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Bats are assholes.

Warning: this post contains a lot of f-bombs.

So. It’s that time of year again, apparently.

What time is that, you ask?

Bat season.

Sigh.

Many of you remember my prior episode with an uninvited house guest.

This one began in very similar fashion. I was awakened around 3 a.m. on a random August night (morning) to see the intruder flying into my bedroom, causing instant panic. I once again fled to the backyard to regroup.  My traitor dog hadn’t even waited for me to wake up and assess – she was already downstairs in the kitchen waiting by the back door when I got there.  Jerk.

A raccoon was hanging out on the fence in my yard when we got outside.

“No,” I yelled at it, shining my flashlight (and by “flashlight” I mean flashlight app on my phone) into his face. “No, I cannot even deal with you right now. Get the fuck out of here.” He acquiesced.

So there I was, once again pacing in my back yard in the middle of the night, thinking if there is ever anything that’s going to motivate me to get married again, this would be it.

I got super brave this time. My panic sweats led me to turn on the a/c, which meant I had to close the windows, which meant I had to walk through the entire house. Which I did. Clutching the tennis racquet that has lived next to my bed since the last encounter two years ago. I didn’t want to hurt it (mostly because the idea of having to then deal with a dead or wounded bat stressed me even more the fuck out), but I needed to have some defense just in case. The tennis racquet was useful for things like pulling back the curtains to check for Batfucker (yep, I named him) before leaning in to close the window. It was useful for things like reaching into a room and flipping a light switch. I went room by room through the entire house. I closed all the windows. And I didn’t see Batfucker anywhere. I left a couple of lights on and settled onto the couch, figuring out what to do next. And it occurred to me that I had only actually seen Batfucker once, when I first woke up. Was it possible that I had dreamt the entire thing? That there was no bat?

No. Ruby had fled the scene. She has never once left my room in the middle of the night, until now. Clearly she had seen it too.  And after about an hour of sitting on the couch feeling like I was going to cry or puke from nerves, Batfucker flew into and then out of the living room. I tried not to freak out. I have learned way more than I want to know about bats, and I know that all it wants is to get out. I scurried to the front door and opened it, and opened the screen door, hoping for a repeat performance from last time when the bat showed itself in somewhat timely fashion. Sadly, however, Batfucker had gone into hiding and refused to take advantage of the exit strategy I had prepared. I was a wreck. And moths were coming inside to have a party.  I closed the door and sat paralyzed, no clue what to do next.

Morning finally came. My friend Leonard suggested that Animal Care & Control would come if I called; this was news to me! I dialed, and yep, sure enough, they would send a team. An awesome team, who did a very thorough search, and were super apologetic that they weren’t able to find Batfucker. (On a side note, there are a lot of jobs that would suck. Having to go into someone’s house and look in every nook and cranny for a live bat would be the death of me. I just had a full-body tremor just thinking about it.) It was possible the bat had found a way out of the house. It was also possible the bat was in some tiny spot where they hadn’t located him.

Goddammit.

So now I’ve had three hours of sleep, significant emotional trauma, and no closure. (Sounds like most relationship breakups I’ve been through…)

I spent the day walking around my house like some kind of demented tennis junkie, clutching my racquet.  I knew it was unlikely Batfucker would make a daytime appearance, but it was my bat security blanket. I poked curtains, towels, clothes in my closet. I held the racquet in front of me, looking up, down, around corners before entering rooms. I was literally scared of my own shadow.

I tried to be rational. Batfucker wasn’t lying in wait for me. He wasn’t trying to sneak up behind me. He wasn’t flying around the house during the day. He might even have been gone.

Except he wasn’t.

I had gone to tap, even though I was so exhausted, both mentally and physically, that I had no idea how I was going to make it through class.  I got home just before dusk, trying to psych myself up to behave like a normal human in my own home. I was pissed that I didn’t have a certain resolution. My home is my haven, my favorite place to be, so to be scared of being there was crushing.  I took a shower (with the tennis racquet sitting by the tub). I got some dinner ready (with the tennis racquet sitting on the kitchen table). Dinner was in the microwave and I was taking a glass of water into the living room when Batfucker swooped into the room.  I am sure this will come as a tremendous shock when I tell you that I freaked the fuck out. However, I did try to keep my head screwed on in the midst of the freak out, and I ran for the front door, shouting at the bat what the plan was: open door wide, go away.

I stood, shaking, on my front porch, when I realized the gravity of the situation: I had gotten separated from both my tennis racquet (kitchen table) and my phone (living room couch). I was completely unarmed, and I couldn’t call for help.  But surely it wouldn’t be long before Batfucker would take advantage of the lovely egress I had provided, right?

