Wanna See a Dead Rat?

Wanna See a Dead Rat? is a collection of autobiographical pieces and short plays by Paul Pasulka, directed by Madison Smith and produced by Death and Pretzels Theatre Company.

Our thanks to Rhinofest for hosting this show. Check out the other magnificent productions at Rhinofest.com.


Wanna See a Dead Rat? is also a five-minute autobiographical story:


“Wanna see a dead rat?”

I really didn’t. Under other circumstances, maybe. I was a four or five years old. I might’ve seen a dead rat before – I probably had. Humboldt Park. Mid nineteen – fifties. Garbage kept in fifty gallon drums with loose fitting lids, if lidded at all. Once a week, just after being emptied by the garbage men, you could see the maggots gleefully wriggling around the filth encrusted bottom, in anticipation of new delicacies. Are we are living in the land of milk and honey or what?! Oh, yeah! Oh, and you know what else? Preacher says if we’re good little maggots, we will get wings in our next life! Hallelujah! Then my father would slosh in some kerosene and toss in a lit match. Yep. Milk and honey. And kerosene and fire. Pretty sure that if maggots have a bible, my father figures prominently in it.

But, though I might like to avoid it, there is a dead rat awaiting me. And the question: did I want to see one? Even if I had seen one before, I’m sure I would’ve been curious – frightened, repulsed – also curious. But I didn’t want to see one just then.

One reason for not wanting to see a dead rat at that time – I had just gotten a dime –maybe it was a nickel – from the tooth fairy, and I was on my way to Jake’s candy store –  more accurately a mom and pop grocery store –

(Contact p-pasulka@northwestern.edu for full text).