Karen had grown up in a log cabin at New Germany State Park in Garrett County, Western Maryland where her father was the Park Manager. So she was used to a wide variety of creatures that roamed the woods. Bear, raccoon, opossum, deer, etc. were everywhere. In the air they had eagle, hawk, owl and a wide variety of smaller birds. It’s easy to be envious of someone who grows up in the woods like that.
One night, Karen woke me from a sound sleep and she was in a panic. “There’s a bat in the house!” and the urgency made me at least wake up a little and listen. I heard a faint whoosh as something flew around the bedroom, but there was no way there was a bat, “It’s a moth, go back to sleep.” “NO, it’s a bat!” and she turned on the light. Sure enough there was single bat flying around our apartment.
Already I’ve got a couple of things working against me here. As the male in the relationship, it is my sworn duty to protect my beautiful bride from all threats, large and small. And since I am 10 years older, my vast amount of experience in the world should have prepared me for every eventuality. Except all of that is hogwash. I didn’t have the slightest idea what to do and since I had a long day at work, I also didn’t have much interest in anything but going back to sleep. But Karen would have none of that.
“OK, OK, I’m awake.” I had to think fast or this was going to get completely out of control. I thought, ‘what do you do when there is a problem with your apartment?’ Ha! you call the landlord! So I called my parents.
“What’s wrong?” Elinor said.
“There’s a bat flying around our apartment,” I said matter-of-factly.
“You do know it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, and what do you think I’m going to do about it.”
“Well, you’re the landlord and there’s a bat in our apartment,”
“Yes, you said that but I don’t know what to do about it either.”
Well that was completely unproductive. Just then Karen started telling me how they had bats in the log cabin when she was growing up. Only they would just get a park ranger to come up and get rid of them.
“You mean you’re used to this sort of thing?”
“Well, ya, sort of, but we just hid under the covers until the bat was gone.”
“Why don’t you call your father and see if he knows what we’re supposed to do.”
By this time the bat had flown into the living room and I had closed the bedroom door so we could at least relax a little. So Karen called her parents.
“Hi, mom, sorry to wake you but we have a problem.”
“We have a bat in the apartment and we don’t know what to do.”
“Oh, is that all. When you call at 2:30 in the morning I thought you had a big problem.”
At this point her parents are discussing the problem, not without some laughter.
“Dad says to get something and swat it out the window. Do you have any newspaper?”
Not only do we not have newspaper, or a broom, but also my tennis racquet is downstairs in the car.
“Mom, we don’t have anything like that.” [More talking and snickering in the background.]
“Dad says to open all the windows, close the bedroom door, and he’ll fly outside on his own.”
“OK, thanks Mom, sorry we woke you.”
“That’s OK, call us tomorrow and let us know how it turned out.”
So it was decided [note: I didn’t say I decided] that I would go into the living room, past the bat that was now clinging to the ceiling molding, and open all the windows. Then go back through the living room, past the bat, hoping that he wouldn’t swoop down on me, and back into the bedroom, close the door, and find Karen huddled under the covers. Sounds like a plan to me! Is there no bourbon in the house? Oh, that’s right, there is, but you have to go past the bat to get to it.
After executing the plan to perfection without any movement on the part of the bat, I went back to sleep. Karen however was awake the rest of the night looking for more bats. The next morning we discovered that the plan had worked and the bat had left on his own. Karen called Animal Control to tell them we had a bat in our apartment and where we lived, etc.
“Wait, how many bats do you have?”
“We just saw the one last night, but we want to make sure there aren’t any more of them.”
“I’m sorry lady, that’s not what we do, call us when you have 50 of them and we’ll come clear them out for you.”
“Well, wait, can you tell me how he got in here in the first place?”
“If you have a hole in one of your screens the size of a nickel, he could get through that. So check all your screens and you should be fine.”
And he hung up. Karen called her parents and there was a lot of laughter of course. And we laughed at ourselves for the rest of the day. Then we went to my parents for a cookout and of course, Elinor had told the entire family about the phone call she got at 2 am. This is one of those stories that has been told and retold for the last 30 years.
© J T Weaver