Taking Back the Night

May 5, 2012

Just confirmed: we’re BATS. Oh, maybe not ‘we’ persay.

But Internet research HAS confirmed that the ‘unusual bird poop’ on The Peanut Gallery’s chariot is, in fact, Bat Guano.

Bat Guano

Though the facts speak for themselves, the conversation revolving around Bats takes sometimes-convoluted twists and turns.

Bill (excited, rushing in from the carport): BATS! BATS!

Me (unsympathetic): Yes, you ARE. Kudos for finally confessing.

Bill (sadly unshaken by self-doubt): No, I think we HAVE BATS!

Much discussion then ensued over guano identification. Having previously identified all former occupants of said carport – to include starlings, barn swallows, and the occasional owl – it was already fairly conclusive (even before Google image support kicked in) that we likely finally had Bats.

Now, bats are a Positive around here. They eat the voluminous mosquitoes that during summertime assume hummingbird-like proportions. They eat other biting things. They successfully pollinate our fruit trees and (contrary to popular myth) they do NOT dive for a woman’s beehive ‘doo. (Not that any modern woman would ‘do’ such, but …)

Still – given all their positives – thought immediately turned to other matters. Specifically: sharing our largess with the neighbors.

Now, you have to realize: being long-time members of Bat Conservation International affords us a certain notoriety in our small town. I’m not sayin’ anyone would go so far as to think us crazy… indeed, our personal bat education mission resulted in a healthy group of converts (…and you know how passionate the newly converted can be).

Our proud announcement of our newfound Bat Parenthood resulted in a virtual Blitzkrieg of envy. Bat-finding expeditions led by the immediate neighbors began to be touted as acceptable Friday night entertainment. Hints were dropped at local potlucks about our largess, sharing, and general remarks insinuating greed and hoarding began to be dropped during town hall meetings. It even made the Agenda one month.

There was only one problem: how do you share a Bat?

They are wild, they are black, and they are elusive. Indeed (aside from droppings) we ourselves had no actual sightings to boast about. And the midnight visits from Concerned Neighbors weren’t producing, either.

Well as the saying goes – if the mountain won’t come to Mohammad, Mohammad should go to the mountain.

In this case the ‘mountain’ wasn’t even making a cameo appearance, so perhaps some creative embellishment was in order.

First, attendees were invited to bring offerings of food to the bats. (Aside from insects, I had no clear vision of what other things bats ate – but I figgered pizza couldn’t hurt the effort.)

Second, I was wise enough to know that if offerings were brought, results would be expected.

And I just so happened to have a lovely Flying Bat from Halloween. Remote-controlled, said bat attached to the ceiling via suction cup and a thin wire while a remote unit sparked the flight. When displayed at night, the wire wasn’t even visible while the black-winged, red-eyed bat looked mighty convincing.

Happy with their Engraved Invitation, the neighborhood Bat Clan showed as expected at 11:30PM, pizzas in hand.

At midnight on the dot, I excused myself to the ‘garage bathroom’ (newly converted to The Remote Control Ops Center) only to have a Flying Bat make its appearance to the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of an initially-captivated audience. Mysteriously, said bat returned to its hidden home in the rafters upon my re-emergence.

Now, a smarter woman might have realized the suction cup was actually visible enough (even in the dark carport) to spark discussion amongst the few unbelievers left in the audience. And that the wire device also had a hint of sheen to it that allowed its visibility under certain lighting conditions (i.e. the unexpected Moon). And that those who had spent their childhoods suspicious of Santa’s authenticity weren’t about to fall for the ole’ ‘host-vanishes-when-miracle-occurs’ bit, either.

Suffice it to say that we were left with Bat Guano on our car: the ONLY visible proof of our (unshareable) largess.

And I was left with egg on my face:  the ONLY proof of a creative personality seeking to satisfy a jaded audience of Bat-Hungry (yet suitably suspicious) adults.

They even took back their pizzas.


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