There are few better ways (short of No Party Like a Donner Party) to demonstrate that a human character is desperate for food than to reduce him to eating rats. Although such animals are technically edible, their association with disease, garbage, and urban decay places them firmly on the "Unclean/Do Not Eat" list in most viewers' minds. This also applies to mice, cockroaches, dump-foraging seagulls, urban feral pigeons, mangy strays and other scrounging pests, although their small size makes some of these creatures unlikely candidates for Meal of Last Resort — although, again, the fact that people are going after such tiny morsels for food can also serve to highlight how desperate they've become.
We've all seen them before in the cheesy afternoon adventure show, the 1980's/1990's/comic-book, action, or adventure movie.
The villains in these media are a special kind of Jerkass: pretty much one-dimensional, hot-headed, and either will pull out, or will walk from the shadows with, a gun in their hand and a scowl on their face. They're petty, they're pushy, and they may be a little loony.
Their personality hinges on a
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