On Giving a Rat’s Ass (A Business Opportunity. Obviously.)

I meant to write to you today, but I got caught up doing more important things like complaining about people complaining about Melania’s shoes. Let’s be honest, if I didn’t take it upon myself to complain about things on Facebook, NOTHING WOULD EVER CHANGE. Also, it’s critical to point out how much attention people are taking away from the flooding in Texas by taking away people’s attention to  complain about how they’re using their attention.



Glad we cleared that up.

The crux of my complaint is this: Melania Trump wore expensive heels to fly to the Texas disaster zone. Do we not have more important things to fuss about??

In the words of Trevor Noah, whom I love and with whom I’m well pleased, “I don’t know why anybody should care what someone wears when they’re on the way to help people. Look at the Pope, you see how he dresses? All white with enormous bling; he looks like he’s going to a P Diddy party. You can’t go around helping people dressed like that.”

I agree wholeheartedly.

I mean, I get it; I do. We have a grand American tradition of criticizing the First Lady’s clothes. And I understand the “out of touch” and “insensitivity” arguments — Michelle Obama was the target of the same comments.

Part of me is all, “YEAH. Melania should TOTALLY experience what it’s like to walk with 4 year old, scuffed Target pumps through the rain only to have the water rush in through the hole in the glued-on sole.”

But the other part of me goes, “Melania wore expensive heels to fly to a disaster zone. I DO WISH we had so few other concerns that this should matter… but seriously. North Korea is launching missles, people are under water in Texas and Asia (and no one’s talking about Asia), GSM folks are under regular, blatant and insidious attack, Nazis are marching in our streets, folks are denying racism is an issue in this country, churches are excommunicating the “heretics” ’cause, you know, that’s what Jesus did, college is out of reach for many lower and middle class families, our children have less chance at improving on their parents’ successes and financial situations, black women are 2-6 times as likely to die during childbirth in America than white women, our president issues military orders BY TWEET… and on and on and on and on and on… but we’re bitching about the First Lady’s SHOES? Blerg.”

BUT DO NOT WORRY, friends! ONE GOOD THING CAME OUT OF THIS. One good thing that’s far more important than shoes, or, you know, people fleeing for their lives, and you know what that one good thing is? IT’S CAPITALISM. A Business Opportunity! A brilliant answer to Greg’s financial woes. His woes being WE HAVE A CHILD IN COLLEGE, and WE HAVE FIVE CHILDREN, and OUR CHILDREN KEEP EATING FOOD FOR EVERY MEAL. And also, WHY DO YOU REFUSE TO MONETIZE THIS BLOG, BETH?? WHY? This is why we call him Poor Greg. He suffers, friends; he suffers.

The Business Idea occurred to me in a flash, as the Very Best Ideas so often do. In response to my complaints complaining about the complaining, my friend Shelley wrote, “I wholeheartedly agree. I could give a rat’s ass what kind of shoes she wore.”

DO YOU SEE IT? The Best Business Idea Ever and the Perfect Gift for Our Times.

A rat’s ass, friends.

A rat’s ass.

I wrote back immediately. (Text below the photo.)

I feel like this is a good monetization opportunity. Taxidermied rats’ asses. Like, we could do it humanely and everything. Find rat roadkill or watch for where the vultures are circling over the fields, employ a skilled taxidermist, harvest the ass portions (of the rat, not the taxidermist), preserve them, and then sell them so people can give literal rats’ asses. Or keep them if they want to say “I couldn’t give a rat’s ass” — in which case, they’d take a selfie with their rat’s ass to prove they can’t give it. Really, I feel like both ways get the point across.

Of course, in the “I couldn’t give a rat’s ass” category, one would be able to procure a live rat, so that undermines the taxidermy business and we’d have to lay off the taxidermist which creates a poorer economy and a dirth of available rats’ asses. So never mind. I take back the “couldn’t” option. We’ll stick with “I could give a rat’s ass.” Better for business, far more practical than ongoing rat care (unless one particularly loves rats, in which case, go for it), and a much better comment on our current society.

