Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Ratting People Out

The other day I was happily typing away and the radio was on as background noise, but I was barely listening. Then I heard a public service announcement that got my attention because its cheerful tone belied the distasteful subject matter.

It made me think about when I was studying abroad in Costa Rica, where there seemed to be a lot more PSAs. They were all so earnest. I remember one that aired frequently: a teenager comes to his dad to discuss a "friend's" problem and the father launches into a brief but serious lecture on the topic, and you can tell Pops is feeling all "Father Knows Best." At the end the teenager tells his dad that he is the friend in question. I'd walk around with his words echoing in my head (Papi, este amigo...soy yo.)

So I was jarred to hear a man telling me how we all need to work towards a rat-free DC as if he were recommending a movie I should watch. Speaking of which...I now see that I share my father's aversion to rats in pop culture. When he discovered that I had discovered the song Ben from the movie of the same name, my father said, disgusted, "He's singing...about a rat." I felt the same about that movie Ratatouille. Rats cooking in the kitchen? Ugh, no thanks.

And because I am nothing if not logical--I don't like real mice, but have no problem with their onscreen counterparts. Onscreen mice--cool; onscreen rats--no.

But back to the lecture at hand: yeah people, let's work on that whole rat-free DC thing.

2 comments:

Lilly's Life said...

Ben was the first piece of music I ever bought and I would not belive my sister when she told me that it was about a rat. A rat free DC - the two legged or four legged ones?

JB said...

Funny! We need to get rid of both kinds.