Friday, February 23, 2007

Rat tales

Editor’s note: The Scoop regrets to inform readers that the interviewee originally slated for this installment, President George W. Bush, has been re-scheduled so we can bring you this exclusive conversation with the big newsmaker of the day. Here, without further ado, is our interview with the leader of the Taco Bell rats.

The Scoop: Thanks for making time for us on this monumental day for you and your team of rats—for all rodents everywhere, come to think of it.

Rat: Glad my agent could work you in. But I’m doing Conan’s show tonight, so we should get to it.

The Scoop: Were you surprised by how much publicity you drew by running around that Taco Bell-KFC combo unit in New York City last night, in plain view of passers-by and TV cameras?

Rat: It might seem like a case of overnight success and fame, Scoopy, but it’s really been a long, hard slog to get the public’s attention. We’d spent hours on our acrobatics and dance routines, though the mime was a mistake. Three hours of Rodent In a Glass Booth is too much. We were at it for more than two months, and we did get noticed, as the restaurant’s latest health inspection clearly shows. The report was dated Dec. 11, and it plainly states that we were in the restaurant. But if that buttinsky walking by hadn’t summoned the local TV-network affiliate to come down and film us scampering around like kittens, right there behind the plate-glass window, we might still be re-enacting scenes from “Willard.” Instead, there we were on this morning’s “Today” show, being intro’d by Matt.

Scoop: So what was it like to live in a Taco Bell-KFC combo?

Rat: Paradise, man. Really paradise. Chicken three days a week, chalupas and tacos the other four. Heck, with KFC’s newest item, I can even have fish on Friday during Lent, so I can stay okay with the Big Guy upstairs. And the restaurant was in Greenwich Village, el primo real estate and the coolest place to live in the city. One night Drew Barrymore stopped and peered in. I swear she licked her lips.

Scoop: Any idea why the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene continued to let the restaurant stay in operation even after it had found evidence that you’d set up a colony inside?

Rat: How can you expect them to deal with things like a rat infestation when they’re trying to safeguard the public with a trans-fat ban, or the requirement that restaurants like Taco Bell and KFC post calorie counts on their menu boards? They have some heavy public-safety matters on their minds, man. Though someone should rethink that “Mental Hygiene” part of their name.

Scoop: So, now that the restaurant has been shut down until it’s sanitized and certified as safe, what’ll you be doing? Any more TV appearances? Or will this matter die down?

Rat: Well, we’ll be on and the other video websites forever [laughs]. So no one is going to forget our appearance any time soon. Years from now, people will still be talking about the Taco Bell rats, even though we had a one-unit run. And other video opportunities will come up. You know how TV news works: If one station has something that gets attention, all the others will chase anything remotely similar for months. So you'll see Al Roker seguing to us again. Which is a shame, because I don’t want to get pigeon-holed as an on-camera performer. What I’d really like to do is direct.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see your next show Mr. Rat--that was performance art at its best!