Driving Me Batty: The Pilot (Hopefully the only episode, ever)
Sometimes there are moments when you’re like “HOW DO I ADULT?!”
I had one of those moments at about 2am yesterday morning.
As I went to bed Wednesday night, I heard a bit of a scratching on the wall, but didn’t think much of it. I’m a country kid, I’m used to mice in the walls from time to time. I know that’s a thing that happens. But what I didn’t know was that it wasn’t just any mouse.
It was, what the French call, a bald mouse.
It was a bat.
Specifically THIS bat.
Bartok the bat.
Bartok is a prick.
I only named him because I felt it would help me challenge my rage. Why was I full of rage, you ask? Well, hypothetical person I’m using as a plot device, I’m glad you asked.
I first met Bartok when he woke me out of a dead sleep at 2am Wednesday morning.
“Bleh?!” I mumbled, as I was awoken.
Immediately curious as to what had woken me up, I listened carefully and heard the flapping of something.
“Shit,” I thought. “That sounds like a bat.”
I reached for the lamp beside my bed.
“Please don’t be a bat.” I asked the universe.
“F@#k you,” said the universe.
I lay in my bed, watching the bat derp around the room like a drunk woman wearing only one high heeled shoe, as my sleep addled mind tried to come up with solutions. Eventually, after Bartok had made enough rounds that I had named him and become angry enough at being conscious to do something about the situation, I got out of bed and pulled the screen out of my bedroom window in a misguided attempt to provide Bartok an exit strategy.
I held the filthy window screen aloft and attempted to herd the bat the way I had once herded cattle.
“There, ” I said “You’re free, go ahead!”
“Ooooooooooooooh, is this your kitchen?” said Bartok, as he flew through my open bedroom door and into the rest of my apartment.
“F@#k.” I said, putting down the filthy window screen and closing the window and my bedroom door, as I contemplated my next move.
I took a semi-calming breath and made my way into the kitchen where I noticed the bat was no longer flying. A quick search showed that he was snuggled up against my kitchen window.
“Perfect!” I thought. “I can grab the broom and open the screen with the broom handle and out he goes!”
Unfortunately, Bartok was not keen on the plan and freaked the hell out when he saw the window move and promptly flew into my living room. This, however, was not so bad because I knew that the large patio door in my living room would provide the largest escape hatch for him.
I quickly opened the patio door and its screen, hoping Bartok would sense the air currents (which the internet told me he was sensitive to) and get the hell out. Instead of doing that, Bartok decided flying in circles sounded like more fun.
“WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” said Bartok as he swooped down low to ensure that I was participating as much as possible.
“EEEEEEAGNNNGGH!” I exclaimed in surprise, dismay, and sleep deprived rage.
Coming up with another genius idea, I quickly scampered to get my dirty laundry hamper and returned to the living room. I knew that if I could gently catch Bartok with a piece of laundry, I could get him outside. This plan would go on for about an hour and a half before I gave up.
Now, at this point, I was missing three important things: pants, curtains on my windows, and F@#ks. I don’t know that any of my neighbours were awake early last morning, but if they were, this is the scene the would have seen:
As Bartok flew in circles and continued to swoop at me from time to time, I – clad only in a long loose tank top and my underpants- crouched and leapt around my apartment as I tossed dirty pieces of laundry at him in an attempt to catch him. At one point, this also featured me trying to make the broom into a make-shift butterfly net. As I performed my deranged cave-woman-meets-cat-woman routine, I was also hurling insults at the bat and addressing him by name.
“GET THE F@#K OUT OF MY HOUSE, BARTOK!” I exclaimed
“Coming in for a huuuuuuuuuuuuug!” said Bartok as he swooped at my face, which he missed as I ducked, scuttled, and tossed a t-shirt at him.
By 3:30 am, I was exhausted and defeated, so when Bartok finally landed and hung from some wires on my wall, I quit chasing him.
“I quit. I have work in the morning. I’m going to bed and I hate you,” I said, as I turned off the light and headed for bed.
“Niiiiiiiiiiiiight roomie!” said Bartok.