Ha.

The Dumbest Bat Ever had infiltrated my house. I sat on my porch swing for half an hour watching through the window, as it flew laps around living room, totally missing the WIDE OPEN DOOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM. Surely Animal Control would be able to get it, if only I could call them.

And then he disappeared. Crap. Now my fear became what if Animal Control came and he had gone into hiding again. I crept to the door. I peered inside. I saw nothing. I dashed in, grabbed my phone, and ran back to the porch. I waited a few minutes in hopes that he would return to his circles around the front room. Nothing. No bat. Grr.

I called Animal Control. I explained the situation. They said they would send a team. I sat back on the porch swing. Moments later, an apparent miracle happened: the dumb bastard found the door, and flew out into the night. Batradication complete.

I ran inside and slammed the door behind me. I called Animal Control and said never mind, thanks anyway. I told myself over and over again that there had only been one, it was gone, and there was no reason to be shaking like a leaf, or scared of the dark, or still clutching my tennis racquet (which I had retrieved from the kitchen). Logically I knew it was over, but the heeby jeebies weren’t so quick to relinquish their grip.

I have had three bats during my 3.5 years in the house (y’all didn’t hear about the first one, it wasn’t much of a story, although it’s on the list of reasons why Mourtney is such a great friend).  So now I will pay a Large Chunk of Money to have my house professionally bat-proofed. And it will be worth every penny. And it better work, goddammit. (They guarantee it will, so there’s that.)

As I write this, 24-ish hours have passed, and I am about 98% back to normal. Normal, of course, means sleeping with a tennis racquet next to my bed.

Things I have learned/observed/gleaned this week:

  • I am not a shrieker. You know how Carrie Bradshaw screams all the freakin’ time, usually over nothing? That’s not me. I’m a yeller. When I saw the bat fly into my bedroom, I did not scream. I shouted, “MOTHERFUCKER!” (Of course I did.)
  • If you live in the city and you have a live (wild) animal in your home, Animal Control will send someone any time of the day or night. They’re staffed from 6 a.m. to midnight, but someone is on call those remaining six hours. I had no idea. I hope I never need to call again.
  • There is nothing on tv at 4 in the morning. (Just kidding, I already knew that.)
  • You can have your house professionally bat-proofed (thank fucking god).
  • My friend Leonard is a wealth of information about bat resources.
  • Bats are assholes. (I already knew that, too.)

Please, for the love of god, let this be my last post ever about bats.

 

Note: If you ever have a middle-of-the-night trauma and need someone to talk to, you can call me. I won’t come help you remove a bat, but I will offer moral support over the phone like nobody’s business.

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Hold, please……

Omigod, I miss you! I have been too used up to get thoughts out of my fingertips in a coherent fashion and I need to rectify that. In the interim, I’m going to recycle, with apologies to those who have read this previously. Here’s a story that absolutely would have been on the blog had it existed when it happened. It’s an email I sent last summer at 3:27 a.m. to a select group of friends and family, then posted on Facebook later in the day. The subject line was “So much for sleeping…”

———————————————

Oh. My. God.

So much for sleeping.

I woke up….not quite an hour ago. I heard a noise in my window, like a bug bouncing off the screen, but enough to wake me up. It seemed odd, and Ruby was awake, so I petted her for a few minutes, then settled in to go back to sleep. For some reason, my eyes were open, and I saw the BAT fly through. The bat that had been trying to get out the window, apparently.

Oh. My. God.

I behaved like any normal person would. I pulled up all the covers and wondered if it was possible to ignore it until it went away.

It was not.

I could tell it was flying around in the room outside mine. Every few minutes, it would fly into my room and I would react like a sane person in control of the situation. I yelled and flailed and pulled the covers over my head. I also freaked the hell out of my dog. All bark, indeed.

After a while, I decided I had to get DOWNSTAIRS. I have no idea why. It just seemed like a good idea to regroup, because I was sweating (shocking, I know) and shaking like a leaf and could not think. (I also couldn’t remember if light would attract or repel a bat, and I wanted to look it up on the internet, and I couldn’t do that from my bed, apparently, because I only had my phone and iPad available. Oh wait….) And in my head, for some reason, the bat would stay upstairs until I figured out how to deal with it.

I decided I needed protective gear. At this point, I had on just a tank top. Not having on pants was a great concern to me. My yoga pants were on the floor next to the bed, but I couldn’t reach them without getting OUT of the bed; apparently being IN the bed was some kind of safe zone (although no one told this to the bat, who flew in from time to time). I entertained the idea of pulling the king-size down comforter off the bed for said protective gear. Because that would allow me to run easily, right? OMG. Fortunately I remembered I had a small throw at the foot of the bed. Protective gear. I grabbed my phone, put the “protective gear” over my head, yelled at Ruby to go downstairs (she did) and ran. We immediately ran into the back yard.

