If you are a visitor to New York, and you probably are, then you have something in common with these rent-a-rat inflatables which, as you can see from the photograph, are accepted with as much nonchalance by New Yorkers as the real thing. The real thing can be seen, if not alive, then dead and pressed into the gummy, tarry streets of Alphabet City streets, which they frequently run across, getting run over by cars, and pressed into posterity.
What you have in common with them is that these rubber rats pop up unannounced anywhere, anytime. They are money making workers, however.
When human workers are having difficulties with their employers, particularly if they are laborers such as cashiers, food workers, construction workers, service workers-in general, people who earn money selling their labor-then these rented rats help draw attention to the workers’ plight. Very effective. No profit striving employer wants these icons outside their place of business for more than say, ten minutes.
So, keep you eyes peeled and when you see one, go over, take a look. It’s likely you will find a host of disgruntled but happy workers muddling about drinking coffee, eating Dunkin’ Donuts and eager to talk-very eager-about their situation, and that always leads to a conversation. Pick their brains. They likely know some good places to eat in the neighborhood!
I had a big one in my neighborhood for weeks, and it worked-the Fairway workers won!