And all my hopes of being a wildlife wrangler are dashed…(part II)

Continued over from part I

About 30 minutes later I hear the dogs downstairs freak out, so I know that Leezle is home. I bound out of my room to meet her at the door, because surely she needs help carrying her bat-obliterating gun or oversize industrial rabid-bat catching machine, right? Or at least so that I can finally feel like there is someone to solve this problem that isn’t ME because I have FAILED.

I am slightly concerned when, instead of coming in hellbent for leather (wait, is that the right saying?) and ready to CATCH SOME FUCKING BATS, BITCHES, she pokes her head in the door and wide-eyed and meekly whispers: “Where is it?”

I stop dead. “Wait!” says I, “You can’t be scared! I’m scared! You have to be tough and scary and use your fierce lesbian powers! If we’re both scared of this then we are screwed!”

Says Leezle, “Well I was all tough while I was sitting in that dance recital, then I asked my brother-in-law to come help and he said Hell No! because he’s afraid of bats, which made me a little nervous and then as we got closer and closer I realized that I’m scared of bats too. NOW WHERE IS IT?”

“I locked him in the kitchen!” I say triumphantly, because I know that is the only intelligent thing I have done this whole time.

“Where in the kitchen is he?”

“I don’t know! I haven’t had the courage to open the door for the past hour and a half!”

We crack open the kitchen door and peek in, but he isn’t flying around anywhere. I spy a brown speck in the corner and step in to find that he has managed to cram himself into the most inconvenient place ever, right at the top of the window, but behind the venetian blinds. He looks tiny, about the size of a small egg, and he’s all huddled up. It kinda actually broke my heart just a little bit, because I could tell he was scared.

Leezle is surprised. “He’s so small!” “Hey now! That’s because you haven’t seen him flying around! He may look like a small, hairy, black egg right now, but when he flapping about, he looks like a goddamn bald eagle!”

We quickly realize that we aren’t ever going to be able to throw a towel over him, as has been so helpfully suggested, because there is no way he is going to leave his cranny without some prodding. We decide to tape a garbage bag over the corner of the window that he is hiding in, so to make a sort of windsock that he will fly into when he comes out. Since we’re both too scared to actually touch anything near the bat, we manage to tape the bag up by awkwardly using a yard stick and a piece of wood which, for some inexplicable reason, was lying around somewhere. We rattle the bag, then the blinds, but he doesn’t move.

We quickly realize that we are going to have to actually prod him into the bag, so I climb on the washing machine (which, yes, is in the kitchen) and reach the yard stick back behind the blinds. I have to stop about 19 million times because I am shaking so hard that I can’t hold the yard stick, but I finally manage to reach up and poke him just a little bit.


I poke him a little bit harder.


I say: “Goddamn you Fred (we’ve named him Fred because this is supposed to make him seem less scary. It fails)! Get the hell out of my kitchen!”

I really don’t want to hurt him, and I can imagine how fragile he is, so I don’t want to poke him very hard, but he isn’t moving at all with these little gentle nudges, so I give him a firmer push. Fred does not like this, y’all, and he lets me know my making a really terrible noise that sounded like two pieces of gravel being rubbed together, and BITING the end of my yardstick. Like seriously opening up his big bat mouth and gnawing (I told you!) on what was poking him. Not only does he not fly into the garbage bag, but he somehow manages to make himself even smaller and now I can hardly reach him at all.

Obviously this is not going to work, so we decide to call good-old wildlife Mike. His friends actually call him Cooter, and anyone named Cooter sure as shit better be able to get a damn bat out of a window. He has the brilliant plan of just reaching up there and grabbing him, with our bare hands, which has the same likely-hood of happening as me just deciding to turn out kitchen into a bat colony and populating it with bats who have flown out of my ass. In other words: not so bloody likely.

Leezle and I stare at each other for a minute and she says: My mom told me we should call the police.

I say: My mom said we should call the fire department! Can we actually do that?

Leezle: Sure we can! We pay taxes!

Me: Well, at least they can send animal control or something.

Leezle calls the non-emergency number number and after the lady at the police station stops laughing, she tells us that animal control has already gone home for the evening, but that the police do actually do stuff like that if they have time. She says that she’ll put out the dispatch that we need some help, but that it might be awhile since this is low priority (LOW PRIORITY MY ASS! I shout in my head), which is fine since we aren’t being robbed or murdered or anything like that.

We kinda just gave up for about 30 minutes and sat around and chatted, though any sudden noise made us duck and gasp. Eventually we went back to doing the same thing, because we couldn’t think of an alternative, and by about 11 PM I was getting flustered and frustrated. I called Pete, because, as I told him, I was locked in a mortal battle with a bat and was being defeated and I needed him to give me some moral support. Just as I said that, Leezle, who had been outside smoking (boo!) threw the door open and in walked two of Charleston’s finest!

The first cop, a guy about 25 came in first. He was pulling on black leather gloves and said to me, clearly enjoying himself immensely, “I hear you’ve got a bat problem!”

I leap off the washing machine, joyfully wielding my yard stick and scream (as was later referred to as”at the top of my voice” which I contest.  I could have been much louder.) “HOOOOORAYYYY! The Po-LEEEECE are here!” I hear Pete shockingly choke out “you called the police?!” before I yell “I have to go now. Iloveyoubye!” into the phone and hang up.

