If you use the Internet, you probably saw the now-famous video of a rat intently dragging a slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York subway. The slice is twice as long as he is. The guy who shot the video, admiring the rat's determination, called the rat "the new Statue of Liberty."
All but forgotten is last summer's viral sensation, Tara, the Hero Cat, who chased away a dog that was attacking a boy. I put Tara and Pizza Rat together via conference call recently to discuss the nature of fame.
Cat: I saved a kid. You dragged a slice across the ground, and yet we are in the same pantheon now.
Rat: Pantheon, huh? That like a sewer or something?
Cat: No, YouTube fame. Public renown. An anecdote for the ages.
Rat: Whatever. Seven million people have watched me drop my dinner. I will never understand humans.
Cat: I think they just thought it was funny to see a rat carrying food larger than himself.
Rat: Hey, I've got big bones.
Cat: I don't doubt it.
Rat: They thought I was funny! They should come back in three weeks and behold the freak show that is the New York City subway at Halloween.
Cat: Actually, people are already selling Pizza Rat costumes. Grey fur and plastic pizza. And for ladies, Sexy Pizza Rat.
Rat: I'm a meme. I have become a freakin' meme. Somewhere I am probably even an animated gif.
Cat: Trust me, it will blow over. I was huge a year ago. Now I can't even get a retweet from Oprah.
Rat: What a thing to get famous for. You wouldn't know it to look at me, but when I was young I wanted to be a busker.
Cat: A street performer? Doing what?
Rat: Three card Monte, but set to hip-hop music.
Cat: Take the pizza fame. Just...take the pizza fame.
Rat: It IS a little embarrassing, though.
Cat: Look, are you getting girls?
Rat: Sure! But the wrong kind. They're all looking for a Pizza Daddy.
Rat: Just once I'd like to meet a girl who isn't hungry.
Cat: This is your 15 minutes of fame. I say you go big. Drag a leg of lamb down the stairs. Drag a Peking duck.
Rat: I'm done dragging. Besides, Scorcese wants to do a biopic on me.
Cat: Dream big, my friend. Dream big.