Happy First Anniversary desktodirt! First article Reprised: The $289.00 Bat

I just realized that this is the one-year anniversary of desktodirt. And for new readers I bet most haven’t yet gone back to read good articles from the early days. So, from time to time I will reach into the past to present an article that you may enjoy again, or will for the first time.

The first-ever article is about a visitor who overstayed his non-existent welcome: a bat.

But sincere thanks to you all for continuing to stop by.


Despite the title, this isn’t an ode to a Louisville Slugger.

It’s about a bat, as in, a creature of the night that’ll get caught in your wife’s pricey coif if she’s not careful. (*)

Sure enough, the bat that’s the subject of this piece had chutzpah. I opened the door just a crack, and in he flew. Immediately he got ensconced in an uppermost corner of my humble abode.

[See the image.]

It was 9 o’clock in the evening on a Friday. What to do? Should I simply grab a ladder, reach over slowly and ensnare him with a loose blanket, then return him to his comfort zone (aka the darkness outside)?

That could have been relatively easy since bats have crappy eyesight.  They navigate by radar. The shibboleth “blind as a bat” is apt.

But, as with many things in my life, it wasn’t so simple. I’m allergic to one thing and one thing only: rabies vaccines. And bats, unfortunately, are no stranger to rabies.

So I can’t just MacGyver the situation myself. If I’m bitten or scratched – game over. Can’t you picture the Enquirer headline going viral? Bat Interloper Sends Elderly Fool to Eternal Reward. Death by bat. The embarrassment would be worse than my demise.

I initially decided to simply cowboy-up and call a bat remover in the morning. But after a few hours of staring up from bed at the winged nocturnalist I realized I couldn’t sleep in its shadow. So I vacated to my truck. The squatter had gotten his way.

In the meantime, what to do? Hit Google, of course! Incredulously, there’s a 24/7 nationwide bat removal network.

I made the call at 2:00 a.m. and was amazed to have a living, breathing, English-speaking person answer. Despite the early morning hour she said someone would call within 30 minutes.

Fast forward an excruciating ten hours, when Batman and Robin pulled up in two mundane white vans; apparently the Batmobile was in for repair.

I thanked them for Saturday service and apologized in advance for being cranky: I’d spent the night propped up in my truck.

Batman brought his ladder through my portal and climbed within arm’s reach of the interloper. Carefully showing Robin how to do it, he unstuck the offending creature from the wall with a blanketed grab. They’d let it loose miles away.

The trespasser was identified as a Mexican brown bat. They’re beginning to make their way north, I learned. (I wondered aloud if Congress needs to include them in any illegal-immigrant legislation?)

After a brief look around my building’s exterior to see if there were any other bat-friendly entrances  (there weren’t), the conquering duo departed with my appreciation and a check for two-hundred and eighty nine Saturday-service dollars.

It could have been worse.

The fee is $500 to come without delay.

[* This is what used to be called an old wives’ tale. But we can’t use that sexist, misogynist, non-pc expression any more. And in this case it really isn’t true. Bats have no particular interest in women’s hair.]

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