It was an otherwise normal Friday night – the last one of those for a while as I had not gone to the Wright City-SoBoCo Eagles game – and I was getting in just a bit more reading as the midnight hour approached.
The wife had long ago gone to bed, but the Boston Terrier was enjoying a late-night romp through the backyard, just to make sure the squirrels were all out of his yard.
I was wrapped up in my book as I let the dog in, concentrating on its contents as I opened the door, and saw the dog trot across the living room and down the hall.
I dropped back into my big chair, thinking I’d heard a “whooshing” sound…..but returned to my book.
It was nearly 30 minutes later that I turned off my reading light….and noticed it.
It was a bird flying across my living room, apparently somewhat disturbed by me turning out the bright reading lamp.
It flew right over my head and I quickly did what every red-blooded, tough-guy male would do – I hit the deck, screaming for my life.
“That’s no bird – THAT’s A BAT!” I exclaimed, loud enough to awaken my wife.
The bat flew towards the front door, then back to the living room and followed the circular movement of the ceiling fan, flying in circles.
“HOLY JESUS!” I exclaimed, even more loudly – really sure this time I would wake up my wife.
The bat soon got tired of making me crazy and attached himself to our brick chimney – waaay up high near the ceiling. Now what?
My heart beating rapidly, I attempted to think rationally.
“But this is no time to be rational,” I said out loud, to myself – my wife could sleep through anything – “It’s time to PANIC!”
I actually had the presence of mind to close the bedroom doors in an attempt to keep the bat from finding a hiding place. Then, I had to think – while the bat continued to rest on the chimney.
I have never had a bat in my house, but it was a nice addition to the wild menagerie which included a opossum under the porch in Iowa, an Irish Setter who cleared out an entire kitchen cabinet under the sink in an attempt to hide from fireworks in Colorado, a skunk under the deck in Oklahoma, a javelina – yes, a wild pig – in the backyard in Texas and a raccoon in the pool house in Alabama.
But unlike each of the above, Mr. Bat looked as though he was in no hurry to leave. In fact, I think he had fallen asleep.
I was ready to arm myself in an effort to get rid of the bat.
Step One: Query on YouTube: “How to Remove Bat From Home.”
This provided mixed results. While one video gave good advice – wear leather gloves so you’re not bitten, drop a towel over the bat and you can pick him up, or, use a coffee can to drop over the bat.
Another result: A family of four adults running around screaming, yes, bat-crazy, and swinging brooms in a ballet of looney tunes which eventually convinced the bat to leave the premises.
Obviously, this second theory of removing bats beat anything provided by any conservation department.
I opened the back door. I donned my leather gloves, got my coffee can in one hand, broom in the other – and my Cardinals hat, just in case the bat attempted to lay his eggs in my hair and make me go crazy – and I was ready to yell, wave a broom and otherwise convince the bat he was unwanted.
It didn’t take long. The bat flew in circles, dipped his wings and attempted to dive bomb me. I discovered it was difficult to wave a garage broom while you are flat on your back and realized the bat was back on the chimney.
This dance went on for 40 minutes – with me yelling at the bat the entire time.
It was clear that I needed to bring in the big artillery. “You’ve had it now,” I told the bat.
I went to the bedroom and woke up my wife.
“I got a little video with my phone, but I thought you might want to see this to believe it, “I told her.
“You mean you can’t get a bird out of the house?” She asked.
“It’s a blood-sucking bat! I yelled, surely waking the neighbors.
Properly armed – kitchen broom, Pyrex serving bowl, ski cap – and guarding the front door, my wife said she was ready for anything.
Anything is what she got.
I shooshed the bat off the chimney and we ran around the room, waving our brooms, yelling like idiots. The bat made a few loops around the living room, swooped down towards me and went back to the chimney about the time my wife clocked me with the kitchen broom.
“Hold on,” I said, putting my jaw back into place, “this isn’t working.”
“Maybe we should turn out the lights,” my wife said, “you know bats like dark places better.”
“We don’t want him to like this place, and besides, you about knocked me out with the lights on. I don’t want to explain to an EMT we were chasing a bat.”
We took our places again, this time I was going to stay put at the chimney and prevent the bat from landing there while my wife stood by the door, ready to swat the bat outside.
And it worked. Amid much shrieking – from my wife, not the bat – she got a good whack at Mr. Bat and he fell to the deck. Then he took a few hops and took off into the night sky.