I’ve really wanted to do more in the past two weeks. I really have. But somehow, due to the hand of someone or something, according to Maurice, the wizard of the rats, who visited me in my sleep three weeks ago, and every rat, apparently, I am the king of the rats now. I figured I would let you know this fact, and it’s probably good to know my story as well.
Look, a lot of kids want to be the rat king when they grow up. They think they want to be the rat king, at least. But here I sit, the current rat king, with all the world’s rats at my bidding, and… to tell the truth, I’m conflicted.
You see, I never asked to be the rat king. Nobody “asks” to be the rat king. Sure, some people want to be the rat king, but you can’t really inquire to anyone specifically, or at least you can’t expect a result. Naturally, me, the one who didn’t try to get this title, who certainly didn’t earn this title, who I won’t even necessarily say wanted the title of the unquestionable ruler of all the world’s rats, is the unquestionable ruler of all the world’s rats.
This is why this job is hard:
1. I don’t know anything about the rats
Rat culture is so complex. You’d think they’re “just rats”. You wouldn’t say that we’re “just people”, right? We have laws, we have culture, we have so many different traditions and ideas. You wouldn’t trust one world dictator for people, right?
So why, why, am I, the guy who knows next to nothing about domestic rat economies, international rat government relations, world rat economies, rat cultures on a community, world, and national level, rat art, rat food, rat technology, rat folkways, rat mores, or rat sports, and suddenly that’s all my ruling right now.
Let’s say Charlemagne was a rat. Would we have either the Catholic Church or France right now? Hell no. I can’t be rat Charlemagne.
2. The rats trust me too much and I’m worried I’ll let them down
They’re all such sweet guys, the rats. I met one, named Corbazz, from Sioux City, IA, who told me he believed I was going to lead them into prosperity. I didn’t know what the prosperity level of the rats was before I got there, but I’m terrified of the idea that they need me, because I just don’t believe that I can do anything for them.
3. I accidentally tried to get a mouse to do something and now the mice and the mouse queen is angry at me.
I asked one mouse, which I mistook for a rat, to help me with directions my first day on the job. He quickly recognized me as the rat king, and let me know I had nothing for him and that I couldn’t do anything to him or for him. The mouse have a queen, and she is a 25 year-old woman named Miranda from Belarus. She’s actually good at her job, and I would love to be allied with her. Of course, being me, I made an enemy out of her accidentally on my first day. If Miranda is reading this, please help me out here, I don’t mean any harm and I want to be amicable with you.
The Raccoon King is a kid from India. The Duck Queen is actually from Portland Oregon. The Pigeon queen, interestingly enough, is recording artist Michelle Branch. She’s done a great job.
4. I’m getting too many benefits for a job I’m not equipped for
I haven’t paid for a car wash since I got this job, and I have access to the entire “Now That’s What I Call Music” library from both the US and UK. I can be an extra in any film I want, I just have to show up. I was given a free Cadillac, which I’ve paid exactly zero dollars to wash. If the correct seventeen people die, I will be king of Malta.
It sounds sweet, yeah. But you’ve heard of impostor syndrome? Where you have success but feel like you haven’t earned it? That’s how I feel all the time, because I am incredibly aware of the fact that I don’t deserve it, and there’s no question. Normally, I’d love a 12 pack of Black Cherry Fresca on my doorstep every Saturday morning for free, delivered by friendly rats, but those twelve cans represent 144 ounces of sugar-free guilt. Every week.
So, right now, if the wizard who deemed me “rat king” could give somebody else the title, I would greatly appreciate it. Not for my sake, but for the beautiful population of rats, who deserve somebody better.