December 5, 2023

Today I was introduced to a man named Jonothon Lyons, who dresses up as a rat (Buddy The Rat), in New York, and crawls around in a crouched position, acting like a rat in public. In Manhattan.

And I watched him do it live for an hour as I worked. I was mesmerized, entertained, and his performance art triggered so many non-rat ideas. Here is his TikTok channel.

Jonothon has 3.1M followers on TikTok. He’s got another 111K on Instagram. His YouTube channel boasts 389K subscribers, too! So, no – I didn’t make some kind of discovery, lol. But what I got in watching him was the re-emergence of an epiphany, a realization, that not only is creating something from nothing the greatest feeling in the world, but it’s something anybody can do with enough imagination.

Jonothon created Buddy The Rat. He literally created the costume himself from clay and paper mâché, if I’m not mistaken. And then he creates an experience (with help from whoever films him) anytime he hits the Manhattan streets to either freak people out or entertain. Admittedly, he sometimes scares folks, too. In good rat fun.

Has he not created something of value? Absolutely! I will die on that hill. And I paid him the ultimate digital compliment: I turned on notifications for any time he goes live. As weird as it sounds, a live video of a grown man dressed as a rat hopping along the streets of New York wasn’t just entertaining.

It was joyous.

What an incredible time to be alive.

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