Let Me Explain the Rat in the Freezer…

Let me explain the rat in the freezer…

That’s an actual text I received from my mother during the pandemic days.

Actually, the full text read:

Should I die of COVID in the next seven days, let me explain the rat in the freezer.

My mom had discovered the rat — or rather remnants of its late-night feasting — in the form of a shredded-to-bits carrying case for jumper cables she’d had in the back seat of her car.

Not wanting to meet the rat face-to-face, she’d purchased glue traps and, in short order, had caught the culprit.

Problem was, it was summertime, and the trash had already gone out for the week.

So my mom was faced with what to do with a dearly departed rat on a glue trap with the promise of six more days of 110-degree weather. So she did the only logical thing, which apparently was to wrap it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer until the next trash day.

And because my mom is also a writer and therefore blessed (cursed?) with a vivid imagination, she started to conceive of all the things that could happen to her in the next six days.

And top of mind was what those whom she left behind would think as we cleaned out the house and came upon the hapless rat.

Hence the text that arrived with no preamble, that made me (and everyone else she sent it to) laugh out loud. 🤣🤣🤣

Mom will forever be known as the old lady with the rat in the fridge. And because she knows the story brings a smile to our faces, I’m not sure she minds this too much.


I tell you this tale not to gross you out, but because I suspect it’s a story you won’t soon forget.

And that’s the point.

Stories are memorable.

From where I sit, not enough entrepreneurs are using stories to their advantage. For close to the same amount of effort, you can write a short email newsletter that will have your readers talking about its contents over dinner. Or you can write a social media post with a half-life of 12 hours that must defy physics to stick in anyone’s mind for more than three seconds.

Stories allow us to connect emotionally with other people. They allow the reader to see themselves in the narrative and ask: what might I have done in the same situation?

Stories can provide solutions, or give hope and inspiration, or can simply humanize you in the eyes of your audience.

Bottom line, using stories is the secret to creating compelling content.

So as we head into a new year with bright eyes and ambitious goals about making a greater impact, I ask you where could you be using stories to create connection with the people in your orbit?

You don’t have to be selling something. Although I believe storytelling is the #1 most effective way to do that.

It could simply be to leave behind a legacy.

It could be to share some knowledge, because you really just want to help people.

It could be to teach a memorable lesson to your kids.

The question is, are you maximizing your impact by utilizing your own personality-revealing stories?

Do you this might be the year to start?

Resonate with these musings?

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