I finally met Batman. I watched the show religiously as a child and dressed up like him for Halloween. My 5th birthday party had a Batman theme. Only the Batman I met didn’t have a sexy chiseled jaw line like Adam West. He wasn’t wearing a cape. And, he may have even been missing a tooth. He wore black alright, but he had white hair and a matching beard. His batmobile was not the slick, black winged car from the 60’s TV show or modern sports car version from the movies. It was a yellow truck with the words, “Critter Control” on the passenger door and his side kick was a racoon.
While I love Batman the superhero, I am petrified of bats. I know they provide the planet a great service with their voracious appetite for insects, but the bad outweighs the good for me. The swooping, the red eyes, getting caught in your hair, the rabies… Need I say more? For months, I’ve been telling my husband we have bats. I heard squeaking and buzzing coming from our attic vent. Bat turds filled the corner of our roof. All the obvious signs falling on deaf ears. Until the other day when he decided to spray a hose into the vent to see what would come out. We’ll call his superhero character, “Lawnboy”. Sure enough, a bat the size of a pterodactyl came swooping out in my line of fire. After I ran inside screaming and cursing, “Lawnboy” picked up the batphone and called the critter gitter, a.k.a. Batman.
This Batman was small in stature, yet he had a very calming presence. He told me stories of being surrounded by 50-60 bats at a time, though he’s never been bit. Maybe he was so calm because he shot himself with his tranquilizer gun. I know that would be my method of relaxation if I had his job. I asked him if he ever considered wearing a Penguin, Joker or Riddler outfit to scare the bats away. He told me he did consider setting up speakers with the soundtrack from The Lion King. I also asked him what he was planning on doing with the racoon running around in the cage in the back of his truck. He jokingly said he’s dropping him off at a Chinese restaurant. “Holy Mystery Meat! Batman.”
As we were discussing his strategy for shoeing out the bats, he gave me a job. It was my chance to be Robin. This Batman instructed me to stand in the middle of the yard and make sure the bats did not go back into the vent as they were released. “Holy Heart Attack! Batman.” There was no way in hell I was standing outside with a potential stream of bats flying towards me. I don’t care if he can’t see because they are circling his head. I said, “Don’t you have an assistant for that?” Needless to say, unlike the real boy wonder, I let Batman down and stayed in the batcave.
“BOOM”. “POW”. “WHACK”. Not one bat flew out of the vent. Thank heavens because apparently bats can’t be trapped until August because they are protected by the Department of Natural Resources. I had nightmares of hundreds flying around the attic and not being able to do a thing about it.
Later that night…”Lawnboy” was cleaning up the backyard and spotted two bats hanging on the side of the house. “Lawnboy” threw his mini weeder and trowel against the house and turned on the hose again in hopes of foiling the bats. “BANG”. “WHAP”. “CLANK”. Looks like the bats won.
Will the bats rule the house or did Lawnboy scare them away with his mini trowel? Will Robin ever go in her backyard at dusk again? Did the racoon end up as Chow Mein? Tune in next time. Same bat time. Same bat blog.