Chester had to simmer. He could feel irrational heat on his head, boiling from within, just atop his brain. It was either pure anger or his rat sense was tingling in overdrive from the presence of nearby humans. FACT CHECK: Like the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, rats have a spider sense called rat sense.
It was anger, and like any reasonable brown rat, he suppressed it. He balled it all up, swallowed hard and let it sit in his stomach like an ulcer. Let it be known, Chester was the epitome of ordinary. If anger made him extraordinary, he shunned it. No way, never. In rat culture, thinking outside the box only leads to an early grave. Look at Robert F. Kennedy. FACT CHECK: Just because this a rat society doesn’t mean they didn’t have a R.F.K. This is how racism begins. All rats are not rubes, and some of them, just a few of them, actually have dignity.
Chester had another hot flash, and wondered if it was menopause. He straightened his tail out and lowered his body temperature. For the first time, he was comfortable. FACT CHECK: Rats’ tails help them to balance, communicate and regulate their body temperature.
The point remained, Chester was not going to eat shit again, figuratively. He hated eating shit. But these gray rats, they have no taste at all. Their tongues are so ignorant. Their taste buds ride the short bus. Somehow, someway, he was going to convince them that banana peels taste so much better than manure.
FACT CHECK: Rats succumb to peer-pressure, just like humans. Brown rats are prone to disregard personal experiences in order to copy the behavior of their peers. The urge to conform is so strong that they will even choose to eat unpalatable food if they are in the company of other rats who are eating it.
FACT CHECK: If a rat can consider some food unpalatable, they must have a sense of will to recognize good from bad. The more I think about it, the more frightened I get. Planet Of The Apes, anyone?
FACT CHECK: I find solace in: “Although very curious animals, rats are also shy, and prefer to run away than confront a potential threat.” So humans have that going for them, for now.
Of course, he could just eat alone. But he’s been down that road before, and it was not a pretty spiral. Chester redefined suicidal funk by wearing a noose around his neck while searching for carbon monoxide. After months of therapy, Chester returned to the folds of the rat race. FACT CHECK: Without companionship rats tend to become lonely and depressed.
While the rats finished up dinner, they burped, laughed and felt very cosmopolitan. The younger ones chased each other through the alley, lined with dumpsters. You could hear their glee from blocks away. FACT CHECK: Rats make happy “laughter” sounds when they play.
In fact, that’s where Chester could hear the after feast jubilation. He was slinking away, spitting out the foul taste of dung from his mouth. Other than that, his motionless teeth were profoundly silent, and his eyes were statues. FACT CHECK: When happy, rats have been observed to chatter or grind their teeth. This is often accompanied by vibrating eyes.