The genesis of my online moniker, King Rat, began when I was in college at the University of Idaho. My freshman year, a fat bearded old (about 37, which is old to a 17 year old) guy who lived on the floor above me in Gault Hall, a men's dorm, decided that I needed a nickname and that mine was to be "Rodent." Much to his chagrin, I embraced the nickname.
I started using the name "Rodent" on local Moscow BBSes. Sometime in 1989 I started using "King Rat" as well. For two years, on every BBS, I was either "Rodent" or "King Rat." In 1990, I switched completely over to "King Rat." By this time I was primarily only frequenting the first Internet BBS, Quartz, which was based out of Rutgers. By the summer of 1991, most people online who knew me, knew me as King Rat. At the first QuartzFest in Fayetteville, Arkansas that was the name I used.
I also played a lot of LPMuds during that period. I don't remember when I stopped exactly, and I don't remember how frequently I used that name on them. As LPMuds went up and down, I was constantly shifting to new servers and having to start over. At some I used "King Rat" and at others I would use some wizardly sounding name.
When the HTTP protocol started becoming ubiquitous and web sites started requiring "accounts" in 94 or 95, I used "King Rat." When I couldn't I used "Great King Rat." For about 3 years, I spent a lot of time on the Yahoo Seattle chat board. Oddly enough, I was not living in the Seattle area until 1999 near the end of that period. What ended my participation mostly was actually meeting a lot of the people who frequented that board. They scared me. I didn't want to become like them. On that board I was known as "GreatKingRat" as the name "KingRat" was already taken.
So here I am "gkr." On the crack bored, I am "THe King Rat" as both "King Rat" and "Great King Rat" were taken.
I took the name "King Rat" because numerous circumstances brought rats into my life. The Gault Hall mascot was a rat. My favorite book was James Clavell's "King Rat." And my favorite band at the time was Queen which had a song called "Great King Rat." Since then, another author, China Mieville wrote another work titled "King Rat" which is excellent.
I had sweatshirts from Gault Hall with rats on them. The only one I still have is one the sophomore year one.with the text "The Rat Is Back" on it and a gunslinging rat charing at the reader. Freshman year we had one that was a beer logo modified with a rat. Junior year was the cool one, with the theme "Rats With Hats." Several rats are pictured standing around on a street corner wearing nothing but hats strategically placed to cover their nakedness. Unfortunately, I gave that shirt to a girl who flirted with me. At the time, I didn't know better.
Jason just gave me a ball cap with a stylized rat logo on it.