Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gone Batty

Bats freak me out. They really do.

I know they are good for mosquito eatin'. I know they are just flying mammals. I see them frequently, and yet they still give me the heebie-jeebies. They live in our shutters on the outside of our house. We even have a bat box on the side of the house for them. They fly freely around my inlaws' vacation home and near my dad's cabin. They still freak me out.

I think my fear started when they swooped at my head as a child while out night fishing with my dad. There was also one in our cabin, and my dad caught it with a fishing net as I hid under the covers. Also there's the rabies thing. If you get bit by a bat and it has rabies, you get rabies. And if you don't get treatment, you die. I have a (rational? irrational?) fear that my kids will get bitten by a rabid bat and not realize it and not get the treatment they need. Am I batty?

Last week a bat was trapped in our fireplace. I put the kids to bed and came downstairs to hear a flutter from the fireplace. We've had squirrels in there before, but put a cap on our fireplace to keep critters out. Apparently not all critters.

I went downstairs and told my husband (he said I had an angry expression), "There is a bat in our fireplace!" I went upstairs and closed all the bedroom and bathroom doors in case the bat escaped. I googled how to catch and release a bat and paced and shouted the same unusable directions twenty times ("Spray it with Lysol!"). My hubby informed me that the bat was probably the vampire Eric Northman from True Blood. That prompted me to put on lipstick and fix my hair, but on further observation, I noticed the bat did not have six pack abs, so it couldn't be Eric after all. Thankfully my Knight in Shining Adidas Shorts rid our fireplace of the bat. The place got a little crazy with a fluttering bat being captured. I admit I cried a little over the whole traumatic ordeal (my husband said I was hysterical. I don't remember it quite that way).

Now I am in northern Wisconsin at my dad's cabin where bats are aplenty. I had to take my dog out at 5 am for a little potty break one morning. Yep. Swooping bats. At my head! I whimpered and ducked and ran in with my dog. No matter how many times I have encountered bats, they still freak me out. Bats. Why does it have to be bats?

What freaks you out? What freaks out your main character?


~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Kelly, this post had me laughing out loud! (I love a good laugh first thing in the morning!!)

I've been sitting here thinking, and I don't know if anything in the mammal/reptilian/insect worlds freak me out. I wasn't always this way; I had squeamish chapters in my life. But a couple years in Africa with the Peace Corps cured me. (I once sprayed a bottle of Rambo -- a Raid-like product -- down the hole in the pit latrine. Five minutes later my entire yard appeared to be moving, when thousands, possibly millions, of giant cockroaches escaped the toxic hole and the horde crawled around a disorientated mass. Nonetheless, I used the latrine numerous times in the night to find snakes inside, resting on ridges in the uneven walls. And once I had to sweep a tarantula the size of my fist off the path before I could open the door.)

I am freaked out by stories of people's operations. Once I actually passed out when a friend detailed her burst appendix ordeal. Now I know when I get light-headed, I have to ask the person to stop talking! Oh, and I pity the nurse that has to draw my blood. I'm a terrible patient...

Sorry for the novel! Have a great day :D

Jen said...

OH MY GOSH HOW SCARY! BATS SCARY ME! Then again you also had me laughing out loud!!!!

I'm freaked by spiders... I don't even like to use the "s" word.

My main character is afraid of a boring life. She wants more adventure and she isn't getting it... yet.

Great post! PS Stella has ben revealed if you want to come and see if you were right!

Anita said...

Hah! I think your kids will let you know if they get bat bit.

I'm not afraid of anything, but my character's afraid of aliens!

Candyland said...

Ugh bats!!!! Yuck!!! I'm afraid of almost everything, soo...yeah...

Marcia said...

Bees, wasps, hornets -- stinging things with wings and an evil buzz. I usually get several in my office in spring (May seems to be the prime month) and must flee till DH or Son dispatches it.

storyqueen said...

Well, bats suck. (Get it?) But at least you have your own Indiana JOnes story!!



Tina Laurel Lee said...

This was such fun to read!!! You had me rolling, girl!

I have no fear of bats. But I think mice are gross.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great post, Kelly...sorry about the trama, but I sure loved waking up to thinking about Eric being in your house...Sorry it was a regular bat instead. :( I think it's a great story for an mc to experience.

You won a random daily prize over at my blog. Can you send me your address? Then I can post you your prize...

DEZMOND said...

I just love how you Googled the solution and I love even more how your husband handled the whole solution (meaning how he handled you :)))))))

Kelly said...

Nicole! Whoa! You are a brave one. I had to squish one cockroach in the public showers at the campground and got squeamish. Your cockroach story sounds like it's from a horror movie!
Jen- I'm actually the spider killer in the house. I hear a scream or "Kelly!" and I go in the basement and get rid of the spider for my husband. :)
Anita- I thought you were going to say bears! :) Your novel sounds very cool!
Candyland - BOO! ;)
Marcia- Don't love those, but my hubby runs from them! As long as he takes care of the bats, I'll take care of the bugs!
Shelley- I'm glad you got my Indiana Jones reference!
Tina- Bats are like flying mice!
Sharon - What a disappointment that it wasn't Eric after all :)! Thanks so much for the prize!!

Susan Fields said...

Too funny, Kelly! I've never gotten that close to a bat, but I'm sure it would probably freak me out if I did. I can't think of anything that's ever freaked out one of my characters, but I should work on that - that would make a great personality trait.

Serenissima said...

"That prompted me to put on lipstick and fix my hair..."


