Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rat + Patootie = Ew!


It is just me, or are rats gross?

Now before I go any further I have to say that I am an avid Pixar fan. Monsters, Inc. is one of my all-time favorite movies. I mean, really, a closet as a monster portal into the human dimension? Clever, right? And the whole Toy Story series with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody and Buzz? Brilliant! Even the one about the ant colony trying to outwit the grasshopper mafia is fun. But a rat cooking in a famous restaurant? Ew.

A little backstory might be necessary. Our first home was a small Victorian over 100 years old. Kaleb was nearly two and Leah about six months old when we realized that the previous occupants of our home had never moved out. We were cohabitating with a large family of mice. They were everywhere, as were their little mousey droppings and their little mousey germs. I was grossed out. I had two babies in my home and a host of vermin threatening our health and livelihood (no, I am not overreacting…okay, maybe I am just a little...).

Thus began Operation Extermination. We tried everything. Mousetraps. steel wool in potential entry-ways, peppermint-soaked cotton balls (the things you do when you Google), rat posion. There was even a basement incident involving myself, an infant mouse and a yellow, 72-inch aluminum box beam level. The mouse won. And the level broke.

Finally we got a cat and the mouse problem vanished. End of that mouse story. But onto another. Ratatouille.

Now my aversion to animated rodents isn’t limited to the newest Pixar movie. I’ve never liked Tom and Jerry (well, just Jerry), Stuart Little, Fievel, Speedy Gonzales, Mickey Mouse (okay, so I liked Mickey a little), and any of those Night before Christmas cartoons. I’m a cold-hearted mouse hater.

So when I took my kids to see Ratatouille yesterday at the dollar theater I did think, “Wow, how clever.” But then I thought, “Ew.” And that scene, with the rat colony acting as an especially squirmy bunch of line chefs was just a titch disconcerting to me (But Shauna, you say, they were run through an industrial-strength dishwashwer. Still. Ew.).

Now I’m not going to try and pass this off as a high-brow (or even low-brow) movie review. I have nothing more to say but, “Ew.” Okay and this: my humble opinion is that no matter how much you animate a rat or have him follow his little chefy dreams, he’ll still a disease-ridden rodent in my book. That and, ew...

18 comments:

Rachel said...

I personally didn't like the movie for the movie's sake. I found it overlong and pointless. I am not even going to admit to you that I like rats.

Mrs. Smith said...

Amen! Living in an old house in the middle of a farming comunity for a year and a half killed any "cutsie" feelings I might have had towards mice. Four months after moving back to the city I was driving down the street when a mouse ran out of an orange grove and into the street. Without even thinking I swerved my car to make sure I killed the mouse! Now, unfortunately, I live in India where people don't even react when they see a rat the size of a small cat. As you can imagine I have not seen, nor do I plan to see Ratatooie.

suburbancorrespondent said...

2 words, folks, just 2 words: bubonic plague. Definitely ew.

Mama Zen said...

Absolutely ewwww!

shawn said...

Mice I can't tolerate ... but rats ... well, rats are a different matter ...

Coco and Olivia, who have been in residence with us for going on three years have proven to be charming, intelligent, and lively additions to our menagerie ... being blonde coloured helped temper the revulsion instinct !!

I love the post - BUT:

Rat get a bad rap ... they HONESTLY make an amazing pet ... not that I'd recommend it for the faint of heart ... but in our house they are beloved critters alongside the cats, dogs and guinea pig.

Rats are people too !!! ;)

shauna said...

Shawn, No offense to your pet rats. I've had a few friends who have had rats for pets and they've have loved them. Rats in cages don't bother me so much. Rats in kitchens...ew...

And I was thinking after I posted this late, late last night (really, too late to be thinking much about anything, let alone rats) I realized that I love Flushed Away. So think my aversion has to do with the combination of character and setting. Rats in the sewer, not so gross. Rats in a kitchen. Ew...

LikeAstaR said...

Not even An American Tail? You ARE cold hearted!! LOL! THanks for the reivew. I was planning to wait for video on that one.

