Out & About with the Pumpkin: Inflatable Rat

Giant inflatable rat - Rittenhouse SquareWe were driving to work this morning when the Pumpkin noted something peculiar. Although Frank and I are quite familiar with the R.O.U.S.s known as The Union Rat, I don’t believe she has ever seen one… until today.

If you don’t know about these creatures, when a company makes a union angry, reps from the union set up a protest with a giant, 6 to 30 foot high (squeeeeeeeeeek!), depending on how pissed off they are,  inflatable rat in front of the building. The rat is not cute. But neither is the R.O.U.S. from The Princess Bride.

Of course she wanted to take a photo by it. Unfortunately, by the time we went by on our way home the rat had vacated so we have no photo today. Update – we got a photo!!

Anyway, I did some research and found out about the history of the rat on the Fast Company website. “Twelve years ago, Mike O’Connor, owner of Big Sky Balloons & Searchlights in Plainfield, Illinois, created the first rat at the request of a union member in nearby Chicago.” Since then, Big Sky Balloons has sold between 100 and 200 rats a year. I tried to find out how much a rat balloon would cost but they have no pricing information on their website. Rental information is equally elusive.

Scabby the Rat, as he is known by, has his own Facebook page. I’m not surprised. And in Philadelphia, they’ve taken things a step further and created the Rat Mobile.

So there you have it. Everything you didn’t know you needed to know about the giant inflatable union rat.


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