The Dingbat: I’m just a poor rat, I need no sympathy

In memoriam, Open Kitchen Remy, 2021-2022

The date was January 18, 2022. It was the dinner rush. It was time for me to finally break out of Linguini’s hat and venture to the sandwich station at Open Kitchen for my first hands-on culinary excursion.

You can’t blame me for being excited. Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamt of cooking for humans. Grabbing two slices of bread, spreading mayo on either side, a dash of sriracha, lettuce, tomato, hold the onion, then topping it off with a protein and charging $14.70 for it. That’s all I wanted. It’s still all I want. Finally getting to work outside of the hat was supposed to be the best day of my life.

But it was not.

After mere seconds of work, I was picked up by a metal contraption with bird-like claws. It had the limp strength of a FIJI pledge and the undeniable virility of a Transylvania-obsessed fifth-year CNERS student. It was terrifying. Laugh all you want! But imagine yourself, in the middle of your shift, getting picked up and thrown into a bucket — discarded like trash!

I was screaming, crying, “I’m staff! Look at my badge, I’m staff! I’m even wearing the fucking hairnet!” They didn’t listen.

I’m just a rat, I’ve done no harm.

I’m not a bad guy! All I wanted was to fill the tummies of some first-years with delicious, nutritious and exploitatively-priced sandwiches. I’ve done nothing wrong.

I was manhandled, like a criminal! The only thing that’s criminal about this is how UBC is ranked the second best school in the country, and yet they treat their staff like this. I could be in a musical or a TV spin-off about my time in Paris, but no. I decided to give back to the community — but I was shunned in return.

I just wanted to feed you. Instead, you fed me to the wolves.

Before my time at Open Kitchen, I spent a year in the greatest culinary school in France — clearly, you North Americans don’t understand good cuisine. Complaining about a fly in your soup? That fly worked hard to be there. He has a wife and kids, and you’re going to get him squashed. You bourgeois, silver-spoon idiots hate the working class. Shame on you.

I went on the run. Lonely, afraid and scared of those tongs, I decided to flee back to Paris, to go back to my roots, but they caught me. Those hairnetted, tong-wielding SOBs from Open Kitchen caught me. They took me back to Vancouver and here I remain to this day.

In culinary school, we were always taught cook, do not kill.

Cuisiner, ne tue pas.

But now, I’m in jail. A cold, deli-meat-smelling place where dreams come to die. No fresh herbs, no truffles. Just rotten meat and tomatoes. I don’t know how long it’s been. Days? Weeks? Months? All I wanted was to make a sandwich for some students, but now, now I want revenge.

I want blood.

Whoever took that video, you ratted me out. You’re the real criminal in all this. You’d better sleep with one eye open. Once I get out of here, oh boy, just you wait. You’ll never know when I’ll decide to burrow underneath your hat and control your every move. Your hands, your legs — maybe one day, your brain.

Hell, I’ve done it before, I sure as hell can do it again.

My new motto: Cuisiner pour tuer.

The Dingbat is The Ubyssey’s humour section. You can send pitches or completed pieces to