A Night Of Frights!

When the two helpful gentlemen were leaving the house - waiving their well wishes and hearing our thanks and praises - my husband says to me - "Well, this is something you will have to blog about". And, indeed it is. Here is the story - I am trying not to exaggerate - everything you read here is true - and for your own safety - I hope you never have to try this at home!"

It is Saturday night - which by all understanding, when you are in the ministry, is open to all sorts of odd and interesting happenings. If anything different is going to happen - it will happen on a Saturday night - - when you are in the ministry that is. For some reason - when your husband is a pastor - all sorts of things can take place on a Saturday night. It is like living with the "Friday the 13Th" thing over your head every weekend. (OK, not really quite that bad - but simple to say - odd things seem to happen on Saturday nights). If the kids are going to get sick, it will be a Saturday night. Of course, after the substitute for your Sunday School class has long since gone to bed - so you will not be able to inform her of her impromptu lesson she will be teaching until right before she will leave for church the following morning! If a pastor and his wife are going to get into an argument - scratch that - a disagreement - (and I know this may be hard for anyone to believe that pastors and their wives can have disagreements) - it WILL happened on a Saturday night! Well, this Saturday it was NOT a sick child and it was not a disagreement, although there was enough screaming going on inside the house to justify a call from the neighbors to the police reporting a possible domestic dispute.

This Saturday it was, as my husband first named it, "a critter". Now, the term "critter" can have many translations. However, when it is unwanted - uninvited - and it is in the confines of your own personal living quarters - a "critter" means - TROUBLE!

I was pleasantly surprised when my husband walked in the door at 9 o'clock this Saturday night. I knew that he was not done finishing up his messages for the next day, but I knew that his portable study office would be set up on the dining room table and he would be reading about the deep things of God and studying for his Sunday school lesson.

Before he sat down to his study in the dining room, he headed down stairs to turn out lights and to look for his missing suit coat - the missing suit coat that caused Sunday school to be started late last week - due to him having to come home and change during the Sunday school song service - (another story in and of itself). Well, it was his trip downstairs led him to the use of the word "critter", and also began a commencement of pounding of certain metal equipment on the ceiling of the basement - (the air vent). I was down there - when he was explaining to me that he had heard a "critter" in the vent and was going to investigate. I was standing directly overhead when I asked this question - "How certain are you that you heard something in there." As if the critter wanted to make the answer known himself, he began walking around DIRECTLY OVER MY HEAD in the vent. That was all it took for me to tell my husband that I loved him and to have fun. I then left and headed upstairs here to try to think of something interesting to put in my blog.

Move ahead 5-7 minutes and I hear my husband ask me to turn on the AC to see what would happen. I obediently did this - and went back to trying to figure out what to write for my blog.

Move ahead a few more minutes and it sounded like my husband was mad at me and yelling at me from the basement. I sighed and went to find out what he wanted. It was then that I heard - not frustration in his voice - but a equal mix of authority and fear wrapped around his spoken words. They went something like this - repeated over and over and over, and emphasising a different word in the phrase each time it was repeated - "SHUT THE BASEMENT DOOR, SHUT THE BASEMENT DOOR, SHUT THE BASEMENT DOOR, ( and then finally the whole phrase was said with the same sentence emphasis on each word) SHUT THE BASEMENT DOOR...." (you get the picture). Guess what I did? I shut the basement door.

I then started yelling through the closed door - "What's the matter?!"

It was odd though, because what had sounded like my husband was right next to me was now a muffled sound - it was his voice but so muffled that I could not make it out. I followed through the floor of the main level trying to find where his voice was coming from in the basement. Finally, in the vent of our bedroom I could make out his words a little clearer. "It's a bat..."

To which I yelled down through the vent - "What do you want me to do?"

To which he yelled -"I don't know, I am thinking." (Now, I know I needed to give him time to think - but when he is down there, the door is closed, his voice is muffled - it is hard to let him think.

I yelled again, "what do you think I should do?" I suggested calling one of our neighbors. My husband grunted up through the boards and the vents and I took it as a yes and called our good and kind elderly neighbor who knows just about anything about everything. I talked with him and he suggested that my dear husband try a sheet and try to catch the "critter" in. He also offered his BB gun if we would like it.

