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Varmints -- in more than the belfry

One of my co-workers was recently sitting on the couch one evening, watching TV with her boyfriend, when a quick flash of movement shot across the ceiling.

Their initial reaction was something like, "Oh no. A poor little bird's gotten trapped in the house." But as that winged creature passed through again, dipping close to their heads, they dropped that poor thing reaction and fled.

It wasn't a bird trapped in the house. It was them, trapped in the house with a bat.

Leaving the doors open didn't prove enticement enough for the bat, so the boyfriend, armed with a tennis racket, and she with a broom began whapping at the creature as if it were a flying piñata. They succeeded only in chasing it upstairs, where it found a hiding place. One she didn't discover until she was alone in the room with the door shut.

With a good bit of screaming, she managed to knock the bat to the ground, and the boyfriend (conveniently absent until the bat had been thoroughly immobilized) took the creature outside, where it quivered helplessly on the ground.

And she dissolved into tears, upset that it was injured and going to die.

The boyfriend punched some holes in a shoebox and then scooped the bat inside and taped it up. One of his co-workers had rehabilitated an injured bat before, so he put the box in his car and took it with him to work the next day.

Except when he retrieved the box, there was no bat inside.

They don't know if it escaped before, or after, it was put in his car.

Now, if this happened to someone in our family, the next step would be clear. Deployment of the Eviltron -- a small electronic device (ours came from thinkgeek.com) that's about the size of a quarter. Among the sound choices the device offers is a scratching noise, emitted for a few quick seconds every 10 or so minutes. 

Although to be honest, if the same bat scenario had unfolded at our house, for starters-none of us would've used a tennis racket. A batmitten racket would be the more appropriate choice. And had the bat been brought down, we very likely would've ended up with a sizeable bill for its treatment at the emergency veterinary clinic.

As I was telling another friend about the bat in the house, she told me about the time her husband had to make his first presentation to an audience of about 100 employees. He was there to explain retirement plan investing opportunities that the company would be offering.  

The meeting was being held in the company's headquarters, an old building that was in the process of being renovated. Work on the auditorium had been halted for the training to take place. My friend's husband was terribly nervous. He'd only had a short time to learn the material and had never spoken in front of such a large group. Making matters even more stressful, his boss-a tough former Marine-had gone along to monitor his new hire's performance.

The boss slapped him on the back and handed him the microphone. Speaking quietly to his boss, my friend's husband said, "I have the worst case of butterflies."

He was wrong.

He had bats. 

The moment he spoke into the microphone -- "Can you hear me back there?"-- the bats that had apparently been napping inside the speakers were so startled they dropped and began flying crazily around the room.

The first screaming person to flee the building was the tough former Marine boss.

The presentation was rescheduled.

She says she assured her husband that someday, he would see the humor in what happened. Says it's been three years, but he's not yet reached that point.

Good thing he's not married to me. If my spouse had come home with a story like that, first thing I'd have done is go online to see where I could buy a remote-controlled bat.


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