24 August 2008

They Can Fly Under Doors!!

I improved my batting average/Graydon Number/bat wrangling quotient to 2 BW in 4.5 BE (0.444) tonight. However, the incident was not without some startling revelations:

(1) My bedroom door is not protection enough. Seriously, I knew one was out in the hallway earlier, but I cleared its escape route (the bathroom opens out onto a fire escape) and closed all the other doors, so I figured I could get back to a few minutes of editing while I waited for him to exit. All of a sudden, the damn thing is back in my room! And now I'm alone with the bat in a small enclosed place. Awesome. I couldn't help being reminded of Question 3 ("Remember, bats fly at 10 m/s and they do not know fear").

I also learned that while they indeed seem to be very stupid, they apparently start to fly lower and lower as they exhaust their (still pretty ineffective) search for high altitude escape routes. How are we supposed to evade them if they're flying at crouching-level? As Colette pointed out earlier, we can't fly.

(2) Leaving the fire-escape door open apparently varies as an effective wrangling technique. It worked like a champ the other night, but tonight--despite not seeming to have had it open any longer than last time--I returned to the bathroom when the coast was clear to find it bat-less, but also an entomological menagerie. I've got so many damn bugs in my bathroom, I need to track down another bat just to get rid of them all. I feel a little like the old lady who swallowed a fly (what is the point of this video, incidentally?) but kinda in reverse. There's going to have to be a mosquito massacre in a few minutes.

Speaking of massacres, I'm seriously considering starting to take swings at them (the bats, not the bugs). I'm told that if you hit them you can stun them and then carry them away to safety in a plastic bag. The key, apparently, is to not swing too hard. But one bared its teeth at me yesterday when I was trying to shoo it away from its perch, so I'm not really interested in turning a swooping but seemingly non-combative flying mammal into one that perceives me to be attacking it. Frazzled and fanged is not an attractive combination, in my book. Thus, I'll be employing the Dan Uggla philosophy: swing hard in case you hit it.

Note to potential St. Francis House residents (or anyone who's afraid Colette, Hattie, and I are going to get rabies): We'll get to the bottom of this chiropteric conundrum. These bats have to be getting into the house more easily than in the past. We should be able to find the entry points and secure them.

Image: xkcd #135. Used by permission.

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