Rat Buster

Teenager Christian Alf was just trying to help the elderly. The Pest Control Commision wanted him grounded.

NT: But this doesn't strike me as a civil rights case.

Alf: It's your right to earn an honest living without government control. The Institute for Justice looks for cases about property rights, freedom of choice, and freedom of speech. They contacted me stating they wanted to fight for me.

NT: How has this whole mess changed your view of government?

You dirty rat: Christian Alf is making Tempe safe from pesky rodents -- and no lawmaker can stop him.
Emily Piraino
You dirty rat: Christian Alf is making Tempe safe from pesky rodents -- and no lawmaker can stop him.

Alf: It really hasn't, but it has opened my eyes to how the government works.

NT: Or doesn't work.

Alf: Right. But I'm not bitter. Everything fell back together, and everything worked out fine for me in the end.

NT: I'll say. Your case drew a lot of attention to your business, and you got a lot of new clients. How do we know your run-in with the law wasn't just a publicity ploy?

Alf: No one has accused me of that. I wouldn't have gone through all this. It would have been easier to just take out an ad or something. Most people were rooting for me, and they were glad I was going to fight for my rights.

NT: Do the other kids call you Rat Boy?

Alf: My close friends do, but I think they're just teasing. Everyone else is pretty nice. They say they saw me on TV, or that they've read an article about me. A few of them have asked me for my autograph, which is fun.

NT: It's sort of nice to see someone trying to exterminate pesky rodents, rather than, say, elect them to public office. What are you going to do with all this money?

Alf: I'm saving it for college. I want to go to a large engineering college. I plan to go into aerospace engineering.

NT: That seems like a natural progression.

Alf: Do you think so? I don't see how. But I hope you're right.

E-mail robrt.pela@newtimes.com

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