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The Ratatouille Paradigm

Updated: Feb 19

Shift Four- L'espoir est un plat bien trop vite consommé, À sauter les repas, je suis habitué (Hope is a dish too soon finished, I am accustomed to skipping meals)

“What? But like, what do you mean by that?”

Sam tosses me a quizzical expression- cocked brow, unrefined grimace, and eyes searching for answers. I chuckle under my breath, reaching for my fifth slice of pizza. The AC thunders in the background, a slight reminder of the waning days of summer, although the air is still thick and muggy. I train my sight back on the TV screen, watching a cartoon rat shove a strawberry into its mouth.

“Well, it’s like, stories only exist if something upsets the status quo.”

“Yeah.” Sam leans back, stretching his arms above his head. I almost have to physically restrain myself from poking his sides.

“In Ratatouille, Remy’s, uhm, status quo is his normal rat lifestyle and that’s the paradigm for, like, everyone. Just rats being rats.”


I meet his perplexed squint. “So, when the food critic dude, cooked by a rat, his belief set is fundamentally changed. It’s like, wow, maybe anyone can cook! How truly bemusing! How novel!”

“Why are you using a British accent?”

“It’s a paradigm shift!” I grab his shoulders, shaking him vigorously. “One belief set substituted by another! Because of a rat!” Blank eyes peer back at me.

“What are you getting at…”

I sink back into the couch, collapsing with a huff. “I mean, isn't that kind of cool!? Someone’s set of beliefs can be altered by the tiniest thing, like a rat! It’s almost like a butterfly effect, but better because it’s a rat.”

“How’s that better?”

“It just is!”

“I think you’re reading too much into it.”

“It’s art! I can interpret it however I want to.”