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Rat N a Can

Rat N a Can started as a couple of gag gifts for my brother in law Kenny and a best friend Mark. The original concept came to me in a dream. I woke up to write down the superstructure of the plan and began work almost immediately, the next day.

I knew exactly what I needed, and began acquiring and assembling the components from home, stores, and various resources.

I obtained two large tin cans that formerly contained popcorn from Eckerd's drug store. I needed the largest cans I could find and these were approximately 12" in diameter by 10" deep.

Next, I went to the local novelty store here in Miami, where I picked up two large ugly rubber rats. These were the largest and most realistic looking they had. They were even too large to fit in the cans without grinding the nose down, which I did and then dressed each rat with a bloody band aid so it would appear that the rats had bitten off their own noses.

Some contact spray glue and a good dusting from the contents of the vacuum bag which was mostly Cody's hair, made a perfect covering for these rats. I later sprayed some black paint and oil onto the fur covered rats to further simulate their sewer origin.

Rat N a Can I finally trimmed some of my own gray chest hairs and carefully glued them down onto the nape of the neck of each rat to give them the look of mature rats.

The rats were then mounted to makeshift bases made up of cut cardboard covered with fabric and raisins which were of course adding to the ambiance of the project.

The bases would cover over a tape recorder that had a socket for a remote pause switch. A small micro switch mounted at the top lip of the can would allow the recorder to start and stop as the lid was removed and returned.

Of course the project would not be complete without a decorative label around the outside of the can with elaborate instructions on the care and feeding of these rats, and most importantly a tape track of monologue from the rat himself, replete with rude remarks and unreasonable demands as well as some recollections of the past from the rat's memory.

What a "beautyfull" little gift these trapped rats would make!

Click the picture to listen to a sample of the "Ratspeak:"

Rat N a Can - "Now meaner than ever"