1. Any large rat roughly the length of a human forearm, not counting the rat's tail. Typically of dirty brownish coloration and native to the cold regions in North America such as New York, Canada and even Alaska. Thought to be related to NYC Sewer Rats, Dire Rats and Rodents of Unusual Size. Usually diseased.
2. A common sight and a food staple among tenants renting from Jim "the sex offender" Speedy, usually half-cooked (to save on excessive gas bills since heating his appartments costs tenants a small fortune) over the one remaining working fixture of the 30+ year-old gas stoves in his appartments, and seasoned with the various weeds that can be found growing in tenants' front yards. Killing these creatures takes both skill and bravery, although they are not difficult to locate, and do not need to be hunted in the traditional sense. Typically, a corpse-eating rat will be heard by a tenant attempting to gnaw through a box of freshy purchased pizza or the small cupboard in which tenants are forced to store their meager reserves of food as refigerators rarely work and kitchen cupboards simply proving spaces for the corpse-eating rats and their smaller cousins, mice, to nest. The tenant, usually desperate to protect what little food they can afford due to crippling rent payments as well as payments for repairs when various components of the appartment break due to their inherant shittyness, rushes to its defense, using whatever improvised weapons are handy. Those experienced tenants who survive their first harsh, lean, winter in the shittily-heated and practically uninsulated appartments typically learn to keep an improvised melee weapon within arm's reach at all times (even when trying to see through the Blur-o-Vision on their TVs or attempting to patch broken windows) both for killing the corpse-eating rats, and as a last-ditch defense against the tenant's other enemies, which include as various Molesting Fatasses, Loser Patrol, Terminators, Hunter-Killers, Sentinels and of course, Tentakel Beasts. Typical semi-improvised weapons incluse Dollar Store brooms, Civil War bayonets and Cavalry Sabres, hiking boots, hardcover Dungeons & Dragons books, wallet chains, snow shovels, entrenching tools, shovel-looking things that can't be seen that well because of lighting, pocket or kitchen knives, worthless VHS tapes from ex-girlfriends, dead phones, dirty syringes found in storage spaces from previous tenants and those big plastic green horns they sell on St. Patrick's Day that sound like the horns on Mac trucks, although tenants will use anything readily available, including their bare hands if need be, to defend their food. Once the tenant sights the corpse-eating rat after approximately five minutes of groping for the pull-string that tunrs on the light, the rat will be temporarily blinded by the sudden change in lighting (most tenants leave lights and other electrical appliances off to save on precious electricity, unless they need light to read or see pictures in porno mags to jack off to). This is the tenant's chance to kill the rat before it has a chance to bite and infect the tenant, then retreat behind the tenant's leaking stove or into his walls or cupboards to wait for the tenant to slowly succumb to the varoius diseases the rat carries. Usually, if a tenant is to be successful in slaying these beasts, he must do so (or at least stun or severely injure them) with the first blow. Once a tenant has killed a corpse-eating rat, he prepares it as carefully as possible, making sure not to damage any part of the rat, as each component can be made useful. First, if the rent is due soon, the tenant ritually writes the check, wipes the rat's ass with it, and puts it in the envelope, if possible while listening to a Dead Kennedys album. The rat is then skinned, de-boned and gutted. Rat pelts are typically used to make hobo gloves or moccasins to help the tenant survive the cold winters, but more successful tenants are able to save up several of them to make winter coats, blankets, sleeping bags, throw rugs, and those Russian hats like the one George wore in that one episode of Seinfeld. The most prosperous and resourceful tenants trade the pelts to other less fortunate tenants for food or extension cords. The meat, though gamey, is typically half-cooked or smoked and cured for use as jerky. The organs and any edible stomach contents are usually ground up into sausage or boiled in a stew. Tendons and ligaments are used to make string or rope, usually for patching the tenant's ragged clothes handed down from wealthier family members, bought on sale at Wal-Mart, or made from rat pelts or rat leather. Bones, if not needed to feed the tenant (by boiling with the organs or breaking open for marrow), are fashioned into primitive home repair tools, claws on clawed Freddy Krueger gloves, or decorative scrimshaw. If the tenant kills the rats soon before or during summer, he may also sell the various rat products at local art shows or to natural food stores. Therefore, when a corpse-eating rat is killed, it is time for whatever celebration the tenants battered or broken spirit, stereo and TV can muster, since the rat's death represents one less competitor for food, a triumph over a dangerous foe, a new source of livelyhood, and most importantly, the tenant's perseverance over long odds and a rotten hand delt him, and his retained humanity in an inhuman environment. Corpse-eating rats are, if possible eaten with the lights on, while watching TV or a movie, or failing that while listening to music (preferably Dead Kennedys, Metallica or Iron Maiden).
The name originates from an article in the Onion's satirical book of fake newspaper articles entitled "Our Dumb Century." A commentary on World War I, the article's headline reads "CORPSE-EATING RATS NOW LARGEST MILITARY FORCE IN EUROPE"
Me: Hey, I think I hear a corpse-eating rat! *grabs entrenching tool, runs into kitchen*
Zach: Sweet! I'm fuckin' hungry! *grabs wallet chain, runs into kitchen*
Corpse-Eating Rat: Eeeeeeeeeek! *launches self at me from pizza box on stove*
Me: Eat this, bitch! *impales corpse-eating rat on bayonet*
Me: Get the rent check and crank the Dead Kennedys! I'll clear off the stove!