1. Better than Pratchett’s DEATH of Rats . . . yuck.

    Of that ‘tastes like chicken’ phrase . . . my reply is, “So why don’t you eat chicken rather than [whatever ‘exotic’ meat was eaten: kangaroo, alligator, etc?]”

  2. I thought this one looked familiar, and clicking on the author’s name (in the tags) proved that it is indeed a repeat.

  3. I recall an animated cartoon from about 20 years ago where a Jerry Seinfeld impersonation is playing the lead role in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and follows the “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” line with “Who would want to taste death? That can’t be good! Maybe I’m wrong… maybe death tastes like chicken!”

  4. ““Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” line with “Who would want to taste death? That can’t be good! Maybe I’m wrong… maybe death tastes like chicken!”

    “Who wants to taste death?” …. uh….No-one. That’s the point. That’s why being valiant is *better* than being a coward. You only have to do it once.

    … oh, it was a *satire* of Jerry Seinfeld. Okay, that’s okay then…


    “not to EAT!”

    If you think about it there is no logical reason rats would taste worse than rabbits. And apparently they taste quite good. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151207-the-countries-where-rats-are-on-the-menu

  5. @Woozy:
    I would think that the flavor of the rat would depend on what it’s been eating.
    Rabbit that eats nice fresh grass, leaves, etc. is tasty. A rat that’s been eating half rotten garbage, probably not.
    Rats captured from grain storage facilities… might taste alright.

  6. @ Woozy

    Yes, the gag was mocking Seinfeld’s act and what Hollywood might think of Shakespeare’s writing if it didn’t come from THE William Shakespeare. It was part of a sequence showing Shakespeare trying to make it as a writer in modern Hollywood, clashing with producers over casting the role of Julius Caesar. The producers won, ultimately casting Sylvester Stallone in the role and the subsequent movie was a big hit, after which a smarmy Shakespeare eschewed writing saying that he now wanted to direct.

    I recall now, the cartoon was Histeria!, a history-focused edutainment cartoon created by many of the folks behind Animaniacs.

  7. The IMDB listing for My Own Private Idaho (1991) includes

    Writers: Gus Van Sant, William Shakespeare

    I don’t recall exactly, but i think the on-screen credits had it as “Additional Dialogue … William Shakespeare”.

  8. @ Mitch4 – Similar credit lines appear in the credits of some (or most?) of the Blackadder episodes, as well as “Gnomeo & Julia”.

  9. I don’t think diet affects flavor as much as you think and even so garbage doesn’t necessarily mean a bad flavor. I’m told garbage rats are “gamy” but not unpleasant depending on one’s taste. and, yes, grain fed and commercial grown rats are supposed to be very tasty; better than chicken.

    My private Idaho: To be fair a *lot* of the dialog was from the Henrys; enough so that it could be consider an adaptation much like Welles’ “The Chimes at Midnight”. Although My Private Idaho is probably unique in the annals of film of being a very unusual hybrid.

    Such certainly does *not* apply to Black Adder (which I assume was a bit of british absurdist humor) or Gnomeo and Julia, which if this is so is probably sincere but inaccurate. It certainly applies to My Private Idaho more so than O, Brother where art Thou counts as an adaption of another source. Reinterpretations and retellings are not adaptations….. *grumble*….

  10. Diet does affect flavor, but it’s not simple. What do catfish eat? They’re very tasty, after all.

    With rats that have been eating who-knows-what I’d worry more about toxic substances (heavy metals, halogenated hydrocarbons, etc.)

  11. Dave in Boston, I’d guess the bulk of catfish served today is farm raised, and thanks to the EPA, even if you catch your own, the stream or river is probably a lot healthier than it was, say, 50 years ago. When I was a wee lad growing up in Delaware, (downstream from DuPont and a host of other chemical plants), one did not eat the catfish they caught. Later in my youth in eastern Arkansas, I can remember fishermen bringing home catfish caught in the Mississippi River weighing upwards of 50-60 pounds (4 to 5 feet in length). I don’t remember anyone actually eating one, though, at least in the sense “them’s good eats.” More along the line “at least there’s meat on the table.”

  12. In some areas of Germany (and Poland), carp is served as a holiday delicacy. However, the fish has to be kept (live) in a holding tank (with fresh water) for several days before it is prepared. This is supposed to “flush” contaminants out of the fish, so that it tastes better. I’ve never felt tempted to find out whether this actually works.

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