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Monday, June 3, 2013

The day a total stranger threw a bat at my face

Remember how, a couple of years ago it froze in Houston and we all lost our minds because driving on ice is only something you can do if you’re an Eskimo (who, I’m sorry, I’m not completely sure actually exist) or a magician and we were all like “I’m not going to work. I can only drive in the middle of hurricanes and flash floods. ”?

That day, which I thought was going to be totally awesome because 1) no one was going to work and 2) my friends Kellie and Sam and I were going to Hobby Lobby to get stuff to make t-shirts that had pictures of possums on them, ended with a stranger throwing a bat at my face. I know what you’re thinking. “Tell me more about these possum shirts.”

They were going to have possums on them. Who were wearing sunglasses (in my mind. I hadn’t discussed this with Kellie. I’m sure she would have been on board.) And these possums would be giving a thumbs up. And underneath that, it was going to say “Awesome Possum”. And also, Sam was not interested in a t-shirt, I believe (but I think deep down he wanted one. I mean, who wouldn’t want that, right?). And we risked our lives on roads that could have at some point in time been icy in order to make these shirts. The end.

Just kidding. That would have been the worst blog ever.  

So Kellie and I went to Hobby Lobby in the middle of the Great Ice Attack of 2011, where:

Sam dressed up like a spaceman.

I found a teacup for Queen Latifah. Or I am actually just a short round pixie. You decide.

While we were out, my mom called in a tiny panic. You know my mom. But just for some background:

  • She can’t be trusted at the movies.
  • She once sprayed my finches with Lysol because she thought they were dirty.
  • She once febreezed my dog and when I caught her red handed she denied it.
  • She made my brother and sister and I leave a turtle to fend for itself in the wild after we “rescued” it from a ditch and relegated it to our backyard (where it could eat all the flies it wanted! as it turns out, I didn’t really understand how turtle diets worked). She found it swimming around in our pool, insisted that it was “just swimming around peeing all over the place in there” (which was dramatic), and she made us take it back to the ditch we had “rescued” it from, even though we had already named him Denver and he was obviously going to be found by Karankawa Indians and eaten (as it turns out, I also did not understand how genocide worked).

What I’m trying to get across to you is that, while my mom is an outstanding mother and the best and most important influence in my life when we’re not at the movies together, she’s not great with animals. Which would be ok, but she called me while I was at Hobby Lobby in a panic because there was a bat under my dad’s truck. And I was like 89 percent sure that if I didn’t get home quickly, I would find her outside spraying it with Lysol while wearing a catcher’s mask and holding a lacrosse catchy basket. I know what you’re thinking. That sounds like the Great Outdoors with John Candy. And also possibly that there is no such thing as a “lacrosse catchy basket”. Well who died and left you in charge of naming athletic equipment?

"Ok. I'll get the lacrosse catchy basket. You get the tennis bouncy paddle."

 So when I got home my mom was just sort of refusing to go outside. In case the bat had magical powers AND rabies. It was daylight, so he was obviously about to burn up in flames and smoke at any second, because bats are sort of like Freemasons. To be fair, I still may not have a handle on that. So I put him in a shoe box because it was very cold (I mean, not stay-home-from-work cold, but too-cold-for-a-bat-to-be-hanging-out-under-my-dad’s-truck cold) and brought the box inside, and my mother immediately screamed and told me to put him back outside, where I told her he would instantly freeze to death. While she is not great with animals, she is also not a serial murderer, so she made me duct tape the lid shut and I had to stick the box in an empty room in the corner of the house under stuff so that if the bat suddenly woke up with telepathic powers, it would have a couple different shields of defense to go through before it Jedi-mind-tricked us into letting it fly out all willy nilly through the house, just hanging around and turning us into Freemasons.

Am I doing this right?

Then I called a wildlife refuge nearby. Then they didn’t pick up (because, come ON. It was cold). Then I left a message and went to lunch with Kellie and Sam. Then I realized that I had left the bat at home with my mom and I started to get nervous. Then I rushed home.

When I came back, I had this conversation with my mom:

Mom: I think it’s dead. We can just throw the box away.
Me: Why do you think it’s dead.
Mom: I poked the box. I didn’t hear it moving.
Me: They’re nocturnal. He’s asleep.
Mom: I shook it around a lot. I mean a lot. And he just sort of rattled around in there.
Me: …I have to get that bat to a wildlife refuge before you kill it…
Mom: Jennifer, just throw it away.
Me: It’s not a Milli Vanilli tape, Mom!
Mom: Jennifer! It’s dead!

I suspected she had attempted to spray Lysol through some of the breathing holes I had poked into the top. (breathing holes + one stick + three leaves = completely livable terrarium for any animal).

So I called the wildlife refuge again, and as I was leaving a message that said “my mom is trying to throw this bat away,” a lady picked up and frantically gave me her address, because you cannot just throw away a tiny living animal because you feel like it may try to eat your soul in the night.

So my brother Jarrett and I took the box and got into my car, where we both commented on how the bat was awfully quiet and wondered if it was dead from some sort of terrible shaking episode at the hands of a mom who will remain nameless, Barbara White.

Until the sun went down.

