Monday, April 2, 2012

Call Me Batman

I have lived in this house for eight years. One would think one would know if all after that long in a relationship but evidently not. A few years ago, while my wife's aunt was visiting, there came a bat a fluttering around our office in the basement. I grabbed a broom and did what any manly man would do. I beat the shit out of that bat with two screaming girls trying to hide behind me. My wife was actually ON MY BACK which made it hard to swing that broom but I managed and I won. Since five years had gone by before our first bat, I figured it was a fluke and had probably gotten in some evening through an open door and had just hung out in the basement until my wife discovered it one day. Now that I think about it both have high pitched squeals but my wife has the higher decibel limit.

So as I was sitting here at this very computer in that basement office some three years later writing some witty post for my blog, I heard what sounded like something falling onto the floor in the adjacent laundry room followed by some rattling of various objects in that room. Now let me take a step back and say that when it is nearly nine o'clock in the evening and one is hearing something rustling around in a room where no one should not be, one's heart starts beating a little faster.

So I tiptoed over to the room, why I don't know unless I hoped that sneaking up on rustling critter would somehow benefit me, and slowly opened the door. Normally this would be followed by a thorough search of the room to find the culprit but this time the light shining around me and through the cracked door into the darkened room highlighted the object immediately. It was a bat. Before I could say bat, it flew right at me and out into the office.

Quick as I could, I shut the door leading upstairs hoping to contain the bat to its present location and successfully accomplished that goal. However, I was on the wrong side of the door of my bat slaying weapon, the broom. So after swatting at the bat with my hands to keep it from draining me of blood on one of its swoops near my head, I darted out the door and slammed it behind me. I quickly armed myself with the broom and crept (there I go creeping again for no apparent reason) back down the stairs to the office and slowly opened the door.

Again, I saw the bat immediately on the far wall desperately trying to crawl behind a bookcase and the wall. So I crept over there keeping a wary eye out for a swift move towards my hair or neck and whacked it a good one with the broom. It fell and hit the stepped portion of the foundation wall where the concrete and wooden part of the structure meet and there it met its maker as I beat the shit out of it with a broom. God them things are ugly.

When it was thoroughly dead, I scraped it into a nearby gift bag from some store that my wife had saved for future gifting purposes and through the sucker outside and then disposed of the bag. It was only then that I realized that my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest and it took a minute or two to calm down. I must say, beating bats are a good workout.

On the plus side, I think I know how they are getting in the house. In the downstairs utility room, there is a stud cavity that is 95% blocked off but in that 5% that is open, that is where any wiring going from the basement to the main level of the house is routed. The cavity goes up to the attic which eventually leads to an access hole in the garage that is capped by a garage door with an old rubber door seal that has a malformed spot in the center where it folds the wrong way and has taken on a permanent set that leaves a small gap between the door and the floor. So item one on this weekend's agenda is to fix the door seal and then seal up the stud cavity between my attic and my basement laundry room. I don't want to have to beat the shit out of another bat.


R. Sherman said...

You Hombre!

Once, I was in a cave in Boone County, Missouri when the bats decided to exit en masse. Quite thrilling, I must say. They'd fly out of the darkness right at your head until their sonar tipped 'em off to your location then dart around you. Very, very cool. No bites or attacks of any sort.


Ed said...

R. Sherman - For some reason, the few times I have been in bat/cave situations, the bats don't bother me, even when flying around. But when I have one in my house, the primal side of my nature takes over.

Vince said...

Vampire bats feed on herd animals. But herd animals moved north following the growth of herbage.
I wonder what herd animal wasn't able to outrun them ?.

Here they would have put you out of the house before they would remove a roost of bats.

Ron said...

Dude! Bats are on the good team!

Almost every evening for several years in summer, I've enjoyed watching bats flit over our clearing. I wouldn't want one flying at me in the house, though. :)

Ed said...

Vince - Fortunately for me, the bats in Iowa aren't endangered by any means.

Ron - I know, I know. If there had been a plausible option for me to somehow get the bat upstairs and out the door before it could hide behind some piece of furniture, I would have taken it. I enjoy watching them at night do their thing... from a distance.

Bone said...

That's a pretty good story. I remember when I was a kid, bats often flying overhead at my uncle's house while my cousins and I were outside playing. But I've never had one inside.

You could set up a camera and video your next encounter. That'd probably make for an entertaining post. Just a thought.

Ed said...

Bone - I'm not sure you want to hear such high pitched shrieks emanating from my mouth as I swing my broom over and over.

sage said...

There have been bats in our house three times--fortunately and unfortunately, I've been out-of-town on every occasion! There's not a house on this street that hasn't had bats, from what I hear.

warren said...

Bats are awesome...but outside. I am pretty much that way with all critters...inside is mine, outside is theirs!