“Myron, I think we need to get rid of a bat.” I heard my wife call from the other room. She sounded so nonchalant, like it was the most normal thing in the world to yell to me across our home, starting a conversation about bats. She might as well have been asking me if I wanted turkey or roast beef in my sandwich. Admittedly, I was a little confused. After nearly fifty years of marriage, we’d never had a bat in the house. A mouse problem once, but that was a long time ago.
Maybe I misheard her. “What’d you say, Jane? Do you need anything?” I called out.
“A bat. A BAT. I think we need to get rid of a bat!” Her voice was a little more insistent and a lot more irritated. She hates it when I don’t hear her correctly. She thinks I ignore her sometimes on purpose. If I’m completely honest with myself, sometimes I do.
Sighing, I put down my tools. During my working years, I had dreams of my retired life. It involved a lot of golf, a lot of time watching football, and plenty of time in my wood shop. So far, I spent the majority of my time finishing the basement and turning it into basically a second home. I’d built a kitchen and living room down there, a couple of bedrooms and an office. It had been my wife’s idea, and so I grumbled about it a lot. Truth is, I was enjoying myself.
But, now I had to stop, once again, and head back upstairs to where my wife sat on her easy chair, playing Sudoku. Her health hadn’t been so good this last year, which meant she wasn’t able to spend her retirement years traveling, as she’d wanted.
I made it upstairs and saw her looking up at the wall above the mantle. “A bat, Myron. I said we need to get rid of a bat.”
Looking up, I saw the bat on the wall. At first, it looked like a medium-sized smudge, but as I walked closer to the fireplace, I could easily see my wife was right. We needed to get rid of the bat. I was impressed that she was still sitting there, doing her Sudoku, in the presence of this creature. She hadn’t been this calm when we had a mouse problem. The years had mellowed us both out.
I had no idea how to get rid of the bat, though. My mind went through the possibilities. At best, I might scare it out of the house. More likely, though, I’d end up scaring it into a witless flight pattern around our heads, and possibly hurt myself in the process. Plus, I really wanted to get back to my basement project. Then, it dawned on me. Call Allstate Animal Control. They’d send someone out to get rid of the bat for me, and my wife and I could go back to our respective retirement activities. Good plan.