Monday, August 4, 2008

The Bat Outside Our Door

Okay so I was talking on the phone yesterday with my Mom.

I was standing outside as the children ran around. I try to let them enjoy being outside while they can because Wyoming weather is not nice in the Fall and Winter.

I was in the middle of chattering to my mother about how excited I was to see her on Thursday..

And then I saw it.

This big black THING above my door.

I let out a bloodcurdling scream.

"WHAT?" my Mom screeched. I pictured her sitting at the table over in Texas with a hand clasped to her heart in surprise.

I screamed for about one minute. No joke. I just couldn't stop. You all know that I have issues. This is why I know I could never be on that show Scare Tactics. I'd have a heart attack for sure. (For those who don't know it's an amusing show on the Sci-Fi channel that plays pranks on one time they pretended an alien came down and another time this wolf creature thing jumped out of a block of ice..)

"There's a...a..THING on top of my door," I managed to spit out while at the same time screeching and going, "Ew ew ew!"

"A thing?" Mom repeated. "Are the children okay? I thought something happened to the kids!"



"No the kids are fine," I said.

But I was sort of lying. Because since I had screamed it had sent Tommy, who has sensory processing disorder and doesn't like loud noises, into hysterics. He was croutched down with his hands clasped over his ears going, "What HAPPENED?" over and over.

Natalie was just staring at us with confusion.

What the HELL kind of family did I join?

"There's something above my door," I gasped out.

At this point I was hiding in the garage with the kids. As though I were afraid that the thing would swoop down and attack us all.

"What sort of thing? Is it a bird? I'm sure it's just a bird. I did notice you had a little nest in the corner of the house," Mom said in her calm tone. You have to understand that my Mom LOVES creatures. ANY creatures. She'll easily take a spider into her palm like it was nothing. She has this little bug trap that she keeps in the house to nurse insects back to health. Apparently she helped this praying mantis with a bad leg. When I was there last time there the thing was sitting on the kitchen counter.

Yes I screeched and went, "What IS that thing?" because I hadn't realized anything was IN it.

"Oh. My praying mantis. It was hurt," Mom said like it was a common thing to do. To NURSE frightening bugs.

Mom has even talked about getting a TARANTULA because she thinks they're cool.

"But don't worry, we'll wait until AFTER you're visit," she assured me when I gave a frightened squeal over the phone.

I've seen enough sitcoms to know that when a spider is involved, it'll usually break lose causing mayhem.

Granted my life is not a sitcom. But I have rotton luck and I can just see Mom going, "Oh rats. My tarantula got loose.."

And then cue me immediately leaping up onto the kitchen table and screaming at the top of my lungs.

I'm embarrassed because I hate acting all girly like that. But I just cannot handle spiders.

But back to my story.

I assured Mom that it was NOT a bird above my door. I know birds. I mean I may not have a college degree yet (I'm like six credits shy of having one..) but I know what a freakin' bird looks like.

"Are you sure?" Mom pressed. Because after all she has not one but TWO college degrees.

"I'm SURE," I said firmly.

"Could you go over and describe it to me?" Mom continued.

As in..get CLOSER to that THING? Was my Mom INSANE??

"It was black and nasty!" I shrieked.

I heard Mom chuckle softly. "I know but...describe it. I can probably tell you what it is.."

This is true. Mom has so many animal books in the house that will describe exactly WHAT spider it is. Or WHAT beetle it is.

"Okay..but if I get bit..." I warned her.

"You won't," Mom promised.

And because she's my MOM I obliged and crept over to the creature after telling the kids to stay in the garage.

"What's happening? What IS it?" Tommy said, his voice laced with fear.

"Amber. You're traumatizing him. Must you scream like that when you see a bug?" Mom asked.

"I can't help it. And this is NOT a bug, Mom. It looks like a BAT.."

I crept closer, my heart rate increasing.

"Okay," I said, my voice all shaky. "It's, um, black. And it looks like it has some white fur on it and...EEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Then I started freaking out again because I swear I saw it MOVE.

I booked it back into the garage.

"White fur?" Mom repeated. "Hrmmmm...can you take a picture of it and send it to me?"


