Sunday, August 09, 2009

bat story

i went to sleep last night at around 12:30. two hours later mrs. noz woke me up saying she heard some noises and thought there was an animal in our bedroom. this is something that mrs. noz does every now and then. i was mumbling my usual "it's probably nothing" when she said she heard it again. i didn't hear anything, which in retrospect was probably because i was mumbling my usual. but at the time i thought that meant it was actually nothing.

before i finished my "i didn't hear anything" mumble, mrs. noz said "it's a bat! i saw it." the word "saw" got me to open my eyes. and then i saw it too: some dark shape whoosh by in the air. i sat up and we both popped on our bedside lights. a bat was swooping and diving around the room. i ducked under the covers. mrs. noz ran out of the room and slammed the door shut behind her. i was alone in the room with the bat. it flew in a circle, seemingly diving right at me every time it was over on my side of the room. it came really close, only an inch or two from my head. i was terrified, even though if i thought rationally i would realize that it wouldn't hurt me. it's hard to regain your composure when a bat is dive-bombing your head every second.

meanwhile, mrs. noz, from the presumed position of safety on the other side of the door, would yell helpful suggestions like "open the window!" "you open the window!" i suggested back. (i think i was a little resentful that she had shut me in with the bat, although if i had the guts to move i might have done the same thing). "you're two feet from the window and i'm all the way out here!" she replied. which was true. her being all the way out there was precisely why i thought she should help me out and open the window.

eventually, i managed to ignore the dive bombing enough to shimmy over to the side of the bed closest to the window, creep out, open the screen and jump back under the covers. but the stupid bat just kept diving at my head. it didn't seem interested in the window at all. every once in a while it would disappear from my sight and i'd wonder if it had flown out of the house. but then it would reappear and go back to diving at my head.

it's around then that mrs. noz started yelling that there was another bat out in the hall with her. then i didn't hear her say anything. i later learned that she had run out to the porch.

at some point bat #1 did find the window and fly out of the bedroom... or at least i was pretty sure it had. the problem was that i didn't actually see it go out the window. i just thought i saw the blur near the window for an instant and then the dive bombing stopped. i sat up, no dive bombing. i stood up, no dive bombing. i made some noise, no dive bombing. as i closed the window (i didn't want any more bats coming in), i noticed two college security vehicles in front of our house.

we live on a college campus. i'm pretty sure i mentioned that before at some point. the college has security and mrs. noz called them for lack of a better idea. so then two former philly cops chased the second bat around our house while me and mrs. noz stood on the porch, holding open the front door. after some chasing, bat #2 took the hint and went out the door.

it was 3:00 am when security left. so we went back to bed. mrs. noz wanted to leave the light on, she was convinced there would be another bat invasion. i just wanted to sleep. the adrenaline from being dive bombed had worn off. i felt exhausted and what was the odds of getting 3 bats in one night? i put on one of those eyemasks i had taken from an international airline flight and tried to sleep. it didn't really work. i got maybe 1/2 hour of light dozing in. the light and the vigilant mrs. noz staring at the fireplace kept me awake.

yes, we have a fireplace in our bedroom. these old houses are like that. when mrs. noz first heard the noises she thought they were coming from the direction of the fireplace. so we had decided that the bats might have come down the chimney. based on that theory mrs. noz laid in bed staring at the fireplace. periodically, i'd complain that i needed to sleep, that the bats were gone and that we should turn out the lights so i could get my rest. it didn't work. mrs. noz was unconvinceable.

at about 5:30 i was in a half sleep when mrs. noz yelled "another bat!" and i heard the bedroom door slam. i ripped off my mask, and found myself exactly where i was 3 hours earlier: alone in my bed, with mrs. noz out in the hallway, the door closed, and a bat dive-bombing my head. this time, i didn't bother with the window, i just followed mrs. noz's lead, ran out of the room and shut the door behind me.

security came again, this time looking even less amused. mrs. noz told them that she saw bat #3 come out of the fireplace, you know, since she was staring right at it when the bat arrived. the officers went into the bedroom and looked around, finding no bat. maybe they would have thought us crazy if they hadn't seen bat #2 on their prior visit. instead, they concluded that the bat probably went back up the chimney and said they would talk to maintenance about dealing with the problem. this being a sunday in august (when much of the campus is shut down), they admitted that probably no one would see the work order until monday.

now it's morning. the bedroom door is closed. who knows how many bats are in there now? i'm dead-tired, the day is just beginning and the prospect of doing this all again tonight is not very appealing. looks like i picked the wrong week to give up caffeine.