The Night of the Bat
Two years ago was a hectic albeit wonderful time for our family. In the span of a week, we moved out of our house, temporarily took up residence at my folks', Liam was born, and then we moved into our new home. Doing all of that at the same time is not exactly something that I would recommend, but we made it work with a great deal of help. All of these major life changes also happened to take place during midterms for my seminary classes. Fortunately, my professors were quite understanding and allowed time for me make up what I missed.
That is how I ended up getting attacked by a bat.
With both of the boys in bed, I went upstairs to what has become my office to take the online portion of one of my missed exams. I cleared a path through a colony of boxes, hefted my desktop onto its legs, and opened up my computer. I put on some classical music because when I was in 5th grade I read in Weekly Reader that classical music enhances brain function and I have no reason to doubt the journalistic integrity of Weekly Reader. And I started my test.
Somewhere between questions #6 and #7, I heard a squeaking noise. My eyes peered over to the left and I saw a black mass hurtling towards my head. In my split-second assessment of the situation, this was a vampiric bat roughly the size of an eagle and it was here to feast upon me. In that moment, I understood why Bruce Wayne believed a bat would strike fear into the hearts of criminals because bats are freaking terrifying.
I hit the floor and the bat continued to dart around the room. The office is a converted attic space, long and narrow. This layout meant that the winged rodent was bouncing around like an airborne pinball that might have rabies. And even though I can now see that this bat is about the size of my hand, I am still trapped in a long, narrow room with a territorial, possibly sick, flying beast.
After ten minutes of terror (in reality, probably about 30 seconds), my leather-winged foe zigs into the far corner. I sprint towards the door and slam it shut once on the other side. I am safe. But then it occurs to me that my computer, with the clock still running on my exam, is still in the office. A seven-inch flying rodent has seized control of my office and is now holding my academic career hostage.
I go downstairs to tell EA and her mother Marnie about the carnage that has been unleashed on the second floor of our house. While telling the story, Marnie informs us that her husband found a bat in our bathtub while moving our stuff in, but they didn't tell us for fear of worrying us. So suddenly we don't have a bat problem. We have a BATS problem. I could open up the door to the office and a swarm of beasts will tear out of the office, find our sleeping children, and transform them into emo vampires.
Not wanting to surrender a house that had been our home for just under a week, Marnie and I hatch a plan to dispatch the bat in hopes that he is acting alone. We settle on the most dangerous bat weapons we could find: a beach towel and a broom. At the top of the steps, I hesitate and say a quick prayer that I won't have to raise sparkly vampire offspring. Then I crack open the door.
Marnie and I creep into the room. Our eyes darting in every direction. Finally, she spots our nemesis on the far end, resting on the window. I toss the towel towards the bat and it snares him. But it also completely defies all physics and stays on the window's narrow one inch ledge. I can't pick the towel up because then the bat will bite me in the face. So Marnie puts her broom on the towel and we drag the towel down window and wall to the floor.
Then we put a trashcan on top of the towel. Unfurl the "Mission Accomplished" banner. We're done. Except we realize we have to get the bat out of the house. There is no way we can slide that trashcan and towel out of the office, over a door threshold, down a flight of stairs, and out the front door without that bat escaping.
So we grab the lid to a box. We are going to slide it under the trashcan and hope that the bat doesn't escape. Nervously, we inch the lid underneath. Suddenly we hear that infernal squeaking and a wing juts out from the trashcan. By the way, remember that classical music that I was listening to for the exam? This is what started playing:
So basically, we're going to die.
Fortunately, Marnie brought the broom down on the trashcan like lightning. I held the broom against the can with my foot. Now we are truly stuck. I am literally holding the bat in its cage.
Ultimately, we unscrewed the broomstick off of the broom and put a larger cardboard box over the trashcan, broom, towel, lid, and the beast from the pit of Sheol. Then we slid another larger lid underneath all of that. Then we got a massive trash bag that we put over the cardboard box, trash can, the broom, two lids, the towel, and the bat. We tied the trash bag, which took some time because we yanked our hands in the air at every angry squeak.
We took it all out to our front yard, cut open the trash bag, dumped out its contents, and ran ten yards away for cover. Nothing happened. So I start gingerly digging through every piece of this contraption. So there I was in a brand new neighborhood, poking through garbage in my front yard with a broomstick at 10:30 at night. We didn't get a plethora of welcome baskets.
We didn't find anything that night and I'll admit that I was slightly paranoid that he had Houdini-ed his way out during the whole ordeal. But the next day, I found him dead in our front yard. We had to get exterminators to come to our house to get rid of the rest of the bats in a more humane way (because technically you are not supposed to kill them).
But anyway, that was two years ago today and that is why my office is called the Batcave.