Jule Banville

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Let’s face it: D.C. has a rat problem. On the pest control company Orkin’s list of Rattiest Cities in America, we’re ranked fifth. But some have taken this as an opportunity to make a joke out of a bad situation.

A recent video depicts a rat falling off a shelf of chips and scurrying across the floor at Wisemiller’s Grocery and Deli, a student haunt on 36th Street NW, was turned into a meme to represent midterm season on a Georgetown University student-run Facebook page called “Georgetown Memes for Non-Conforming Jesuit Teens.”

Click here to view it.

The video is edited to include references to the struggle to live a balanced life during exam season, with “maintaining good grades, having a social life, getting enough sleep” written on top of the shelf. The rat, representing a stressed-out student, falls off and runs toward the words “dropping out of school.”

The presence of rodents is one of the most skin-crawling turnoffs at food-service establishments. Wisemiller’s, lovingly referred to as Wisey’s by students and locals, sells sandwiches like the “Hot Chick” and “Chicken Madness.” (The latter was a write-in candidate in a student government election last year and won a seat in the school’s senate.)

The rat issue in the District does seem to be improving. Our ranking on Orkin’s list went down from third in the country last year. Exam season doesn’t seem to be getting easier, but at least there are fewer rats around to mock the suffering of students.