My husband likes to say that this is a sign of my future pathology: I had pet rats as a child. Little “white rats,” the sweetest, most personable little pets a girl could have. My two little rats, Lucky and Gingersnap, would cuddle up in the crook of my neck while I was sat up in bed reading a book at night. (Lucky looks like the rat pictured in the photo here.) The morning I found Lucky stiff in his cage—when I was in seventh grade—was one of the most heartbreaking, depressing moments of my young life.
I don’t think the patrons who spied a few rats at Walnut Creek’s downtown movie theater Friday were encountering any precious little Luckys or Gingersnaps. They told the Contra Costa Times that the rats they viewed were the big, dirty brown rat kind—you know the kind with long scaly tails that hang in urban alleys and garbage dumpsters.
Oh, one key detail of this whole story. The women who complained about the rats to the Times were watching Revolutionary Road, a dark, harrowing film about stifling suburban misery and the big lie that is the American dream. I’m sure the rat sighting could only add to their sense of gloom and horror.
The Times checked on prior health department complaints, and you can see the results here. Meanwhile, the women left the theater and were given rainy-day tickets to return any time. The women were not so sure they would take the theater up on the offer.