“‘Screw the bats,’ I add.”

For your reading pleasure and sleeping safety, a post on how to manage winged pests in your brick mansions from our esteemed board member, Eric R. Danton.

Character.bats

Like these guys.

For the first 15 years I wore glasses, I had no particular place I kept them at night when it was time for bed. Usually, they stayed on a shelf near the sink in the bathroom, or on top of the dresser in my bedroom.

It took a brutal attack by a winged, bloodthirsty animal to change all that.

It was, I think, a Sunday night. The time was past 2 when I awoke to a distinctive leathery flapping.

I wanted to believe it was a bird. But birds don’t fly at night. I peeked out from under the covers to see a shadow gliding in circles around the room: a bat.

With blankets pulled securely over my head, I assessed my options. It was only four hours or so until dawn, so I could wait the little fucker out. Or, if I had any hope of getting back to sleep, I could courageously do battle with a creature of the night.

One problem with the latter choice: my glasses were on that shelf in the bathroom, down a short hallway. On the other side of the bat.

Throughout history, clear vision is a characteristic most warriors share. I was going to need those glasses.

When the flapping stopped for a moment, I turned on the bedside lamp. Like a tousled ninja, I rolled out of bed and crawled past my dresser, then down the hall to the bathroom, where I turned on the lights and put on my glasses.

I live in a condo in an old brick mansion. In a quirk of building rehabilitation, my unit includes a tiny balcony accessible only through a small door in the bathroom that is directly opposite the door into the bedroom.

Suddenly the bat reappeared, flying a circuit that included a U-turn in the bathroom. Hoping it would take the hint, I opened the balcony door and sat on the floor near the toilet, and though the bat came close to leaving, it didn’t. And then all was silent again.

Lest another bat join in this unconscionable persecution, I closed the balcony door.

There was no sign of the bat in my bedroom, so I stepped out of it and closed the door. I closed the door to the spare room, too, just in case. Then I went downstairs, got a knit hat from the coat closet — no way was that little bastard getting tangled up in MY hair — and turned on all the downstairs lights.

No bat.

Armed with a broom and a bucket, I crept back up the stairs, and searched my room once more.

No bat.

The spare room, then.

Carefully, I eased open the door. The only light source was a desk lamp, conveniently located on the other side of the room. I dashed over and turned it on.

No bat.

That left only the bathroom in the spare room.

After closing the door to the spare room, I used the broomstick to turn on the lights, and behold: the goddamn bat was perched upside down on the wall, resting.

Suddenly emboldened, I swatted at it with the broom, and missed. It flapped past me into the room, and began flying in circles. Every time it got close, I took a swing with the broom. Finally, I knocked it down, and swatted it again to stun it as it tried to get up. I put the bucket upside down over the bat, slid a newspaper underneath the bucket and carried the whole package to the master bathroom, where I tossed the bucket out the door onto the balcony. The bat flapped away, no worse for wear.

These days, I keep my glasses on the bedside table at night, just in case.

As if to reinforce this practice, I was reading in bed a few weeks ago, with the window open. I heard a high-pitched squeak and a thump, and I looked up to see a bat hanging on the screen, looking in at me.

After a moment, the bat took off into the night. I can’t help but assume it’s because it saw my glasses folded up on the nightstand, within easy reach.

— by Eric R. Danton

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~ by likebadlovesongs on November 3, 2009.

20 Responses to ““‘Screw the bats,’ I add.””

  1. Here’s the song that image comes from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKeG2fgqxqs

    They do a choreographed dance.

  2. Tousled Ninja Bat Warrior gets my vote for next year’s Halloween costume.

  3. @Abby said this: I like the choreographed dance. They obvs don’t need glasses. Do we count the Count as a Jerk with Glasses, even tho he’s got a monocle? I think we should.

    “The first 15 years I wore glasses?” How long has this jerk been wearing glasses, anyway? Amateur. I’ve been wearing glasses for 31 of my 33 years.

  4. I started wearing glasses in seventh grade. Do the math, jerk.

  5. Guys. Do me a favor. PLEASE turn this into our first flamewar. kthx.

  6. Oh, I did the math, DANTON, and it was not kind to you. Why did it take you 15 years to learn to keep you glasses closeby?
    You better watch your back and your hipster manglasses!
    (I’m really not very good at flamewars.)

  7. You all can go as DANTON for Halloween next year. I’m going as “Hipster Manglasses.”

    It’ll be a little uncomfortable though when I spend the entire evening perched on his nightstand. So… Hey… erdanton, can I borrow your nightstand?

    • Perched AND folded up on his nightstand…

      It’s not going to be easy, but you can do yoga all year. And it will SO be worth it!

      • I’m up for the challenge. I’m really dedicated when it comes to Halloween. And glasses.

      • Who gets to go as a malicious bat, trying to knock you off the nightstand?

      • I’m fairly certain there’d be a line out the door today to be the person after me like a malicious bat. And they all work with me. In fact, they’re already practicing.

  8. Wait, glasses have genders now?

    Without my glasses, I can’t see well enough to, say, drive. But I CAN see well enough to find my glasses again. That’s why it took 15 years to learn to keep my glasses close by.

  9. Yes, glasses have genders…unless you guy your glasses from the Women’s section of the wall on LensCrafters.

  10. So ladyglasses is the counterpart to manglasses?

  11. I’m down with that. Sure, ladyglasses!

  12. Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday wonderful Abby, Happy Birthday to me!

    *tries to blow out the candles on the flame war cake but the FLAMES JUST GET BIGGER AND BURN THE WHOLE HOUSE DOWN!*

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