Our start up costs will be minimal — we just need a crowd of, say, twenty 1st-5th graders (cost: we call this an After School Outdoor Program and MAKE money… $5/kid/hour… assume conservatively they only find 1/hour… we get $100/hour PLUS a rat’s ass), 20 orange safety vests (cost: $3.49 each on Amazon – I checked), and a taxidermist (cost: $20/rat if s/he/they will work on a consultancy basis — we care about liveable wages, obviously — or $0 if the zombie apocalypse arrives; in that case, Greg Woolsey plans to kidnap one to take to our compound because everyone knows how critical taxidermy is going to be when the world as we know it ends. http://bethwoolsey.com/2011/06/on-the-importance-of-taxidermy/ ).

Functionally, that’s $100 – $3.49 – $20 in production costs, so we net $76.51 per rat. Maybe $56.51 if we feed the kids snacks on our dime and don’t make the parents send some. I vote we go that route because I HATE remembering to pack snack. Our profit goes back up to $76.51 per rat, though, if we can find someone willing to infect Earth with the zombie virus and don’t have to pay the taxidermist. The zombie apocalypse scenario is the most probable, so let’s run with that number. $76.51/rat in production profit.

THEN, if we sell each one for $25/pop, which I feel is a very reasonable price for a rat’s ass, then we’re back up to over $100… $76.51 in production profit + $25 sale price = $101.51.

If we make buyers pay the shipping and handling, and gouge them by forcing them to pay $5.99 for $1.77 in postage, as is the usual way of doing internet business in America, we could really make bank. $101.51 + $5.99 in S&H fees – $1.77 in actual postage = $107.50/rat.

So what do you say? You in?

Eventually, we could get into raccoon asses and opossum asses, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.


Look. I don’t want to brag, friends, but THIS IDEA ROCKS. Furthermore, Shelley agreed and has since expanded on the idea. Soon, in addition to offering rat’s asses you can give with alacrity, we’ll be offering horse’s ass trophies so that those people who do NOT give a rat’s ass can give a horse’s ass. You know why? Because we care about the inclusion of ALL PEOPLE; the rat’s ass givers and those who need other types of asses to award.

DO YOU SEE THE BRILLIANCE? Yes. Yes, you do. CAN YOU WAIT TO BUY YOURS? No. No, you can not.

I rest my case. The world is saved.

I love you to the moon.


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11 responses to “On Giving a Rat’s Ass (A Business Opportunity. Obviously.)”

  1. And for our vegan friends we can have “Flying Figs”! As in, I don’t give a flying fig what kind of shoes she wore!

  2. I love this idea, including how you have figured out how to MAKE money from the production end of things. The real money, though, is in franchising your business model, so once this gets underway you could make billions by franchising it to other areas of the country because sooner or later you are going to run out of rats in yours.

    Also, my husband may have tried to tell me about Melania’s shoes and I may have snapped at him “I don’t really care what shoes she wore, and if she can balance on those things than more power to her, she clearly has super-human abilities and isn’t that EXACTLY WHAT IS NEEDED IN A DISASTER ZONE?”

  3. I love you Beth and I love the idea…but the ACTUAL phrase is I COULDN’T give a rat’s ass… Meaning that you care doo little that you can’t even be bothered to give a rat’s ass worth of care. It is the same with the phrase “I could care less” it shoukd be couldn’t meaning that there is no way you could care less about the topic…

    This English lesson is brought to you by your friendly resident grammar but whose pet peeve is this phrase said wrong. 🙂

    • Oh, yes; I know what the phrase actually is. I’m something of a grammar snob. In recovery, though. Which you can see by the fact that I started that sentence with “in.” And the next sentence with “which.” And the next sentence with “and.” All of them (and this one) incomplete. Also by the fact that I keep using the word “that” after “the fact” which is fully unnecessary.

