Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Here is the thing about rats


The more I learn about rats, the more i want to like them. They are freaking BRILLIANT. Screw chimpanzees (monkey eating monsters that they are), forget about the gorillas (i dont mind gorillas per se, but lets face it. Intellectually, the gorilla is no rat). Its rats. According to those who know, pet rats are friendly, lovable, clean, smart and gentle. They are the ultimate pet. In some cultures rats are seen as sacred. They are thought to hold souls of those who've passed (I think). I embrace this rat reverence wholeheartedly. There is only one small problem.

RATS SCARE THE HELL OUT OF ME. I mean they HORRIFY me. And I am ashamed. Why must they be so appalling to me? Cognitively, I understand that rats did not cause the black plague. To be honest, I only have a vague idea of what the black plague is anyway. And Im not afraid of fleas. (I mean i dont want them or anything but they don't have what i like to call "the cootie effect" on me physiologically) So rats go through garbage looking for food. Dare I judge? I was actually physically inside a dumpster once many years ago pulling out discarded belongings left by a wealthy but frivolous woman. It was not my proudest moment but i still have a pair of sandals from that long ago foraging expedition.

I just stared at the screen debating whether I should share this next part but Ill tell you friends. This post is about healing. I need to be honest here. Because accepting that I have a problem is the first step to overcoming it right? You may find me repulsive after this. So be it. Go with God.

Sometimes? If I really dont want to eat something completely tasty but really bad for me, I spray it with windex after i put it in the trash. Because I am afraid I would be too tempted to pull it out and eat it. Who am I kidding sometimes? Ive been doing this my whole adult life. Ive been doing it so long that while I dont have any distinct memory of pulling food from the garbage, I obviously must have done or considered it at some point or there would be no need for windex. Dont judge me people. Im trying to build bridges here.

At this point in time, I cannot imagine getting past my revulsion. (And we ask ourselves, is it not a reflection of my own self-loathing? Perhaps....Perhaps) Thanks to everyone from the promoters of junk science to george orwell to the creepy acrobatic rat that appeared in the dumpster behind "the bar" many years ago (the same rat to whom I attribute the onset of my life defining existential crisis) I am scarred by the rat-hating culture that is the curse of my generation. I dont know if I can move past this. And I am ashamed.

Why do I tell you this friends? Because tonight friends? Tonight I took my boy to a movie and together we cried over the pain of a crazy little rat trying to make it in the big city. (ok I cried. He may have missed the deeper message of the film, but we were definitely together. Sharing popcorn.) My xenophobic speciesism needs to be crushed in the name of truth. I need to look deeply into my inner rat and learn to love and celebrate it.

Right now, it doesnt seem possible to move past this. But friends, last week I ate an onion**. A raw onion. And Im still here.

Yes, I ate a raw onion. And now I know that nothing is beyond my reach.

* I found the rat cartoon here. And I give my humble thanks.

** it has come to my attention that the phrase "ate a raw onion" implies that I ate a whole onion. In actuality I ate a small ring, a strand if you will. It was about the size of a nickel around. One Small Strand of Onion. One Giant Step for crse


The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'm just going to say "Wow" and leave it at that.

Factor 10 said...

Okay, but when they found the ratSSS in the kitchen? I screamed. They were cartoon rats, but it was too much.

Also not a fan of onions, but thank you for the clarification. I was picturing you eating one like an apple.

Jay said...

I've gone dumpster diving before too.

But, I've never sprayed food with Windex, but it might not be a bad idea.

gretty said...

I have an idea for rat therapy. We can start this friday.

Pippajo said...

Whoa, I know I'm a little late here (as usual) but I just wanted to chime in.

Rats don't scare me, per se, but if I saw one anywhere near my residence there would be no rest for anyone until it and its family were completely erradicated. This must be a rat-free zone.

As for the onion, I, too, pictured you biting into a nice, raw onion with the juices running down your chin and was suitably horrified. Thank you for the clarification. Though I'm still a little horrified. I can't think of ANY situation in which I would successfully be forced to eat any amount of raw onion. Ick.

I was, however, pressured into eating raw eel once. It was in sushi and I was 6 weeks pregnant and, somehow, I managed not to throw it up.

Don't worry about the Windex. i didn't think that was all that weird. You do what you gotta do, you know?

And, finally, dumpster diving. I cannot say I've ever actually been in a dumpster, but I do have many items in my house that I've retrieved from someone's trash pile.

Bunny said...

Okay, I thought you meant a whole freakin' onion. I love raw onions and have actually eaten one as one would an apple. Baby. ;)

Pet rats I'm okay with; running rampant behind my apartment bldg during the trash strike in Detroit circa 1991, not so much. And then there are the rat/squirrel hybrid thingies in Detroit - those things freak me completely out. They are just wrong.

Windex so you don't eat it out of the trash: not so weird. Contaminating food so you don't go back for it is actually recommended by some diet pushers.

Stinkbait Boucher said...

I'm not allowed to comment on certain rat-based films that may or may not be "current run" in North America so I thank you for not mentioning the title of the one that you suffered.

That said - rats give me the creeps. Cartoons that try to make them adorable or that offer rats any level of redemption or humanity are bullshit and, in the words of my poetically endowed daughter, "oogy."

Eating from the bin? Who hasn't done that?

Windex? Not good enough. A bit of fresh mint takes the edge off straightaway and might even be marketable on the suspect side of the Mason Dixon Line.

RockDog said...

I've got no funny rat comment other than they taste like chicken...not sure if that is funny or not. Still working on it... Probably not as tasty as a raw onion though.

Ash said...

My cat brought me a mole this morning. poor little mole. It was so ugly sitting on my door step.

crse said...

MOTD- yeah......
Jennfactor- I didnt scream but i was completely beyond willied out. And sister, you KNOW how i feel about onions.
Jay- That was very validating. Thank you.
Gret- Im not ready. And it all started with your pet rat from down town story anyway...
Pippa- Awww pippa you are never too late baby! Up until a week ago I never could imagine someone pressuring me to that degree either. You know im all about trash picking baby!
Bunny- I had to think of white fluffy clouds after the detroit images! I did not know that about diet pushers! Or maybe i did read it somewhere years ago and forgot...
Master Stinkbait- My initial reaction was indeed a feeling of "ooginess" when the previews came out. As you can see, I cannot shake the "oogy" feeling. In a sense, the movie was kind of a cartoon rat version of the movie "crash" which i have not seen but apparently challenges one's preconceived notions about one's own worldview. Sir, I cannot believe you would walk away from "the movie" without challenging your own rat belief system. On the other hand, I thank you for the phrase "the suspect side of the mason dixon line" as I plan on using it frequently as a dismissive slur! Kudos Sir!

crse said...

Rockdog- Youve tasted rat? Do they taste like chicken? Im not sure how I feel about this!
Ash- Aww she wanted to bring the baby a present!

Ash said...

But he brings things all the time, lizards without thier tails, mice and the occasional bird. I'm starting to feel sorry for the wild life around my home.

luckybuzz said...

Aw, sweetie. I constantly wish I could transform those damn acrobatic rats into something beautiful for you... :)