Was she not comprehending that it was BLACK AND NASTY??

"Okay. But I'm pretty sure it's a bat," I told Mom.

"I DON'T LIKE BATS!" Tommy screamed.

"I wish I were there. I'd sweep it away for you," Mom said in her Mom-like voice.

I wish she were here too.

"But if it is a bat, keep the kids away from it. Bats carry rabies," Mom reminded me.


Of course I knew this but I was so focused on it being BLACK AND NASTY that I didn't even think of rabies.

What if the bat bit one of my kids and they started foaming at the mouth???

What if the bat bit ME and I started foaming at the mouth!???

I mean I'd probably get a rabies shot if I got bit. But I heard rabies shot HURT. I HATE needles.

"I'll go take a picture and send it to you," I promised Mom.

We hung up a few minutes later.

I was still shaking.

I told the kids to get inside.

"But I wanna play," Tommy fumed.

"Tommy. There's a BAT outside our door. Come inside.."

So I had to deal with a cranky six-year-old and a one-year-old who wanted to go back outside.


I managed to take a picture of the thing and sent it to Mom:

She called about an hour later when Tom was waking up.

"That's a bat," she assured me.

I had to bite my tongue from going, "Duh.."

"Just don't touch it. It could carry rabies," Mom said again.


I can't go outside because of a potentially rabid BAT.

"Is the bat an omen not to fly on the airplane?" I said all dramatically to Mom.

She laughed. She's used to my antics. I mean she lived with me for eighteen years after all.

"It's not an omen," she promised.

" could be..I mean when does a BAT rest above someone's door? It's telling me something. It's saying 'Don't fly, Amber. It's not safe'". I started to get frantic at that point so Tom took the phone from me and talked to my Mom.

Then he hung up and I started pacing the room.

"If I were on the TV show Lost a bat above the door would MEAN something," I muttered.

Tom rolled his eyes. "We're not on a TV show though. It means nothing. It just means it was flying along and got tired and didn't realize where it was." He was speaking to me like he speaks to our children.

I cast my crazed eyes at him. "Will you get rid of it? Get the broom and shoo it away?"

Tom shook his head. "I ain't going near that thing!"

"Fine. If it bites one of us and we die of rabies, I hope you can live with yourself," I snapped.

Honestly. Sometimes I wish I had a more manly husband. Granted he's manly in the sense that he likes action movies with lots of blood and guns. He thought The Notebook was "as gay as they come." He thinks grown men should never wear argyle sweaters and mocks the ones that do. And men who wear loafers with TASSLES on them really freak him out.

"Um. My dad wears moccassins with tassles," I once pointed out to him.

"Well. I'm just saying that I could never wear them," Tom said firmly.

But when it comes to bugs, he doesn't want to deal with them. He won't admit that spiders freak him out even though I know they do.

Heck, one time there was a spider in our house and we had to ask the NEIGHBOR to take care of it.

He was greatly amused. (The neighbor, I mean.)

So basically we all hoped that the bat would fly away at night.

But it did not.

When Tom came home this morning he said it was still there.

And at that point he had had enough. Probably my whole, "If one of us dies of rabies I hope you can live with yourself" speech got to him.

So he said he got a broom and the hose in case it started attacking him.

I can just picture him armed with a broom in one hand and a hose in another looking all determined.

He approached the bat and smacked it with the broom.

He said the bat opened its eyes, which "really scared the shit out of me" and then HISSED.

Oh man.

If it had HISSED at me I'd have run in the other direction screaming with my arms up over my head.

But my husband, who is trained for war, continued to bat (teehehe) at it with the broom.

More hissing.

Then Tom sprayed it with the hose and it finally dropped down. And started WALKING TOWARDS TOM.

I think Tom was freaked out at this point.

But when he told me the story he said he just went into the garage and got the shovel. Then he sweeped the bat onto the shovel and carried it into the back fields.

He said the bat was still hissing and baring it's fangs at him.

He said he threw it in the field and came back home.

I picture him throwing it in the field and running like a little girl back into the house in case the thing decided to CHASE him.

But thank goodness the bat is gone.

Unless it tries to come back for revenge or something.

I hope not..


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