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Bad Onely Activities: Killer Bats February 23, 2011

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities.
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Welcome to the latest installment in our series Bad Onely Activities, where we muse on those awkward moments when being single–or living alone–seems kind of tough. This week we wonder whether we should join Match.com: “Woman who loves laughs and walks on the beach seeks same, plus a bat wrangler.”

“EEeeEEeeEE click eeEEeeEE click.” My cat Alvin crouches on top of the kitchen buffet looking at something squeaky and flapping. Then the useless feline turns and runs. It’s midnight, and I’m alone and exhausted. I start to cry.

This is my fourth domestic bat. You’d think I’d be a bat-removal expert by now, but no.  I have post-traumatic bat disorder.

The first bat trapped me in the bathroom for five minutes. I curled up on the tile floor, a sheet over my head and body, every now and then cracking open the door to see if the supersonic little bugger was gone. And each time he wasn’t. Whenever I peeked into the hall, a smear of swirling black air whooshed past my face, forcing me back under the sheet. (Lest you wonder how I so conveniently happened to have a sheet in the bathroom: I woke up to the bat flapping around in the canopy of my bed, so I dragged the sheet on top of me as I crawled to safety.)

I didn’t remove that bat from the house. Nor did I ever capture the other bat that one night swooped my face so closely I felt the air from its wings. I lost each one in my mess of bookcases and picture frames. I just had to hope they would escape by themselves, before dying and rotting, or before killing me.

The third bat appeared while my mom and uncle were alone in my house. They trapped it in a jar, like a firefly.  I didn’t get those genes.

Which is why I’m shaking and whimpering as I stand on a chair peering over the top of the buffet at this brown furry lump, knowing it is about to charge me. Its wings of crinkled black leather can unfold to over three feet, and its mousy mouth hides fangs as long as my pinky. (I estimate here.) It will rush me, and I will fall off the chair and break my skull and lie on the floor for days until they find me, with the engorged bat still attached to my jugular.

I want nothing more than to go upstairs and get my seven-foot-tall boyfriend, the firebreathing one with hydaulic steel forearms. But I’m single and live alone. So I do the next best thing: I call my mom.

“Help help! I’m scared! Tell me how you managed to trap that bat before.”

And she says helpfully, “What bat?”

Seeing that my mom is as useless as my imaginary boyfriend, and also perhaps a little senile (who forgets trapping a bat?) I realize I have to get my Onely on. I must take matters into own hands–once I don my leather work gloves. And a fleece with the hood cinched around my cheeks and chin.

I arm myself with a racquetball racquet, mason jar, and a towel and climb back onto the chair. But my equipment is useless. The creature has cleverly wedged itself between some vases and the raised ledge of the buffet.

The bat jiggles its hips. “EEeeEEeeEE click eeEEeeEE click eeEEeeEEEEEeeEEEeeee click EEEee,” it says, which if I remember my freshman Bat 101 correctly, means something like, “B&tch with the racquet, I’m going to rip out your throat and leave it to rot on your crummy linoleum.”

Point well made. I jump off the chair. What, I think, would my huge, fearless, imaginary boyfriend do when confronted with such a foe?  Why of course–he would throw cat toys at it.

I toss some jingle balls. Ding ding ding EEEeeeeEEEclickEEEEeeee ding ding ding. The bat crawls down to the floor behind the buffet. I roll ping-pong balls to dislodge it, thinking that any moment the fiend will swoop me. Instead it waddles backwards into an open corner, where it just sits. I tiptoe forward, sniffling, holding the towel in one hand and a nine-volt flashlight in the other. My goal is to blind the bat into submission while I disable it under the towel.

With a wild scream I toss the towel at the corner, where it–damned areodynamics–parachutes down right next to, but not covering, the bat. EEEEeeeeEEE click EEeeEEEee click! Wailing, I grab the corner of the towel, back up, and throw again. Success. My hand shakes as I put the mason jar over the little lump of cloth and pull away the towel. I feel the cloth pulling at the bat’s body. Because it’s almost as if I’m touching the bat itself, I whimper.

Peering through the glass, I see the bat has a ripped wing. At first I feel sorry for it. Then I realize that only its injury stopped it from whooshing at me and clawing out my eyes. I start to whimper again.

I whimper more as I slide cardboard under the jar opening, and I whimper as I drag the jar and cardboard with my fingertips across the carpet to the porch door. I whimper as I lay down a spiral binder as a bridge to slide the jar over the threshold and into the wild.

Sure, that’s not how Bear Grylls would have dealt with the situation. (He would have grabbed the bat with his bare hand and popped it in his mouth.) But in my own wincing, mincing way, I got the job done.

Once again, I’m reminded that living alone is a great privilege, especially in this economy, but a privilege with a price. Am I independent and resourceful enough to deal with crises? Sure, if I’m allowed to whine.

Copious Readers, have you had Bad Onely interactions with wildlife? How dignified were you?



Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

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