New York Man Dressed as Rat on the Subway Took the Mask Requirement a Little Too Artistically

Rats and New York City go together like tourists and Times Square. But one Manhattan man has taken the rodents’ affinity for NYC – and the face mask mandate – a little too far.

His name is Jonothon Lyons and he’s a performance artist known as “Buddy the Rat.” He’s been creeping out subway riders by walking around on all fours decked out in a rat mask, long pink tail, and brown gloves.

As strange as this seems – or maybe it doesn’t, given that it’s 2020 and nothing surprises us anymore – the rat act is nothing new. Lyons created the character about 11 years ago and posted a video on YouTube. Buddy the Rat was resurrected recently, however, as part of a short film shot by director Todd Strauss-Schulson which will be released on Thanksgiving Day on Lyons’ Vimeo and YouTube channels.

While filming the short, passersby took videos and posted them on social media. The attention inspired Lyons to take Buddy out more often. He now finds fans on TikTok, where his videos have gone viral.

And yet, despite his internet fame, he told the New York Post that “most New Yorkers are totally indifferent” to the pest-themed get-up.

If you must mask up (and you should), what better way to have fun with it than this?

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