Motherfucking milliseconds after the sun dipped over the horizon, that bat was like Yawn. Stretch. Feed on the blood of the innocent. Imagine sitting in a dark room and hearing a faint scratching on your door. And imagine that after two seconds of faint scratching, it was obvious that the Swamp Witch Goblin from Legend was on the other side and was like: “Oh hey, assholes! Guess who’s awake?! This motherfucker right here; and I KNOW you were shaking the box!”

…I will literally suck your eyeballs out of your face…

So Jarrett is holding this box in his lap and his face is saying “Nope. We should have thrown this bastard away,” and I’m thinking “Thank God Jarrett is holding the box because that bat is going to motherfucking claw right through it in a second and eat my brother alive. Maybe we should have thrown that bastard away.” Because every single vanishing ray of light transformed this tiny furry monster into a more and more intense ball of murder and rage. By the time we got to the refuge, he was attempting to burst out of the box lid like one of Alien's babies out of the chest of some vaguely Asian man. 

You may think that's mirth on our faces. But it's not. It's unmitigated fear
Luckily, the bat refuge was only ten minutes away.  I’m sorry. Did I say “bat refuge”? I meant “some lady’s house.” I will preface everything I am about to say with this: this woman and her husband were absolutely motherfucking awesome. There is no one else on the planet who loves bats more than her. Even Batman. There is no one on the planet who knows as much about bats as her. Even Batman. If there were any form of bat-related emergency, there is no one else on the planet I would call. With maybe the exception of Batman, if the bat-related emergency was that my mom shook all  of their shoe boxes and they were looking for vengeance. She loves bats so much, she was wearing socks with bats on them. And a shirt with bats on it. And she had a room specifically for bats. And I will remind you that this was a day work was cancelled, so it wasn’t like this was a uniform.

When I knocked on the door, her husband, who was this amazing, laid-back, long haired, older guy, said “Whelp. I’ll go cut up some fruit.” and promptly left. Are you serious?! No one has ever cut up fruit based upon my arrival before!

Jarrett and I climbed some very tiny stairs that were installed to lead the way up to a Batroom. I mean. I wasn’t expressly told that’s what it was called, but come on. That’s what it was called.

And I turned to go, but she shut the door. And put on gloves. And opened. The fucking. Box. Which is really the same thing as throwing a possibly rabid bat at my face. 

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I have my rabies shot.”

But we motherfucking didn’t. And the bat tore out of that box like it had been held prisoner by someone who was relentlessly shaking it with a focused intent to kill it all god damn day. And it flew right at my head. Then it flew right at my brother’s head. Then it screeched across the room right for my jugular. Then I ducked and screamed. Then it screeched across the room for his eyeballs. And he sidestepped and ducked. Then it went whirring and chirping and screeching across the room like a tiny harbinger-tornado of death hell bent on killing all of us. And when I looked at my brother, his eyes said “we’re going to die right now.” And my eyes said back, "Fuck yes we are." Then the bat lady said something I will never forget.

“Aw! He’s in good shape! Don’t worry!”

As if the reason for our concern was the bat’s safety, and not that it was trying to claw off our faces with its tiny rage talons.

The bat lady then brought out a giant red blanket, and like a motherfucking matador, in three seconds, whirred the cloth around, wrapped the bat up like a lovable fucking bat-in-a-blanket, gingerly removed him and placed him in his own extremely large cage that had actual plants and fruit and other things that were very terrarium like. Which was definitely better for him, considering that several hours before, I had sort of awkwardly forced him into a Charlotte Russe shoe box by picking him up with a box lid, duct taped it shut and stuck it under a bra and some books in an unreasonably cold room.

“Ya got palm trees?”
“Yes,” I said.
“He prolly just fell outta his tarpor when it was windy. They like those palm trees.”

Except because this all happened two years ago, I forgot what it was called when a bat curled up. So I wanted to look it up. So I Googled “what is it called …” and Google finished that for me, but not by completing it to say “when a bat curls up.” Google decided to complete that for me by adding “when you eat yourself.” What the fuck, Google. Also, you get me, Google.

This seems fine.


So the lady asks me where I live, specifically. And I specifically tell her. And she tells me, “I’ll let him go close to your house, and he’ll find his way and fly right back to your palm trees.”

And what I meant to say was “No! My mom hates bats! She’s afraid of them!” But what I accidentally said was “ok.”

So after we met all the bats in the Batroom and the Batlady told us she was going to return this creature of death to our home, Jarrett and I left. And when we went home, I told my mom that the Batlady said she could let him go close to us so he could find his house in our palm trees. And my mom said “OHMYGOD YOU TOLD HER NO, RIGHT?!”

And I said “Of course.” 

Because that’s what you get when you act up at the movies.

And Kellie and I didn’t even make our possum shirts. The end.

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(And I figured out how to put the Pin it and Reddit thingies at the bottom of the post, if you're into THAT sort of thing. Either way, I would like a drink. Wait.)


  1. There's been some trouble with comments. If you guys have any trouble, email me at diaryofafailedanorexic@gmail.com.

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    1. why all of this anticipation?! what did this comment say?! quit messing with my mind!!

  3. hilarious!!!!!!!!!! I like when he woke up. I laughed forever.com.
    -M the GREAT

  4. You are frickin hilarious! I wish I knew you in real life...something tells me we would be "besties".

    1. haha--thank you! we could start a possum shirt revolution!