Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dave versus The Bat

I hate bats.

The flying mice type, not the Louisville Slugger type. Hate them! And there are 3 reasons why. When I was really young, I found a dead one in my grandparent's basement and that was freaky enough. Also in said basement, my sister and I were scared witless when another bat (may or may not have been related to the dead one, I didn't ask for I.D.) started circling the room, squealing like a banshee and then magically disappeared.

Tangentially, have any of you actually heard a banshee? Do they squeal? Probably why more people don't have them as pets, I guess. I should probably start doing more research for these whimsical rantings. I digress.

So the third reason I hate bats happened while I was attending Ball State University in scenic Muncie, Indiana (at least 3 or 4 people I know are going to absolutely piss themselves laughing at the "scenic" part of that sentence!). It was the night before classes started, fall semester of 1999. I wanted to be rested and ready for classes (for a change), so I took a couple of Tylenol PMs and went to sleep early.

About 3 in the ante meridiem I awoke to the strangest sound. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was but it sounded like fluttering. It was obviously dark, but my eyes adjusted enough for me to make out a form circling my very small apartment like a 737 waiting for clearance to land at O'Hare. It wasn't squealing like bats normally do, but I knew immediately what it was.

Luckily, I had a futon at the time, so I was already about 5 inches off the ground. So there I was, serpentining along the floor like I was in Nam and "Charlie" was lighting off tracers over my head. You have to do this because, as everyone knows, those shits ATTACK your hair!

I made it to the bathroom and turned on the light, still groggy (as Tylenol PM seems to log-jam in my head for days sometimes), flipped onto my back to survey the situation.

No bat. Nowhere to be found.

What the heck? So I grabbed a golf club (a seven iron, which was admittedly too much club for that lie, but I was planning on choking up and taking a nice, easy 65% swing) and turned on every light I had except for the one in the refrigerator (couldn't risk the bat getting to my beer and condiments, which is all that was in my fridge at the time).

Nothing. Had I just dreamt it all? Was I just loopy from the TPM? I figured that must be the case, so I resigned myself to taking a leak and going back to bed. I opened the door to the bathroom, which I had closed to check behind for the bat. As soon as I opened the door, I looked up and there it was, clinging to a pipe in the ceiling, wings draped around it like a cape (seems like you could use that imagery for some sort of super-hero or something….hmm…anyway). It was sleeping like a baby (probably resting so it could buzz my tower a couple more times like Maverick and Goose!).

I damn near soiled myself! I slammed the door closed, grabbed some duct tape and sealed off the room like some sort of biohazard, grabbed my golf club and cowered in the corner for hours, keeping ever vigilant (after all, there could be more waiting for me to let my guard down, and dammit, I'm not letting anything happen to my hair!).

At around 8am, Animal Control showed up. I took down the duct tape and let him into the bathroom, where our little friend was still cuddled up and dreaming of attacking my cabbage. The guy had these massive leather gloves on and simply grabbed the little guy, who was none too pleased to be leaving the shop! It squealed and screamed and bit the holy hell out of that dudes gloves. And just like that, it was over.

Turns out there was a hole in the ceiling of my closet that the bat navigated through to launch its little Pearl Harbor sneak attack. I used good ol' ingenuity to seal that hole up (duct tape and cardboard from a Busch Light 24 pack) and never had anymore unannounced visitors.

When I told my landlady about it, she was THRILLED! She was Asian, and apparently, being "visited" by a bat was a sign of good fortune!

Good fortune?! I think we can all agree by the ways things have turned out that this simply isn't based on reality or I really need to get swarmed by few thousand more of those little bastards!

So the next time you encounter a bat, just remember the following to get you through:

  • Wear a hat
  • Stay low
  • Choke up on a 7 iron

And in case you were wondering, I missed my first two classes that day to recuperate from my near-death experience.

Ok, I'm going to go wash my hair which is still intact due to quick thinking!

1 comment:

  1. Ha! We were just talking about those basement encounters with bats at Grandma & Grandpa's! As I recall we were pounding ping pong paddles on the table, probably in a effort to annoy someone, and it came swooping in from the furnace room. Did you scream, "Not my hair!" and dive under the ping pong screaming or am I recalling that incorrectly?

    Grandpa Bernie always applied a tennis racket to said flying rodents. He had one on every floor of their house. You might want to try that next time instead of the golf club-larger strike area.