Anonymous said...

:-) Haven't seen that movie yet. I guess I shouldn't tell you that Jordan and Sydney had pet rats that they would carry around on their shoulders and feed by holding crackers in their lips and letting the rat take the cracker. :-) However, the wild rats I do not like. Nor the mice. They are evil and should all die if they come in my house. I am so sick of cleaning up mouse mess in my laundry room I have put the cat on 24 hour duty in there.

Hope all is well! We miss you!

Mary

shauna said...

Mary, Actually you're the one I was thinking about when I told Shawn I knew people (that I love) who have rats as pets. And the more I think about it the more I've realized it's not the rats I have a problem with as much as their prime location throughout the movie--a restaurant's kitchen (Oh, and the fact that they're wild--a domesticated rodent is a different animal than a wild one). I know--it's silly the things I think (and write) about when I should be sleeping...

Karen said...

Yes, rats in my attic are gross. I found the movie, however, to be one of the only original, ambitious and artful animated movies of the last decade. Goes to show: one man's (or woman's) rodent is another's Rodin.

JaniceNW said...

I am so not a rat person. Beady little eyes, long gross tails. Bleh. Rats also carry hantavirus in the SW. (Fleas carry bubonic plague, they just travel by rat transit)Can ya'll tell I've taken microbiology?

Erin said...

We haven't seen the movie--but we also haven't lived with any rodents, either.

Eileen said...

I hate rats so much. When I was a teen, and we moved to Tennessee, the house we were moving into wasn't ready. So, we had to stay in a trailor for 3 months. It was in the middle of a country field. One day I opened the cabinet in the kitchen and a huge rat was staring at me. For years I could not open a cabinet without banging on it first. To make matters worse, we called an exterminator, who failed to tell us, that the poison would make the rats just drop dead any where. So a few days later, I was sweeping out from under my bed, and you guessed it, out came this HUGE dead rat. I will never forget the size of the tail. I wanted to move back to my nice, suburban home in New York so bad. That was one of the worse times of my life, I hated that trailor and it rodents. It was so gross and I never felt safe in there. Luckily, our new house was ready to move into a month earlier, and all was well. However, I will never, ever forget that, and I will forever hate anything to do with rats. Even at night, I would hear them chewing, and our plastic aprin bottles would be demolished. Makes me sick just remembering, I will probably have bad dreams tonight.

Oh, I left you something at my blog.
Hugs!

shauna said...

Oh, Eileen, what a horrible memory. And I really hope that drudging up that memory with this post doesn't give you bad dreams. Sleep tight!

And thanks so much for the great reflections awards! It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

Candygirlflies said...

Ew, ew, ew... NOTHING WITH LONG SKINNY TAILS for me, thank you very much... Be it a mouse (ew!), rat (ew, EW!) or a 'possum (ew, Ew, EWWWW!!! And SCREEEAAAMMM!! too, while I'm at it...)

We had rats in our dorm when I was in university... I "tolerated" it by taping up all my air vents with duct tape, and "checking the lines" of traps that I set all over the place, on a regular basis. When I found evidence that they had been IN. MY. BED... Crawing around IN MY BED... I went berzerk. I marched down to the Dean Of Women and told her that if she didn't do something about the infestation, I would call my parents. And then the health department. And then the newspapers. And then the TV stations. Journalists just LOVE blowing stuff like that out of proportion, don't you know... especially at really, really BIG universities...

The administration moved pretty damn fast after that.

And I moved OUT.

And as for rats in movies?? Or the pet store?? I "avert mine eyes", as they say in the Monty Python film...

Ew.

xo CGF

pinks & blues girls said...

Ew, indeed! I am no fan of rodents, real or animated! At the birthday party for Audrey's oldest boys over the weekend, they had bought these fake rats for the kids to play with (let me rephrase that - her husband bought them), and I was totally disgusted. One of them somehow ended up in my car. My brother-in-law better watch his back. :)

Jane, Pinks & Blues

Bananas said...

Yeah I'm with you on the eww factor.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Major ewwwwww. Make that EWWWWW!