A Chat and a Rat

Story Sent in by Arnold:

I took Dawn out to dinner, and it went well enough. She seemed a bit jittery and quiet, although I did my best to keep her smiling and laughing. I paid for dinner, she thanked me, and we took a walk.

As we strolled down the sidewalk, Dawn took a strange sort of hop-step, and I at first thought that she had tripped.

"You okay?" I asked her, then followed her gaze to the ground.

A dead rat lay by her feet, right on the sidewalk.

Dawn screamed, broke away from me, and tore down the sidewalk as if 50 ferocious dogs were after her.

"Dawn!" I called, and ran to catch up.

She rounded corners and doubled back enough to make me wonder if she was deliberately trying to lose me. Finally, I caught up with her and I put my hand on her shoulder.

"You're the rat!" she screamed, "Get off me! You're the rat! You're the rat!"

"I'm not a rat!" I yelled, still chasing her, "Calm down!"

She kept running. I didn't understand it. We were several blocks away from the rat at this point. I repeated, "It's okay! It's okay! It's not following us! Calm down!"

She kept going. I became conscious of the fact that I was chasing a woman in public, a woman who didn't seem to want me to catch her. I slowed down and tried a different tactic. "Dawn," I called, "I'm going to head back!"

She didn't stop. I did. I walked back to my car, near the restaurant, hoping that she'd come back. She didn't.

I called her. She picked up, but she didn't say "Hello" or any other greeting.

"Hello?" I asked.

She asked, "Is… are you the rat?"

"No. I'm Arnold. Are you coming back?"

The longest pause, then she replied, "Tomorrow. Maybe." She hung up. I went home and never heard from her again.


  1. Did you at any point during all the chasing and calling think, " 'you're the rat' doesn't make any &*#$% sense, I'm leaving"?

  2. Common sense FTW. Can't fault the guy for giving chase initially, he just reacted, but at least he had the presence of mind to THINK about what he was doing and how it would look.


  3. It wasn't a rat, it was a rare filigree Siberian hamster.

  4. sounds like another possible loony fishing for dinner then ditching the sucker

  5. Dinner And Ditch, indeed.

    Also, Mediator: I love that our standards for human behavior on this site have sunken so low that this guy could run for several blocks after a woman obviously trying to ditch him, but because at some point he realized what was going on and left that he deserves congratulations. Back in our early days, we would have torn this young man apart for ever giving chase. My, how this site has jaded us.

  6. @Nikki

    That is true.

    *shakes fist at Taco* I was gonna post that!

  7. Actually, I understand this now.

    She thought the rat was an omen, about her date.


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