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Friday, June 15, 2012

Bats in my Belfry

Friday, June 15, 2012 By

When Emerson and I moved in with my parents in April, I knew they had a bat in the attic. No big deal, I thought. I'll get rid of it.

So I've done things like put up bright lights, play annoying sounds, and put out bat repellent in order to drive them out. Make the environment inhospitable, and they'll want to move on, I thought.

Now there are four bats in the attic. And they're not going anywhere. 

So, this Saturday, I decided it was time for them to go. Thanks for visiting; vacation's over.

Four bats. They'd be easy to deal with. 

My plan was to get old towels and a cardboard box. I would throw the towel over each bat, shove it in the box, and then get the next bat. I'd take the box, drive out to the country, and let the bats go. Fly free, my friends. 

Good plan. Solid plan. Foolproof plan.

I waited until my parents left to run errands. I knew they'd never agree to this because RABIES. Everything rabies. You know how parents worry.

I dressed in long pants, long sleeves, gloves and a hat. I gathered four towels, a cardboard box from the storage shed, and lowered the attic stairs. The four bats hung on a screen over the gable vent. We put the screen up years ago so that animals couldn't get in, so obviously they were entering somewhere else. But I'll deal with that later.

I approached the bats, stepping on the scattered - and ultimately ineffective - packets of bat repellent. The bats took no notice of me. They just hung there, quiet. Nearly motionless. In the soft light, asleep, with their little bat wings folded against their bodies, they looked... GROSS. 

Seriously, in my mind they were adorable little furry winged pets. In reality, evil flying monkeys from Oz.

I tossed the towel over the first bat, and went to pluck it off the screen.


That bat sent out a high-pitched distress call that awakened the other bats - no, not just the three on the screen with it...

... the TWO DOZEN or so bats that had been hiding under the eaves!

They had been nesting, hidden, in the dark recesses of the eaves. And now they were angry. And I was surrounded.

I don't know how many bats I hit as I made for the attic stairs. I just know that my running and shrieking did nothing to deter them from repeatedly dive-bombing my head. With RABIES. Y'all. I was PUNCHING bats in the air! Like, I punched A LOT of them.

I reached the top of the attic stairs and gravity did the rest. I hit the wooden floor in the hallway, rolled like a ninja, turned, and kicked the folding stairs back into the attic opening. YOU GUYS, I KICKED THE FOLDING STAIRS BACK INTO THE ATTIC OPENING!

Then I lay on my back, on the wooden hallway floor, and shook.

Emerson came running from the living room. "WUT HAPPEN?!"

"Oh... nothing... Mommy just fell down."

Mommy fell down a flight of stairs on the run from a shrieking horde of flying RABIES.

"Oh, I he'p you up. You okay?" she asked.

I did not think I was okay. But I checked myself out. No broken bones. No sprains. No bites or scratches, thanks to my protective gear and ninja-like reflexes.

I didn't tell my parents or Emerson exactly what happened. But mom called an exterminator. He'll be out on Thursday to modify the house so when the bats leave, they can't get back in. Then he'll return in a week to trap any remaining bats and clean up whatever mess they leave behind.

I don't know if I can properly express my gratitude that such heroes exist. But the check he left with had smiley faces where the many 0's should be.


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