Holy Guano

11 Jul
Gilligan as a bat.

1960's special effects

Last night, I may have saved five lives. At holy-shit-it’s-early o’clock in the morning, all 3 of our domesticated animals–two cats, one dog–rumbled down the stairs to where I was sleeping in the basement on a blow-up mattress (We had guests and I was demoted). The pet parade was a familiar sound, but there was also a scary, high-pitched, pained, squeaking sound coming at me. In my sleepy fog, I raised my head and thought I saw a wildebeest and a porcupine veer into the storage room. Couldn’t be, but I knew right away that the sound belonged to a fourth creature that would probably eat me before the sun came up. Then the sound stopped.

Fearless people in this situation would jump right up and investigate. I laid there for a full 7 minutes trying to figure out what I was up against and pondered the likelihood of everything working itself out if I just went back to sleep. Our dog, Sammie, peered into the storage room, scared. The cats were in the cluttered room full of nooks and crannies. I pictured the monster huddling under the large, built-in shelves.

I couldn’t turn the storage room light on because it was 6 feet into the room, just a dangling, bare bulb. No way. I could be a bloody mess by the time I reached it. I had a book light to my left that would have worked if I wanted to read it a nice bedtime story–Eric Carle, perhaps. No, I wanted a bright spotlight, like airports or lighthouses use, to momentarily blind it so that I had time to run my bony ass out of there. I jumped up and flipped on the bathroom light and walked to the storage room doorway. Then that damn sound again.

Rustling. A hiss. Shifting Shadows. And then Trouble, our polydactl cat–fearless I now knew–pranced out of the storage room (I moved out of the way, marvelling at his nonchalance) carrying a frantic black blur, fluttering and screaming. It was a bat. Sadly, my life’s bat education came from that one Gilligan’s Island episode years ago, so I immediately thought to cover my neck with a scarf. But first I had to pee. Common sense told me that bat wrangling should never be done on a full bladder.

I peeked out from the bathroom–my bare neck already foolishly forgotten. The animals were gone. I carefully walked upstairs, hovered over my sleeping wife, and whispered “There’s a bat in the house.”


“There’s a bat in the house–the flying kind, not a baseball bat.”


“A bat. In the house.”

Finally she was awake and out of her stupor. I went to the garage to get the butterfly net. Jennifer eyed my net suspiciously and said something about it being too small. The animals were in the corner of the living room, walking in circles and looking up. The bat was on the top of the curtain. I asked Jennifer if she wanted to do it, offering the net. She said no. I said fine just be sure to open the door as soon as I had the bat in the net.

I maneuvered the net next to the bat and it made that awful sound. Jennifer screamed and I backed off. Deep breath. I went back in. I prodded. The bat lifted then fell, flapping towards my neck. Jennifer screamed. I screamed. I think I saw bloody fangs, but I can’t be sure. Just like in “The Matrix,” I bent backwards, my torso parallel to the floor. I brought the net up in my left hand as my right hand went down for balance. The bat bounced off the net’s rim and flopped onto the area rug at the corner of the couch. I bounded up and placed the net over the motionless beast before the animals could get to it.

The bat crawled up into the net making it easy for me to slide it around the couch to the open door without a chance for it to escape between the net and the floor. I tossed the bat, net and all, into the front yard, slammed the door, and then did one of those full-body shiver dances. The translation of the three second shimmy was something like “Yuck, bats are so creepy looking–yuck, yuck, yuck–I’m glad it didn’t try to roost on my face; I’m lucky it didn’t bite my neck; woo hoo, I don’t have rabies; thank god it’s out of the house.”

By then Jennifer was on the floor, laughing hysterically.

With my neck wrapped, I went to bed, and dreamed that I was Dracula.

2 Responses to “Holy Guano”

  1. mom July 15, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    that is HYSTERICAL!!!

  2. nursewrachette August 15, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    I must say, reverse the rolls, me being you and your wife being my ex… same thing different city! I threw it out the window of the bathroom though with a broom! Dude you are one great writer never give up!

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