I hate bats too, but the vermin I hate most are rats. We've got one that's been leaving little presents in our garage and it drives me crazy.

Denise said...

I think this is one of your funniest posts to date! : )

Rena said...

LMAO @ this story. I'm the same way about worms and they don't give you rabies or bit you or anything. LMHO @ your husband's version of what happened!!

Kristi said...

You are certainly not alone...I'm not a fan either!

Loved this story and especially the reference to Eric *sigh*, I'm a bit disappointed the bat didn't have abs! :-)

Patricia A. Timms said...

This was hilarious! Exactly the kind of reading I needed to do today.

We have a lot of bats that fly through our yard. I can hear their screeches at night. I hear they are good for vegetable gardens and we have a big one so I try not to mind them so much.

Stay strong! You're a lot bigger than they are. (I wish our size was enough to scare away pesky things)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Kelly, you are too cute for words! I act that way with bees - wasps, hornets, mean stinging things! :-)

Suzanne Casamento said...

You're not batty! Bats are fReAkY!

I once found a giant lizard in my closet. (Like 10 inches long.) I got hysterical. Actually cried - a lot, while two of my roommies captured it with a dustpan and a go-go boot.

Not kidding.

BTW, I laughed out loud at your hubby claiming the bat was Eric!

Lydia Kang said...

I'm a total arachnophobe. Interestingly, my character has no physical fears--it's the imagined ones that bother her!

Kimberly Franklin said...

This may sound weird, but it's kind of cool that you've seen a bat. LOL. I would have to say that bugs, of any kind, scare me. ICK!!

Bradmouth said...

There's nothing quite like that pit-pit-pit sound of a bat buzzing your ears...

You should have called Dwight. He'd know what to do.

P.S. If it's Edward, kill it.

theBrad (verla tag)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Bats freak me out too. I remember one getting into our upstairs apartment years ago and getting hysterical. I get pretty hysterical when I see a mouse too or there's a squirrel in the basement. Luckily that doesn't happen too much. And I try to remind myself they're as scared as me. Doesn't do much good at the time.

Ray Veen said...

I was going to invite you to one of my bonfires until I read this. Part of the fun is watching the bats come out at dusk and swoop after the mosquitos. But you probably wouldn't enjoy that, would you?

Kelly said...

Dezmond- I googled it and then yelled things to him that didn't make sense! :)
Susan - I did part of a snowflake method with my current ms, and did touch upon my mc's fears a bit.
Serenissima- Ew. Rats are icky too!
Denise - Glad I made you giggle!
Rena - That is funny because worms seems so harmless!!
Kristi - My husband would have been sorry he mentioned it, if the bat did turn into Eric! ;)
Patricia - They are so common, I do have to grin and bear it sometimes!
Shannon - Those guys are mean to try and sting us!!
Suz- A go-go boot? Hee!

Kelly said...

Lydia- Scorpions and spiders and critters, oh my!
Kimberly - Not cool on my end. Not cool. ;)
Brad - Not Edward!!
Natalie - I'm glad I'm not the only hysterical one!
Ray- I do go to bonfires with swooping bats actually. I just shriek and embarrass myself. And find an excuse to leave early. :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

wow, way to make me laugh! Fun post. I think bats are really cool. But I'm not keen on turtles.

Laura Pauling said...

Funny! But I'm right there with you. A bat in the house would freak me out!

Rhonda said...

kelly, you cracked me up.
I can totally see your "knight" in action. I've experienced the trauma of a flying creature in my fireplace before, fortunately it was only a Starling. nonetheless, I have a bird phobia so it was traumatic.
Bryan just went last Friday night to one of the metroparks camps to learn about and observe bats, he actually looked into a bat house with flashlight. Aw, to have that Kids have no fear ability again.
Any, I'm with you on the bat thing so you're not being Batty!!

Christina Lee said...

My "Knight in Shining Adidas Shorts" *snort*! Um pretty much anything creepy crawly like huge spiders!

Hema P. said...

You're hilarious, Kelly! I laughed when I read that you put on lipstick and fixed your hair for a bat! :-)

I have a similar irrational fear of snakes, and people keep telling me that snakes generally avoid humans like the plague, unless provoked. Centipedes freak out my main character.

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Kelly H-Y said...

That was an awesome post! Too funny ... but I felt your pain as well! They stink too! You have a Bat Box on your house?! Wow. Spiders are what get me ... I start sweating and shaking and my heart starts pounding ... can't stand them!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

"My hubby informed me that the bat was probably the vampire Eric Northman from True Blood. That prompted me to put on lipstick and fix my hair, but on further observation, I noticed the bat did not have six pack abs, so it couldn't be Eric after all."

HAHAHAHAHAHA omg Kelly. Could you be any funnier????

Spiders freak me out. Big time.

WordWrangler said...

snakes freak out one of my main characters.

Not telling the truth freaks out another one.

And not being the best freaks out another.

Those characters - a weird lot, they are. ;)

And me? Well - spiders, vampire bats, anything creepy-crawly and chocolate mint. Yep. All freaky-deaky.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The day we found a snake in our house, my wife (who isn't normally afraid of snakes) had a freakout. I just scooped it up in a box and tossed it outside. Guess nothing really unnerves me.

Jackee said...

LOL! This was a great story. :o)

I wish I could sympathize with you though, Kelly, but I love bats and used to trap them for excitement. Then again, I'm a wildlife biologist so you'll understand why.

But just think--all that great writing fodder! :o)

Thanks for sharing! I needed a good laugh.