Thursday, February 27, 2014

BATS…Not the baseball kind The First Encounter

My first encounter with these winged creatures of the night did not occur until I my 30th year on this green earth.  I consider that a blessing.  If there were bats in the barn of our family farm I was blissfully unaware of them as a young boy.  My wife and I were in bed when we were awakened by a flitting noise coming in and out of our room.  Once we gained our senses the shadowy creature could be seen moving almost silently about the second floor, and I knew immediately it was a bat.  My heart sank to depths yet to be named because I knew I was going to have deal with it, even after it disappeared.  This provided only temporary relief, because now it meant I had to go looking for this monster from hell that had come to do me so much harm, as well as interrupt my sleep.  My family’s wellbeing was as stake.

Armed with a tennis racket – yes, I had a tennis racket.  I don’t know why, I just did.   I crept out of the bedroom, trying desperately to keep my back against a wall.  From where the B was last seen it was most likely it went up to the third floor.   This meant I had to cross an open hallway to reach the stairs, an act I accomplished with a speed that would have impressed the hell out of the B in order to minimize the time my back would be vulnerable to attack.  With my back once again firmly against  the wall, I crept up the stairs in my bare feet and underwear – briefs, not shorts.  (It is important you have an accurate picture of this entire escapade.)  As I approached the open doorway to the third floor I was convinced the B would swoosh down toward me and I would fall backwards, bouncing down the entire flight of stairs, in my bare feet and underwear.  Not a pleasant picture.

But good fortune found me safely on the third floor, where I explored the two rooms and the bath and failed to find my prey.  Once I safely reached the third floor we switched roles, and I became the hunter and not the prey.  With a growing sense of confidence I rechecked the hallway, even allowing myself to move away from the walls – not a lot, but there was space between my back and walls.  Still no sign of the B.  I returned to the back room and mustering all of my courage turned the light on, something I should have done earlier.  And there it was, clinging to the edge of curtains on the small window on the back wall.  I froze momentarily, then silently, with the tennis racket raised before me crept toward the source of such fear.

I will spare you the details of the ensuing battle, and tell you that I emerged victoriously and the bat disappeared into the bowels of the Wilmington sewers.  In my bare feet and underwear I returned to bed, and after only a few anxious hours fell peacefully to sleep.


Gus said...

No love lost for bats. The U of Minn had a "bat patrol" assigned to the older buildings on campus. In an emergency, there was a special number to call, and Ole (Ole and Lena jokes notwithstanding) would arrive with his dustmop on a longgggg pole, and a huge paper bag. He then proceeded to croon to the bat in Norwegian (or maybe Svedish?) he would then stun the bat with the dust mop(the broom hurt them too much) and put the bat into the paper bag, to be released on the agricultural campus in St. Paul.

True story. Pattee Hall, Special Education Library and Media center. 1972-1977 This was not a subject much addressed in Library School, to my recollection.


Patience Renzulli said...

This was his FIRST wife. PLEASE TAKE NOTE. Once I came on the scene, NO BATS WERE HARMED, these gentle creatures who mate for life and live in extended family groups. If one came to visit once the phobe was married to me, I captured our little guest (albeit with a great deal of shrieking) and removed him or her to the great outdoors.