I snatch the trash bag off the window so that he can see where the bat is and quickly back out of the kitchen as he pulls out a baton. He reaches up and pokes the bat a few times, which starts making that awful squawking noise again and then erupts out of the window, and starts flying through the kitchen. Both of the policepersons (one of them as a woman) duck and Leezle and I both scream and we dive for cover. I just huddled into the corner of the hall while she ran into the living room and slammed the door. A few moments later she peeks her head out and squeaks out through her laughter, “I think I just peed a little bit!”

The bat has managed to fly on top of the stove vent, so the policeman had to climb onto our stove (which is most precarious) to reach him. He grabbed the trash bag, threw it over the bat, and yelled triumphantly, “I’ve got you, you little bastard!” as he snatched him up and neatly wrapped him in the bag. He jumped off the stove, ran down the stairs, and dumped the bat out of the bag, sending him off into the night. Leezle and I both cheered and profusely thanked him as the lady cop asked sarcastically, “well, anything else we can help you with tonight.” “God, I hope not!” I replied.

Those people are heroes, y’all! And now our house is (hopefully, please god hopefully!) bat-free. And that is how I ended up with a policeman on my stove holding a (potentially!) rabid animal at 11:30 PM. Good times!


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julie on June 21, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Taylor, you are a riot.


  2. Yeah. That’s kinda silly. Reminds of a time I was doing WWII reenacting in the woods. We were standing around, shooting the breeze, and randomly one of our guys jumps up and yells “Spider!”

    I’m like “wha-?” Not quite hearing correctly the first time.

    Andy: ” SPIDER!”

    And I about jump out of my skin and leap forward, yelling “WHERE? WHERE??” as I fumble with my bayonet, half-drawing it in the process.

    Andy: “On your shoe!”

    And I suddenly look down, preparing to face mortal combat with my arachnid foe at any moment. And much to my surprise, I see the spider. Yeah, it was pretty freaking huge. All of about pinkey-nail size.

    Sheepishly, I shove the bayonet back in my scabbard and fling the spider off my shoe as everyone starts cracking up. I shrug, give a stupid grin.

    Me: Yeah. That’s not a ‘spider.’

    Everone breaks out laughing.

    Bryan: Oh yeah? Then why were you so scared?

    Me: Because I grew up in Africa.

    Everyone: Hahaha

    Richter: Yeah, man. Don’t ever say “Spider” around Marc. For him, “spider” means…*gnashes his teeth, and flails his arms, tyrannosaurus-like* NYARRRRHHH!!


  3. I’m sorry you had to live through that, but I certainly got a kick out of your story. I also somehow doubt you could call the Boston Police (or BoPo as I affectionately call them) to do that.


  4. Posted by Elizabeth on June 21, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t want you to think that I’m belittling your horrifying experience, but that was hilarious. You have a great knack for telling stories. I waqs totally freaking out with you. You need to save this story to tell to your kids and grandkids one day. Its priceless. And wasn’t the Paso Double awesome?


  5. Posted by Sandrita on June 22, 2007 at 9:53 am

    That story is almost as funny as the one where at 10:30 one night in our kitchen your naked father bludgeoned with a mop handle a very much alive and pissed-off 2 lb rat while it was caught in a steel trap. (Why this happened in our kitchen is a another story.) Your father is not known for his dancing ability but believe me, I never knew his feet could move that fast. I was unable to help due to my uncontrolled, hysterical laughter. That scene was hilarious enough but then I let the dog inside who immediately attacked the rat and proceeded to run around wildly on a slippery vinyl floor, slinging the rat and the steel trap violently, the rat and trap and steel chains slamming into cabinets and everything else within close reach, including our feet and legs. We were scrambling and jumping around trying to stay out of the way and there was a lot of screaming and profanities being uttered. Then your naked father picked up the dog (who still had the rat with the trap still attached to its nose) by the scruff of her neck and her tail and slung all of them out into the back yard where the battle between the beasts continued…

    I think we both had a stiff shot of whiskey before we went back to bed. Good times…


  6. Dear Miss Taylor,

    I find the section of the story concerning, umm, Cooter, a bit misconstrued. Indeed. My advice (yes, I am Cooter, but of all nicknames and/or other descriptors you had to pick this one?) was NOT to grab the bat bare-handed, rather it was to use a towel covered hand. And, in my defense, I was in bed when Lezzle first called, but was out and putting on clothing to come and help my friends with their bat problem exactly when Charleston’s finest arrived.

    So there 😉

    If you ever, ever, have a snapping turtle issue, do not even think about calling the police!


  7. Posted by Sandrita on June 26, 2007 at 11:24 am

    We almost named our sailboat “Cooter” but then we saw another boat in the marina with the same name–it is a very cool name!


  8. Posted by Jennifer on June 27, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Why didn’t you call me? Everyone always calls me when they have outdoor animals trapped inside with them. I even helped trap bats, feed bats, and give bats shots while in graduate school. But, I probably would have come up with the same towel or sheet trap thingy.


  9. i would have reacted in the exact same way. i freaking hate bats. ewwwww.


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