Thursday, June 02, 2005

Of Bats and confusion

A couple things to share.

I learned years ago that if I was to have any chance of getting everything done I had to write it down. There is a constantly updated list of tasks sitting on my desk reminding me of what I need to do, want to do, have promised to do. The current iteration is 14 tasks long (with several items that are also multiples so the number of jobs to do is actually about 20). Or so I thought. I was just reviewing it to see what had to be done NOW and noticed that #8 read "Clear Pile", referring to the pile of paper that always builds up on the right hand corner of my desk. Further down at #11 is the notation "Clear Pile". I haven't gotten to the pile yet, but my list just got one job shorter! Life is good. LOL.
(OK, I felt guilty and actually cleared the pile. Or at least sifted it, filed appropriately and got it under control)

We had a bat come visit us at home last night. Our apartment is the second floor of a century old farm house and we get a visitor a year. At the first sign of something flying my lady wife and teenaged daughter scurry (there is no other word for it) into a room that is 1: Bat free, and 2: has a door that latches. Remember this is an OLD house and not all the doors shut securely. Then they call me. To rescue them.


Can I admit that bats give me the willies too? One of my first jobs was as a dishwasher at camp (the "Kitchen Boys" were the absolute TOP of the social ladder at this camp. Don't ask me why. It was the pinnacle of my teen years when I made the grade and was chosen as a kitchen boy). One of our tasks was chasing down the bats that got into the main house periodically. That building was also the girls dorm so we were all the girls hero, plus we got to trespass in restricted space (hmmm, maybe this whole kitchen boy social thing is making more sense now!) So I've been in the bat business for a while. And they still make my skin crawl.

Don't get me wrong I know that this part of the country would be virtually un-livable without our little brown buddies. I know that they are no more likely to be a rabies carrier than any other wild animal I run into, and that the bat is no more thrilled about being in my house than I am to have him there. But I much prefer them outside!

So my little brown buddy was hanging from a crack in the wall when I got home and was very calm while I prepared myself. In fact he was so calm I couldn't get him to fly when I needed him to! It took the usual 10 minutes to herd him into the direction I wanted (toward the open door. Praying all the time "Don't any more come in, don't any more come in!") Then another five frustrating minutes when he just REFUSED to fly low enough to go out the door. I always feel sorry at this point because I know the animal is frightened and just wants to get away from this lunatic human. Finally he fled and I quickly closed various doors and windows and told my two girls they could come out.

As has become tradition I'm greeted with the words "Our hero" and big hugs.

So I guess this bat chasing stuff has its advantages.



Reverend Ref + said...

You may alreday know this, but I heard that the best way to get a bat outside was to close all doors and leave one window open, turn out the lights and then get it to fly (the most difficult part -- unless it's already flying). The theory being that its radar will spot the open window and out it goes.

But yes, it is nice to be the hero every once in awhile.

Steve F. said...

I hate mice, and I especially hate bats. "They give me the willies" would be the mildest possible interpretation of what happens to me.

Personally, I'd give up the hero part in a heartbeat to be spared the Wild Kingdom encounter. So I'm glad it's you and not me, brother...thanks for my first gratitude burst of the day.

Da Youth Guy said...

Yeah I've heard that and I'm dubious. This particular bat was in a dark area of very limited space with an entire doorway open in front of him and he didn't seem to be able to find his way out! My daughter said she could hear me yelling at him "You are the stupidest bat on the face of the earth!"

Steve - glad I could help!