Words by Ruben Rivera. Pictures by Anita Rivera.
Rattus: I say my good rat, are we really leaving our beloved land of Nowhere for...what did you call it?...Cauliflower, in America?
Tea Rat: Really my dear fellow, you must get into the spirit of the thing. "When in Rome," and all that, you know. We want to blend in, be part of "what's happen'in," be cool, hip.
Rattus: OK, so how do YOU pronounce it?
Tea Rat: Ca-li-for-ni-a.
Tea Rat: You da bomb!
Rattus: I beg your pardon? I am what?
Tea Rat: The BOMB! You know, good, amazing, awesome, the best. Gotta know the language of the natives or you're going to stick out like a sore thumb.
Rattus: Maybe we should tell our friends we will be away in Ca-li-for-NEE-a.
Tea Rat: That's what we're doing here.
Rattus: OK. I'll go.
Tea Rat: You bad.
Rattus: What did I do wrong? I try my best to be a good, upstanding rat.
Tea Rat: No, not bad. BAD! You know, good, amazing, awesome, the best.
Rattus: I thought that's what "da Bomb" meant?
Tea Rat: Are you going to be difficult? I'm trying to save your life here. In California you must be IN or you will be chewed up and spit OUT. We have to talk like them, look like them, dress like them, eat like them.
Rattus: Eat like them? What do they eat out in CaliforNEEa?
Tea Rat: Well, I hear the well-to-do eat so-called "health food" like mashed yeast and alfalfa sprouts, and fruit smoothies fortified with vitamins.
Rattus: Sounds like I need to pack my own food.
Tea Rat: You'll do no such thing. You're going to do what?
Rattus: I know. I know. I'm going to blend in. Be "da bomb" and be "bad."
Tea Rat: Now you chill'in.
Rattus: I'm what?
Tea Rat: Chill'in. You know, good, amazing, awesome, the best.
Rattus: This CaliforNEEa sounds like a strange place. But at least the language will be easy to acquire. Every word means the same thing.
So long to our dear friends from Nowhere and Wits End. We'll be back soon.
Tea Rat & Rattus Scribus.