If there was a lifetime achievement award for human performances alongside rodents, I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone more deserving than Bill Murray. The man really elevates his game when he finds himself sharing a scene with a rodent, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his scene-stealing performance as Carl the groundskeeper, who is just trying to do his job and keep the damn grounds without this furry son of a whore burrowing to and fro all the live-long day.
Arthur Quiller-Couch posited that all fiction adheres to one of seven plot structures: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man against God, Man vs. Society, Man in the Middle, Man & Woman, Man vs. Himself
I’m guessing that Carl’s plight falls under “man vs. nature,” but I really think, going forward, “man vs. gophers” should get its own category.
Too often, rodents are portrayed as “adorable” or “misunderstood,” when all along what we really wanted them to be portrayed as is “wise” and “Asian.” Enter Splinter, a mutant rat who taught the Ninja Turtles everything there is to know about the way of martial arts, all the while contending with Michaelangelo’s monkeyshines.
Not to get off on a tangent, but Michaelangelo was really disrespectful. Splinter took in these turtles to fight Krang and the F.O.O.T. Soldiers, but Michaelangelo was almost myopically focused on pizza and “partying.” In hindsight, I’m surprise that he didn’t cause at least one turtle’s death.
My main reason for including Splinter is because I like it when my rodents have osteoporosis and require walking sticks.
You know, the ones that talk? They’re the best. They aren’t given the second-class designation of “honorable mention” because of a lack of awesomeness or hilarity, but rather because they aren’t actually rodents! Can you believe it? They belong to the family procynidae, whereas rodents belong to the family rodentia.
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