It’s a pearl of popular wisdom that if you live in a major city, you are never likely to be more than five metres away from a rat. While they might remain mostly invisible, the sheer amount of furry vermin means that, inevitably, our paths will occasionally cross. This usually means spotting a grimy tail as it disappears into a drain pipe, or hearing an angry rustle from an over-stuffed bin bag. On rare occasions, however, it can also mean more direct and disturbing contact.
A woman dining at a Los Angeles chicken wing restaurant was left stunned after a giant rat fell through the ceiling and landed directly on her table. According to Alisha Norman, a 42-year-old science teacher from Texas, the animal plunged without warning, squealing as it fell towards the earth. Understandably, this turn of events had an impact on her appetite.
The incident in question is alleged to have taken place at a Buffalo Wild Wings while Norman was trying to decide what to order. As she tells it, she was settling in to watch the Women’s World Cup, when she found herself beset by flying rodents. As she put it in an alarmed Facebook post documenting the event, "So what do you do when a rat falls from the ceiling onto your table... really LA? I was just trying to watch the soccer game."
When journalists arrived on the scene, Norman provided further details of the encounter. As she tells it, Buffalo Wild Wings employees used two plates to scoop up the deceased rat, adding that “they just picked it up and dumped it in a bag.” She went on to state that the manager told her that the rat had fallen due to “construction”. Unsurprisingly, Norman was less than enthusiastic about the experience, musing that "It was terrible. It was disgusting."
Understandably given the bizarre circumstances, questions were asked about the validity of Norman’s claim. Even Norman’s friends were unconvinced by the story, prompting her to assure everyone that her story and accompanying photos were “very real”. When asked why she didn’t immediately leave the restaurant in question, Norman replied "lmao... well I’m a science teacher and went to nursing school I’ve seen worse…”
In response to the bizarre and slightly horrifying incident, Buffalo Wild Wings allegedly provided Norman, who was in LA to celebrate her 43rd birthday, with a free meal. While many would have been scarred by the experience, Norman appears unruffled, writing that she at least “got to see how they handle this bill,” and adding, “I’m fine, but it was gross.” Given the circumstances, Buffalo Wild Wings should probably count themselves lucky that the rat fell on such a stoic customer.