When I woke up that morning, there was no sign of Bartok. I searched everywhere, but the only sign that it hadn’t all been a dream was the misplaced window screen from that morning. I didn’t have much time to think on it, so I went to work. When I came home for lunch, I searched the entire apartment top to bottom, no sign of Bartok.
“It’s over,” I thought.
I went to the movies with a friend and when we came back, I was concerned he might be back. After all, every good horror movie lets you THINK it’s over, but then it’s not over. It’s never over.
Sure enough, he was back. Hanging from where you see him in the picture. So, I did what any grown ass woman would do.
I called my Daddy.
“Daddy, there’s a bat in my apartment and I named him Bartok and I hate him and I can’t get him out.” I said.
Dad gave me a bunch of advice I already knew, which was actually useful as I was so sleep deprived and stressed that I needed someone to do that for me, and listened patiently as I ranted about the bat and how much of a dick he was. When I got off the phone, I blocked off the doorway between the living room and kitchen with a large sheet and sat with my patio door wide open, in the hopes that Bartok would get lost.
“I like that we can just sit and do nothing, together.” said Bartok, not moving from his spot.
I gently poked him with a broom, hoping I could get him to start flying so I had a better chance of chasing him out.
“Tickles!” he giggled, snuggling further into the beam, but not moving otherwise.
“I hate you and I wish you’d get out.” I said, giving up and going to bed.
“Looooooooooooooooooove youuuuuuuuuuuuuu.” said Bartok.
This morning, I found him clinging to the exposed brick between my living room and bedroom, sleeping. Which was a little stalker-ish as he’d moved closer to where I slept for his sleep.
Figuring there was nothing I could do about it, I e-mailed my landlord, called a pest control specialist, and went to work, but it was hard to concentrate. I just kept thinking about Bartok and how much I wanted him out of my house. So, on my lunch break, I ran to the dollar store and purchased a children’s butterfly net and a badminton racket.
Sure enough, when I got him, Bartok was still sleeping where I’d left him this morning. I gently placed the butterfly net over him and slid the badminton racket underneath him.
This, of course, woke him up.
“ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHH! WHAT THE HELL?!” screamed Bartok, much louder than I anticipated.
“Jesus!” I blurted out as I dropped the badminton racket, startled.
Given that I had just dropped half of my capturing gear and Bartok’s yelling made me worry I might not have the net in the right place and could therefore be hurting him, I gently moved the net, preparing to grab my badminton racket and try again when I got the chance.
Bartok, as sleep addled as I was when we first met, lost his grip on the wall and fell to the floor. I thought he might have hurt himself, but he seemed more stunned and half-awake than anything. Knowing I was unlikely to get another chance and that I only had 30 minutes left of my lunch break, I placed the net over him again and gently coaxed him onto the badminton racket as he yelled obscenities at me.
As I carried him over to the open window, Bartok’s obscenities only got louder and more frequent. Finally, I stuck my arms through the open window, gently removed the badminton racket and waited for him to leave.
“Go, be free.” I said as I dropped the badminton racket to the ground and pulled the screen as far shut as I could with my arm through it.
“WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER!” yelled Bartok, refusing to just leave.
“I only have 30 minutes left to eat and get back to work,” I said.
“I’M NOT GOING!” he screamed.
I gently stretched out my arm until the side of the butterfly net was touching the ground, ensuring there would be no risk of falling for Bartok when I let go.
“Don’t ever come back,” I said, letting go of the butterfly net and closing the screen.
Bartok said nothing, but as the butterfly net fell, it landed so that he was trapped under it and I’m pretty sure he gave me a look. With a sigh, I scampered outside and gently turned the net over so that he sat on top of it and was free to leave whenever he was done bitching about it.
He continued to berate me as I walked away, but must have given up because he was gone by the time I checked on him.
I had done it.
I had successfully wrangled a bat out of my apartment.
I was shaking with adrenaline and pride.
The phone rang.
It was the guy from pest control.
I told him he was too late and regaled him with my story before he gave me some advice for plugging the small hole I believe Bartok used to enter my home initially. I thanked him and then did what any Bat-Defeating-Warrior-Queen would do.
I called my Daddy.
He’s very proud.
I’M AN ADULT!