When I was in grade school we lived across the street from a beautiful home, surrounded by a dense wooded area. The owner was an elderly widow; and since her children had grown and flown, she pretty much stayed to herself.
However, once a year she would call my father and ask for help with her home. Just a little task called bat removal.
It didn’t matter my father wasn’t in the extermination field. He was the business manager for a small film company, which I’m sure even back then didn’t qualify him to mess with possibly rabid creatures. He would have been better suited for processing paychecks for the flying creatures, but that wasn’t her request.
“Lovie.” (This was the name she called everyone just in case his or her name slipped her memory.)
“Lovie, I have a little bat problem again. Could you be a dear and help me out with it?” Helping her translated to Dad doing the bat removal part, while she stood in the corner pointing out flight patterns.
Annually my family of four would don parkas with hoods, and trot over our arsenal of weapons: tennis racquets, baseball bats, rakes and whatever had a long handle. After the shrieking, yelling, ducking and laughing died down and the bat was safely in the woods, we would head back to bed, ensuring vivid nightmares.
Without fail, the next day our thankful neighbor would knock on our door and gift us her homemade bread. The poor gal could cook as well as remove flying objects because that bread was as dark as the night and as hard as a baseball bat.
Last week, my family on my husband’s side headed to Colorado to celebrate my in-law’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. We had a large condo for much of the extended family, which included a loft for the kids. They were ecstatic to have their own place, so they immediately morphed the loft into their three-foot high apartment.
The Colorado weather was gorgeous. Every night we would sit out on the deck watching the stars and sipping wine, while the kids played in their “fort.”
The problem with drinking wine and having fifteen people coming in and out of a house is that the actual closing of said door becomes less of a priority as the evening goes on. Actually, it’s an unknown fact that the ratio of frivolity is directly related to proper door closure.
A few bottles later, my husband saw a fluttering of the lights in the living room. It wasn’t the wine. Electrical engineers have a gift for spotting problematic lighting. He casually announced to the family outside that there was a bat in the living room.
As you can imagine, everyone came inside to either solve the problem or remove the kids from danger. The next part is a whirr. Someone yelled that the bat was heading to the loft. A child’s scream directs the men to her aid. Distressed child was removed from the once beloved loft. Then began the male planning phase of bat reassignment.
So how many grown men does it take to remove a bat from the belfry? The answer is none. While some were trying to figure out what to do, another closed the bat between the window screen and the window and when he stepped away to find a tool to push off the screen, the bat escaped into the night air. Easy.
Brushing off their hands, the men went back to the deck, so I searched for those in hiding. Down in the basement bathroom, I found the women perfectly entertained drinking white wine and watching Guns and Roses videos on an I-phone.
Does this kind of crazy happen at all family get-togethers or is it just ours?
Never mind. Sometimes it’s best not to know the answer.