Upon reentering the house and determining the downstairs still to be bat-free, Ruby camped out on the couch and I hid in the bathroom for a while. I left the light on in the bathroom, and went out to the living room to join the dog and see what was going on on Facebook. (I turned on the light in the living room at some point.)

For those playing along at home, the answer is ATTRACT. Light will ATTRACT a bat. (Which doesn’t make sense, because they’re fucking NOCTURNAL and come out when it’s dark.) I know this, because he decided to join us in the living room, the sneaky bastard. So not fair to invade my safe zone. I flailed and yelled. Hoping none of my neighbors heard the crazy yelling tonight. OMG. He flew away for a while. Lather, rinse, repeat. He came back at least twice. And I’m pretty sure he got bigger every time.

Then it occurred to me, perhaps if the light attracted him, and the lamp is next to the door, I could have the door open and he could just show himself out. With my protective gear on, I opened the front door and the screen door. Then I moved back to Ruby, who had retreated to the far end of the couch.

Nothing happened.

No bat.

Grr.

Moths, though, felt free to come IN.

Closed the front door, went back to checking Facebook. Cute pics, Becca.

Notice the bat has reentered the living room. In amongst my normal screaming and flailing (now holding my iPad as a weapon, because I have shed my protective gear due to excessive sweating and the fact that wearing a blanket over my head now seems ridiculous) I try to explain the plan to the bat.

He retreats.

Open the door.

Retreat to couch with Ruby.

Bat enters the room, and thankfully, EXITS THE HOUSE.

Slam door.

Sit on couch.

Shake.

A lot.

Curse all of you for being asleep.

Decide out of the goodness of my heart NOT to wake any of you (Dad), and to send you my long story instead.

Pretty sure I’m bat-free again, because during the entire time it’s taken me to type this, no one else has entered the room. Am I going to go upstairs and check? No. Am I going to sit upright on the couch and watch a movie (with the lights on) and hope I doze off? Sources say yes.

My crazy, mixed up verb tenses should indicate just how rattled I am. Gah.

Anyone wanna come over and drink?

———————————————

Postscript: I did, in fact, put on my pants before fleeing the house. Also, as I was writing this, a loud thunk on the front porch made me jump out of my skin just when I was finally settling down. Newspaper’s here. Gah.

Why Being Single Sucks

  • You have to kill and/or remove _______ yourself. (Fill in the blank with whatever it is that really, really freaks you out: spiders, bats, mice.)
  • You have to plan your own birthday.
  • You have to take out the trash.
  • You have to shovel the sidewalk (but if you’re smart, like me, you buy a house without a driveway).
  • You don’t have a built-in travel partner.
  • Cooking for one is sort of not worth the effort.
  • There’s no one to rub your feet. Or anything else.
  • The holidays are brutal. Especially any holiday that shoves diamond commercials down your throat. Like Flag Day.
  • No one sends you flowers. (Of course, no one usually sends me flowers when I’m unsingle, either…hmm….)
  • You can’t put together a king-size headboard by yourself. And you for damn sure can’t flip the mattress by yourself. This will not prevent you from trying, because YOU ARE A STRONG, CAPABLE WOMAN! This will only lead to (hypothetically) getting trapped under the mattress and/or between the mattress and the wall. I said hypothetically!!
  • Sometimes couples act like what you have might be catching. As in, they can only socialize with other couples.
  • There’s no one to take care of you when you’re sick.
  • It makes you do stupid boys. Things! It makes you do stupid things!
  • There’s no one to help you put on a bracelet.
  • Your dating endeavors are a source of endless amusement for your friends, even when it’s sort of painful to talk about.
  • Every time you slip in the shower, you’re pretty sure that’s how you’re going to die.
  • The world wants you to be coupled. Not just the world of advertising, or Hollywood, your real world, too. No “catching up” convo with a friend is complete without the inevitable, “Are you seeing anyone?”
  • When your feet are cold, there’s no one to stick them against in the middle of the night.
  • You have to do ridiculous contortions to zip up a dress by yourself. Who the eff designs this shit???
  • You worry about who will take care of you when you’re old…like 50.
  • You have to make all the big/important/scary decisions all by yourself.
  • It’s not something you can “fix”. Even if you want to be in a relationship or dating or whatever (and maybe you don’t and that is an excellent option), you can’t make it happen. You just have to wait until it does. And maybe it never will. Which can be scary.