“. . . And that, girls, is the problem with bats.” Mark wrapped up his scary story with the deepest voice he could muster and looked around the room at his daughter and her friends. No one looked impressed. One of the ten-year-olds even rolled her eyes, and his daughter looked mortified. So much for throwing the perfect Halloween sleep over.
His wife, Lindsey, swooped into the room with her impeccable timing. “Who wants pizza?!” The girls squealed and ran out of the room. She smiled at him, hugtged him, and sweetly said, “I told you they would’ve liked a ghost story better than a monster story.”
“Thanks for the moral support,” he said wryly.
“Well, let’s go feed these little monsters. You can make it up to them by serving up your famous root beer floats.”
“So, I’m good for something, at least. Scooping ice cream and pouring soda. Whoopee.”
His wife laughed and they walked downstairs, hand in hand, towards the giggling group. Soon, the girls were talking and laughing around mouthfuls of pizza and gulps of root beer floats. His daughter had almost forgiven him the mortal sin of embarrassing her and boring her friends. Everyone trooped into the media room to start a movie, and they were just beginning to settle down as it started when someone let out an ear-jarring high pitched screech. “BAAAAAAT!!!”
Screams and squeals and running greeted him as he charged into the room. Sure enough, amidst the flying ponytails and spilled soda, a bat was flying around the room. It obviously desperately wanted to leave this gaggle of girls and fly free into the night. But, the enclosed media room and frantic activity had it scared.
Lindsey shepherded the girls out of the room and up the stairs, calmed them down and began checking for bites or scratches. Mark was left in the suddenly quiet room and faced the bat, which had now perched on a chair. “Now what?” he muttered. He closed the door to the room, shutting the bat up inside, and went to the garage to fish out his work gloves, an empty box and a thin piece of plywood from the garage. Returning to the media room, he took a breath and closed the door behind him. He was surprised the bat had not moved, but it was probably having a minor heart attack of its own. Quickly, he set the box over it, slid the plywood underneath and, rather awkwardly, marched outside to let it free.
“How’d it get in there?” he asked himself, as he headed back into the media room to investigate. It wasn’t too long before he realized what had probably happened. When he’d put the media rom together, he’d cut a hole into the ceiling, just wide enough to work the numerous wires up through the attic and down into the room. Were there more bats up there? He was going to have to make a phone call to get someone out here to check it out.
He walked out of the room to make the call and was greeted by his daughter and her little girlfriends. They applauded. They hugged him. They cheered. He grinned and said, “And that, girls, is the problem with bats.”