
The rat snuck in from the sewer and was inside the walls of a loved one's house in Dublin. There he was having great old fun. Rats can go flatpack. They can squeeze into tight spaces, like a man with a wide waist in narrow pants.
The loved one and her husband called the rat Covid. The exterminator was kind. These men and women are some of the thousands who should be honoured for doing their jobs in trying times.
He told the loved ones Covid was a sewer rat who was usually full by the time he climbed into the wall. There was no danger of him eating their dinner. He was only having a bit of fun.
The flatpack rat paid dearly. There was a loud snap in the middle of the night. Covid is no longer with us.
The name Covid is hateful and horrible. It's a good name to call a rat but the quare hawks are loving every minute of the plague.
The hawk is a noble bird, a hunter and a joy to fly. But this is the time of the quare hawk. Up to this the only time you'd ever see them out and about is on the Monday after the Listowel races. There they'd be, the quare hawks, loving every minute of our misery.
The races usually finish up near the end of September and the weather can take a turn for the worse. So there I'd be after having the time of my life and bang, winter comes in early.
I met one of the neighbours on his way to work on the Monday after the races. Did I tell you this before?
Well, the TV is all repeats and my usual sources for stories are all in lockdown, now that our pub is dark.
The man was dying from the races drink. The same man was in his seventies but he partied like a twentysomething.
"Well, how're you feeling?" I ask.
"Ah Billy," he said, "to tell you the truth I'm not the best. Either a good ride or bad dinner would finish me off."
And then he'd go into social exclusion until about Wednesday. He's back indoors now.
"The lock-up is no worse than three Lents in a row," he says.
The quare hawks are very cheerful on the Monday after the races and right now, mainly because everyone else is sad.
I saw one of them bounding up William Street. The joy of him. In the normal course of events, the head would be down by him.
"How's trade?" he asked, and my pub closed up for the last few weeks.
I was going to kill him on the spot. There is no doubt but that the judge would tell me to put a tenner in the poor box and I would leave the court without any stain on my good name.
Another quare hawk comes closer than the two metres and says, "wasn't it a pity the Covid-19 didn't come last year and them oul Dubs wouldn't have won the five-in-a-row?"
I saw a man I thought was dead. Howard Hughes spent more time in public.
"I'm window shopping," said Lazarus. "But they have now windows in the shop windows." Ha ha ha he goes and he laughing as loud as canned laughter in a sitcom. Don't worry. It took me a while to get it as well.
I suppose the poor quare hawks have been in lockdown all the time and now they want to see how the rest of us are coping with what they had to deal with for years.
I was having a bad day as it was. The pub is closed up. Writers' Week is cancelled until next year. A massive blow in this, its 50th anniversary.
The bus tours to John B's are cancelled up until the end of May, at least. It wasn't just the money. I will miss the optimism of the Americans.
They are older and the joy they get from finally visiting the land of their forefathers is truly beautiful to behold.
The sports column I've being writing here for the last 19 years, since the foot and mouth crisis, is gone for now. Hopefully we will be back when the sport returns.
But if I don't make it, thanks for all the memories and thanks to the brainy people I worked with in sports over the years who kept me out of trouble.
All this and on the same day.
I know there are many of you who are worse off, but it took a while to get perspective. I had a good old cry in the empty bar.
I met a man that day I hadn't met for ages and ages. That man was me. I'm beginning to think I should spend more time with him.
Eamon Dunphy said George Best was "constantly in search of the buzz". That's me. The withdrawal is tough.
Friends and family are too good to me. They will never call a virus or a rat after our Hugo.
I'm lucky enough to be a younger grandad and so I get to spend time with Hugo.
In the long ago, one of the neighbours who was an older dad doted on his new baby. He was telling the lads in the pub the child could nearly talk. "Goo goo ga ga" was "I love you, daddy".
I often think the reason some men spend so long in the pub is that they are afraid to leave in case the drinkers start talking about them.
When the doting dad left the pub one of the lads up at the counter said to my mam, "did you hear about your man's new baby?"
"Go on," says Mam.
"He was lying in the cot reading the Irish Independent upside down in Irish for his mother."
Hugo was a year old last week and he's not quite at that level yet, but the small fella gets a fit of laughing every time he sees me.