As far as years go, 2015 was a combination of both ass and balls. Between terrorist attacks, a cartoonish primary season, and just plain old sucking, we had only a few morsels of joy to tide us over, like that one Twitter account that rates dogs. So, it pains us to inform you that all of those silly and life-affirming Internet stories that distracted from civilization's inexorable march into the void were just the E. coli icing on 2015's cake of turds.
6Pizza Rat Is Definitely Dead Now
Back in September, we were all briefly spellbound by the inspirational story of a rat trying to make it in the big city. This little guy was filmed dragging a slice of pizza down into a subway entrance, which was probably the New Yorkiest thing ever caught on tape since the last time someone got footage of Larry David eating a hot dog.
The part where he gives up at the very end is the most Knicks thing ever.
The world took a couple days off to laugh and smile at what came to be known as Pizza Rat (which is also a rejected name for Chuck E. Cheese), and we all knew we would have let him on the train with us if we saw him. Unfortunately, rats are particularly hard to follow up with, so nobody really knows what became of the hungry and highly practical rodent.
Unfortunately, we have a pretty good idea: Pizza Rat was probably exterminated, and then another 10 rats took his place. New York is so knee-deep in rats right now that New Yorkers have put their city dogs to work killing them in organized rat hunts.
William Reyna, R.A.T.S.
Westminster champion by day, Splinter killer by night.
And, keep in mind -- these are New Yorkers. They wear all-black ensembles and breathe grit every time they leave their tiny closet apartments. For New Yorkers to get worked up enough about vermin to make 24,000 rat-related complaints to a specific rat-related hotline, you know the problem is bad. One woman discovered a colony of roughly 200 rats in her local park, calling it "the Burning Man of rats," a title previously held by Burning Man.
Right now it's unclear if there are actually more rats, or if the rats are coming out in more force thanks to an increase in garbage left out over 2015's winter. Mayor Bill de Blasio has added an additional $3 million to the city's budget just to take care of them, which is a pretty astounding sum. As of right now, it's still not clear how much of that each rat will be receiving to migrate.
Considering how it's now two Pizza Rats for every pizza, probably not much.
So as adorable as Pizza Rat was, the pizza either gave it more fuel to nibble on the skin of a sleeping homeless New Yorker, or it was hunted down by a terrier. Either way, the situation is less Ratatouille and more Plagues Of Egypt-y.
5The "Clock Boy" Story Only Fueled More Racism
Ben Torres/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Back in September, most of the nation was appalled by the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Texas student who brought a homemade clock to school to show to one of his teachers. One of the teachers assumed it was a bomb, based on such technical details as Ahmed's name and skin color and called the police to have him arrested.
Rachel Woolf/Dallas Morning News
"His clock would have hit 9:11 twice a day. What more evidence do you need?"
The event sparked national outrage and an outpouring of support for Ahmed, leading to offers for him to study science at prestigious universities and become R&B singer Ne-Yo's protege. Overall, this incident showed that maybe most of this country is on the right side of this racism thing after all, right?
At least, until most of the nation stopped paying attention. After that, things got pretty terrible.
It turns out that it's not just one school -- much of Irving, Texas, is astoundingly fucking racist, and Mayor Beth Van Duyne may be the worst of all of them. She's convinced that Muslims are trying to enforce Sharia law in the United States, a sentiment shared by a number of other shitheads in the country. So, naturally, when the news about Mohamed broke, she decided that doubling down was a better strategy than apologizing, which led to the town being sued by Mohamed's family to the tune of $15 million, which won't help Irving's rat problem at all.
David Woo/Dallas Morning News
That's what happens when you elect rejected experiments from the Ann Coulter Cloning Factory.
Meanwhile, the other racists of Irving made sure the town understood how dangerous and violent Muslims are by protesting outside the local mosque with their guns, because that'll show 'em.
Avi Selk/Dallas Morning News
"See!? If they are innocent, why are they all nervous and jittery whenever we stop by?"
Within a few days of all the support generated for Ahmed, he was accused of planning the whole thing to garner sympathy by some, including renowned scientist and patron saint of reason Richard Dawkins. Add the barrage of death threats on top of that, and it's no surprise that the Mohamed family said "fuck it" and moved to Qatar instead. Apparently, they feel safer hanging out with a wanted war criminal than dealing with America's Islamophobes.