I was actually a rather small child when I first heard the expression: “I felt like I walked into Rat City wearing cheese pants.”

The expression means of course that one had a particularly grueling time at some point or event. What could be some other expressions that mean essentially the same thing though?

“I really got my ass kicked.”

“They really put me through a ringer.”

“They ran me rough-shod up one side and down the other.”

“Some days you’re the windshield and some days the bug — today I was the bug.”

“I got dealt a bad hand today.”

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And so on, and so forth…

It was many years after hearing the expression for the first time, that I had this vision in my head of a goofy-looking brother literally wearing a pair of trousers made of cheese. How best could I render an image of pants that the reader could, somehow very quickly, understand were made of cheese. Swiss cheese then impressed me as being perhaps the most recognizable cheese from its distinctive random holes of varying sizes. Of course, such a garment would certainly require the reinforcing assistance of suspenders, which would further support the notion of trousers.

Rats are rats, but I had to support the notion of even rattier rats that the norm. The idea of young punk rats in a sort of skid-row environment appealed to me. These wouldn’t be fine upstanding rats of means and culture; rather, they would be tough rats smoking and drinking (beer), slouching with scowling looks and menacing affectation. The immediate environment would be one of back-alley filth and scum… garbage bins and upturned cans with trash spilling out. That is truly how I envisioned Rat City.

The SOFREP Cartoon for the month of September:

Not a good day

By Almighty God and with honor,
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