Yes, it’s Ratterday-on-Bunday, and I don’t mean that strange little town in southeastern England. I went to the San Francisco Dungeon’s Rat Cafe yesterday, and it was…
…a disappointing experience in more or less every way. I could have planned better given fifteen minutes and a piece of paper and a small pencil stub.
We arrived at 9 AM, to find that the ‘cafe’ was an almost-unlit room with a bunch of stand-up tables, a pair of pots of coffee (and no tea!), some Costco pastries, and not even any water! (They sent someone out to buy water, so after twenty minutes or so we got some bottled water in. That’s thinking ahead!) We all stood around feeling somewhat confused. Where were the rats? Never mind the rats, where were the chairs? The concrete floor was hard on a lot of people’s feet. There was no butter (let alone marmalade and clotted cream) for the scones. Did I mention that THERE WAS NO TEA?
Finally, after half an hour, they let us into a room, where five or six volunteers stood around with one rat each. We were allowed to approach the volunteers and, if the rat was in a good mood, interact with him or her. No holding the rats. There were around, what, thirty? forty? of us. Did I mention six rats? And no tables. And a tiny room, so everyone was crammed in tight. I ate two elbows.
And then, after slightly more than 30 minutes, they herded us all out again. No more rats. We could go on the San Francisco Dungeon ride if we wanted. Well, I did. That was 90 minutes of my life that I will not regain. It was basically Disney with a much smaller price tag but roughly the same profit margin. It was supposedly educational, but you could’ve learned more San Francisco history for free off of a single one of the signs on Hyde Street Pier, and it would’ve taken you 40 seconds, max, to read.
I happened to overhear that one of the coordinators of the Dungeon was fairly high up the food chain in the entertainment organization department at Disney. Welp, I suspect that if he left to make his million he’s been successful, but he sure hasn’t made anything much of interest to me. And that, alas, includes the rat cafe.
That said, the rats were cute, as were one or two of the visitors.
Meet Lilah. Lilah has been a rat enthusiast since she was three months old. If you do not think this is adorable there is something very wrong with you.