Giving a Pet Rat Presentation Tomorrow - Wish Me Luck!

T minus 18 hours or so. Gulp…

It’s been years since I’ve performed any kind of public speech, lecture, training seminar, you name it. My long-disused corporate trainer muscles are stirring eagerly back into life, but the rest of me is being attacked by mutant killer butterflies. I won’t even have any of my personal rats with me to steady my nerves; I’ll be borrowing some unsocialized store rats for the presentation instead. (What was that old showbiz line about never working with kids or animals? :eek: ) To say that I’m overprepared is the understatement of the evening, which means I’ll probably wind up with an audience of three bored and unruly children. The last time this seminar was scheduled to take place, the storms hit Chicago and wiped out power for days at both my house and the store. Lightning won’t strike twice, will it? I’m not even sure how many of the employees know my talk has been rescheduled. Now I need to search my closet for clothing that’s both professional (so I make a good impression) and launderable (to clean off the inevitable scared baby rat pee).

Wish me luck, will you guys? Please? Pretty please? This event could be anything from a smashing success to a crashing failure. I’ll settle for “not a crashing failure” but I must admit, I’m hoping for better than that…


You’re going to be a rousing success and all of the kids parents are going to hate you because the kids are going to come home in love with Ratties and armed with facts and figures about how they are good pets!

Reminds me of finding out that, as Director of Operations of a Humane Society shelter, some of my duties involved television and radio appearances…

Go On with your good self, Selkie! I’m a rat lover, had several as pets as a kid, my last one in my twenties. They are so misunderstood, make wonderful smart pets, light years beyond hamsters and gerbils, from my observation of having those, too, and mice, and chinchillas, and, well, a whole boatload of others.

Tamed rats are such excellent fellers, just go with that, and stick up for them. You are doing a great service to dispel ignorance of a really successful smart critter.

Good luck, Hon, hope it all goes well and good. Will give ya extra Rat-Goody thoughts tomorrow!


Odds are you’ll do fine.

Sure you’re nervous but remember that you always look more self assured from the outside than you feel on the inside.


Ah,** Selkie**, no worries. Your lungfish story had me laughing so hard I called my parents a couple states away and read it to them, and they were laughing too hard to hear the ending, and asked me to send them the link. You are a master storyteller, and you will do fine. may be of use. It’s done by a doper, too!

Hey I didn’t know lolrats was from a doper. The breeder/rescuer buddy from whom I got my current ratloafs showed it to me. Small world!

Selkie, you’ll do great. Try to relax. Fear poos make such a bad impression on an audience.

Good luck, Selkie!

Apropos of nothing, we’re preparing for the scritch-scritch of little rat feet here at Casaflodnak. I’m working on finishing the cabinet their cage will stand on right now (waiting for the stain to dry). Sometimes I’m very excited, and then I’ll wonder if I really am as out of my mind as my friends say :smiley:

…and then, at the peak of her presentation, she gently rolls the rat over on his back, and with all ten fingers begins tickling the rat’s belly. Her audience, entranced and slack-jawed, hears the ecstatic rat emit merry, rippling peals of rat laughter.

The crowd goes wild!

Awww, thanks guys! With all the hugs, well wishes, and bruxing, how can I go wrong?

… which is a good thing, because it’s now officially too late to stage an alien abduction, so I’m off to set up my booth!

<fingers, toes, and rat tails crossed that no one asks me, say, why rat testicles are so big. The problem isn’t that I don’t know the answer, it’s that I do - and I tend to respond before the brain reminds me that some people find discussions of rodent reproduction disturbing>

I survived!

Thanks to everyone who expressed support. I’m very proud of the job I did, especially since I had to modify it on the fly and it worked! Everyone loved the booth, too. Audience turnout was pitiful - 1/5 of what the store anticipated - but since I wasn’t the billed attraction at least that wasn’t a reflection on my presentation. Most of the people weren’t interested but were quiet and respectful, and I did get flashes of interest from even the most bored when I talked about rats having belly buttons, giggling when tickled, and other humanish characteristics.

I did hook one family that I know is going to wind up with some rats eventually. I’m crossing fingers, toes, and rat tails that they decide quickly enough to save the darling little five week old I used as my demo rat. Little guy was a real trooper, and if he goes to the snakes I’ll be very sad.

I also convinced the store manager to touch a rat for the very first time, and we had a great ignorance fighting conversation in the process. The things she didn’t understand about domestic rats were pretty staggering, and although she’s not going to be a rat owner any time soon, I know I succeeded in opening her eyes and banishing some misconceptions.

All in all, it was a good day - good enough that I’m going to offer my services to the shelter I adopted one of my rats from. They get in quite a few, so my presentation might be a useful adjunct to one of their adoption days.

SnakesCatsLady: If copies of some of my presentation materials would ever be helpful in your day job, drop me a note. I also maintain a web site for beginning rat owners, too.

elelle: Ditto, ditto, ditto, and, well, ditto.

E-Sabbath, I’d forgotten about lolrats, and never knew it was by a Doper. Thanks.

Beaucarnea, you remembered! I’m so happy Fish’s tale has gotten so many good belly laughs. To think I almost didn’t post it.

flodnak: You do know pictures of the new ones are mandatory, right?

toadbriar and Napier: :smiley:

Selkie, Glad that that went so well.

Further, your ratty page is great, loved the photo gallery, made me miss having rats, and may have homes for them again on your example.

Then, Beaucarnea’s link to the Lungfish. I missed that when you posted it, but OOHH and Great AHHH. You are a great Goddess of critters! I grew up with a biologist dad, and we took in every critter from folks who couldn’t deal with them. So many; walking catfish, electric eels, surinam toads, bufo marinus, etc, etc, etc, but Never a lungfish. Your Fish is so beautiful. Rats, schmats. I see now that you can talk about all sorts of wonderful beings. This makes me smile wildly!

Hello elelle;

I have been searching for a copy of the “Nighttime: A small diner, with a large neon, “EAT” sign…” and came across your posting here on ‘The Stiaight Dope’

07-09-2003, 07:02 PM
My favorite, a full color page from an old Playboy:

Nighttime: A small diner, with a large neon, “EAT” sign: inside you can see the cook looking nervously, mouth open, out toward the horizon.

Over the hill, a giant grinning monster is slithering stealthily toward the diner.

“My God, you don’t suppose it can read, do you?”

I’m wondering if you have a copy of the cartoon which you would share with me. It’s also one of my favourites and I d like to share it with others.

Toronto, Canada

@heavyduty1: Nice try, but note that this thread is about 9 years old, and elelle was last seen on these boards back in 2011. Hope you’re not holding your breath on this.

See here.