My new, giant apartment has many advantages, such as the ability to sleep without forced dreams of ironic jukebox music and a lingering haze of American Spirit cigarette smoke. However, the house is really old. How old? I’m not sure, but there is a furnace in the basement that appears to be powered by coal (or dead bodies). With old houses come critters. I get that. I’ve smashed a few ants and narrowly avoided stepping on a dead mouse in the basement already and I have evidently lived to tell the tale. Ok. Normal stuff. Nothing to be freaked out about. But that was just the beginning.
It all started innocently, with a run-of-the-mill 3am text from Ariel that said “Bat!!! In the house!!!! Help!!!!!” I didn’t see this text until my alarm went off later in the morning, and somehow I had slept through the terrified screaming and slamming around. Years of living above a bar have hardened me to sleep-blocking noises. I laughed out loud, assumed she had drunkenly mistaken a shadow for a flying pre-vampire and hit the snooze button so as to look as gross as possible for work. I didn’t think anything else of it until the next evening when I was home alone, minding my own business in the living room and a giant black projectile brushed past my face, alarming me and the cat. I immediately took to Facebook and texts to alert the world that a bat had “divebombed my head”. In reality, it flew sort of near my general vicinity. But still. I was inside. There should not have been things flying at my face. Amber from Clueless and I have very strict rules about that sort of thing. There goes our social lives.
I don’t love creepy-crawlies but at least I know how to deal with most pest situations. Bats are a different story. Bats are things of folklore and D-list vampire movies. I have never encountered one of these winged creatures and my only frame of reference is an amusing episode of “The Office” so naturally I assumed it would make a beeline (batline?) straight for my hair, get caught there and immediately give me rabies, thus turning me into a creature of the night. My knowledge of bats exists as a mishmash of every vampire pop culture reference I’ve ever heard, coupled with an emergent urge to leave the house and never come back in. Now, I know that bats are not the animal versions of vampires. I just have no other way of processing their existence in my home without likening it to information with which I’m more familiar. So, vis a vis, Alexander Skarsgard was basically tearing around my house until I was ready to catch him, at which point he would hide like no TV vampire has hid before. I looked through my whole house, in every nook and cranny and could not find the bat. I had no idea what I was going to do about it if I did come across it, but I felt I’d need to tell people I had tried.
I was not successful and I chose to ignore the fact that there was a bat somewhere in my house and go to bed. I was totally fine, sound asleep and dreaming about Robin Thicke’s blurred lines (or something equally culturally relevant) when Ariel came crashing into my room, screaming at the top of her lungs that the bat was in her room. She was legitimately freaked out, having woken up to the fluttering of black wings above her face, and had come to me for help. I said, “I’d prefer to keep sleeping” and did just that. I’ll go ahead and add “helpful in a crisis” to my resume. I doubt she went back to sleep.
We never did see that bat again. I awoke the other morning to a text from one of the neighbor girls that said, “Sorry if you heard a lot of screams at about 3am. We found a bat. Then I caught it and threw it off the front porch in a Gladware container.” Since I’d really like to not have to do anything to remedy the bat situation, I’m going to go ahead and assume that it was our bat who had crossed borders and met with his tupperware demise.
It just proves that indeed, nothing good happens after midnight.