Many years ago, back when I was in high school, my three closest friends and I were called in to wage war against an opponent roughly 0.5% our size. You see, Quentin’s family had a bat that had snuck into their guest room and was trying to set up a life for itself in the shadows above the canopy bed. Naturally, his mother figured the best course of action would be to call in four sixteen-year-old boys to take care of the pest.
Unfortunately, the boys in question were a bunch of geeks.
So when we came in to inspect the situation we took turns peering above the canopy only to drop down to the floor in terror every time the bat decided to flap around the edge of the bed to intimidate us. (In our defense, I don’t think anyone actually screamed.) Realizing that this bat was crafty, we temporarily retreated in order to strategize. We realized that we were not going to be able to catch it easily without stunning it.
In short, we needed weapons.
Quickly we sorted through everything that seemed to meet our needs. One of us had a bat (not another animal, but rather a tool used by sports players), another was armed with NERF gun, I cannot remember what everyone wielded now, but I remember the secure feeling of my sword grip upon an elongated NERF dart. I remember being really irritated about not having my tennis racket on hand. Time after time, we would take turns whacking the bottom of the canopy to send the bat flying out into the room, so that we might swing wildly at it while ducking for cover.
This went on for a half hour before one of us managed to get a solid strike on the flapping rodent, knocking it to the ground. We cheered, but quickly realized we didn’t have any idea what to do with it now that it was down as it was still alive. Someone suggested trying to flush it down the toilet, but we recalled urban legends of bats clinging to the rims of toilets only to return when darkness descended upon the bowl, and rejected it. Eventually, Dan recommended taking it to the local park and letting it go in a wooded area, which appealed to our tender-hearted sensibilities now that the rush of adrenaline was gone.
We wrapped up the bat in a little towel and quickly drove down to the park and walked as far back into the trees as we could as we were afraid we would get in trouble. We set the bat on the ground, and upon inspecting realized to our horror that one of its wings was broken. Damn, this thing was done for, and we distantly considered whether there was any appropriate medical attention we could get for our former opponent. Failing that, we didn’t have the heart to kill it quickly, and instead chose to say goodbye with an apology and leave it with the repect that a fallen warrior deserves. After all, this was a bat that managed to terrify four strapping teenage boys until their adrenaline allowed them to overcome their fear and defeat him via superior weaponry.
Sometimes, I still think about that bat and I feel shitty that we hurt it so badly and as a result indirectly killed it. Which is part of the reason I had so much trouble last night, which will be detailed in Part 2.