      However, while the phrase for caring the least amount possible is “I couldn’t care less,” or, figuratively, “I couldn’t give a rat’s ass,” this article is about the people who COULD give a rat’s ass except that they have no rat’s ass to give. It’s an INCLUSIVE post, see?? So we can accommodate those who couldn’t give a rat’s ass (in which care no rat’s ass is needed) AND those who COULD give a rat’s ass but need a way to procure a rat’s ass so they can give it. Yes? You see where I’m going with this?

      For actual real, though, I spent years having to undo my tendency to write formally rather than be considered someone who doesn’t know HOW to write. Evidence: using a phrase like “actual real” which is redundant. My problem was that I have chatty, informal stories to tell, and good storytelling so rarely goes hand in hand with the rules of formal writing. It galled me every time I ended a sentence with a preposition, or started a sentence with which, and or but. But that’s how we speak to each other if we’re having coffee on the couch. And that’s what my writing is — chatting with my friends. So I had to let the rules go. Sort of a “know them so you can purposefully break them” kind of thing.

      Now that I’ve studied language, with is always evolving, I understand that many (most?) of the words we use today are iterations of previously “correct” phrasing. In other words, when people misuse a phrase for long enough, that becomes the vernacular and is ensconced in the “rule book” as first acceptable and eventually correct. It’s a strange phenomenon that those of us who cling to the rules of our youth will eventually be the people who are incorrect as language evolved out from under us. So these days, rather than being concerned about the rules, I’m more concerned with clear communication. Do people understand what I mean? Are my words precise enough to be easily understood but informal enough to be accessible? It is, I suppose the “art” part of the science of writing.

      I’m still enough of a grammar geek to love discussions on the subject. Deep, in depth discussions on whether “in” is being used in a particular sentence as a preposition, adjective, adverb or even noun. IN. As a NOUN. I care about this. We can pray for me. But I also love running around naked outside the boundaries of grammar. Because I’m a rebel at heart, man. And I adore this video by Neil deGrasse Tyson, called “Who I Would Hire…” https://youtu.be/EritxhbIMmk … which upends rule following rather well.

      NONE of which is a criticism of your comment. You’re totally RIGHT! But I’m an uber geek who has Thoughts on Things Like This, and I Get Carried Away. GRAMMAR GEEKS LIVE ON. AND ALSO THE REBELS. ❤️❤️❤️

      • Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. All of it. Especially the part about “in” being a NOUN. In. Who’d’ve thunk it? Hats off & hearts to you, my witty, gritty raconteuse. Beth, I adore you. And these posts. Furthermore, I’d like to offer you a rat’s ass. As soon, of course, as I can purchase one from you, have you ship it to me, so that I may ship it right back to you. Otherwise, you’d just be KEEPING a rat’s ass. And robbing yourself the opportunity to be gifted a rat’s ass. So you see, you mustn’t delay production. How speedily I might procure my rat’s ass is rather independently up to you, as is also, your procurement of said rat’s ass as a gift. You understand, yes? Yes. Yes, you do. so, run along, give the fairies in your wall a kiss from me, & find us all some fine rat’s asses to give. And to keep for ourselves. Those of us who, you know, COULDN’T give a rat’s ass. 😉

  4. Beth I live in a country where people eat rats– yes, really– (just field rats, which are –I am told– much cleaner than city rats0– but here is the BIG POINT– they do NOT eat the rear ends (I am here on a Religious Affairs visa so have to watch my language). I bet (oops wait a minute I don’t bet either)– I think I could get you some rat rears absolutely FREE!! Hmmm all except getting them over there to you…shipping costs might be tricky. Let me know what you think…Just trying to serve 🙂

  5. So so so much! Oh how I love thee!

    Kay, now I’m just embarrassing myself with all this gushing…

    But I would totally buy one…

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