I went and yelled down the vent that he needed to get a sheet and that a BB gun was available if he would like to crawl out a window, cross the street, and get it at the neighbors.

My brave husband, nixed the BB gun idea saying it would not work with all the things around the basement, got a sheet from the laundry room - and began his wild man adventure to catch a bat. He was ready - sheet in hand - he opened the door and entered the front part of the basement ready to spring on the flying bat. He stood there - and stood there - and stood there. He proceeded to tell me that he could not find the bat. I told him I would go out and look in the windows and see if I could see it. Lying on the damp grass outside, I scanned the ceiling of our basement school room - acutely aware that there were creepy crawlies outside in the grass and praying that I did not encounter any of them! I was also hoping that someone would not walk by our house, see me laying on the grass looking in the widows, and think that I was some sort of weirdo and call the police.

I looked and looked - my husband looked and looked - nothing. We looked for over an hour. Finally it was decided that the bat had gone back up the vent and out through the chimney.

This is the story we told the children - who had awakened and were standing shivering next to us. I can not tell you how strong and convincing we sounded as we told them. (My husband sounded very strong and convincing - to all of us) He informed us that there was "NO WAY" that bat was still there - it went something like this - "There is no way that bat is still down there - I checked in every nook and cranny - I even check in places where he could not possibly have been...")

He went on and on with this story. So good that the children were calmed and settled and headed back up to their beds without a shiver or fear within them. Dad had saved the day. (It was now - 11:45 pm)

When I knew that the children were out of ear shot I began with the interrogation - "Are you SURE that thing is gone?"

Nothing he could say convinced me. Then he really tried "It's not like it went and hid on me - that thing wanted out of here - that is exactly what it did - there is NO WAY that bat is still here. It is long gone." We sat there is silence for a moment and then I added in a calm but firm voice - "I will be bathing upstairs in the morning... I just don't..." It was somewhere near this phrase that something emerged from the mudroom and began flying for my head - it was at that very moment that I began screaming - louder and longer than I have every screamed - (and I have given birth 4 times!) I made a beeline for my bedroom - screaming the entire way - and also having my husband yelling - "GO GO GO!"

I took off North, my husband south - I went to the bedroom he went to the closet " I am locked n the bedroom and my husband in the front closet when we hear the patter of little feet upstairs. Both of us start yelling - "STAY UPSTAIRS, CLOSE YOUR DOORS!" We hear the doors upstairs slam shut and then I hear my husband swinging something -he yells that he needs another sheet - which I promptly throw at him . (He is now out of the closet and in the doorway of our dining room swinging a queen sized sheet. Finally I hear him say that is it fine - and I slowly emerge from my bedroom. The bat has successfully been locked into the bathroom off the kitchen. I am informed of his whereabouts just as I hear his wings brush up against the closed door - sending a shiver up my spine.

The next course of action is to go up and settle the kids and let them know it is alright. I get them settled and into one room - telling them to close the door and keep it close unless they hear my tell them to open it. Kids in room - the time is now 12:10 am.

I come down to the main level to see my husband sitting upon the couch - neon fishing net in one hand - and an old tennis racket in the other. (This tennis racket is so old that it is made of wood and it is the one that Rachel's tennis coach just looked at in amazement and said, "now that is interesting!") I asked my husband what he was going to do - and heard the same answer once again, "I am thinking." The thinking continued as the neon fishing net gently tapped on his leg. It was then that I remembered while sitting upstairs - my husband locked downstairs - with a bat between the two of us - I had checked on line and saw a web site for "How to get bats out of your house..." one website had said that if you had a bat in your home and were able to confine it - then you could call the public health department and they would come and take it away. Mind you, it was for some city out east - but if those east coast people had public health people that hauled bats out of their houses - could us Midwest people also have this benefit in our community? It was worth a shot - it also was 12:30 in the morning and I wondered just how to get a hold of one of these bat catching community helpers. The "non-emergency" police number seemed to be calling my name - so I decided to give them a call. I was informed that they would send someone right over. That "someone" ended up being the local police department who parked their cars right outside the front of the house - lights on and spot light glaring trying to find the correct "bat infested house."

The first officer that arrived in our home was not really a tall officer - but informed us that bats were not his specialty. He did not beat around the bush about it either. He simply said, "I am not going in that bathroom!" He then proceeded to give us all the reasons why he would not care to go in that bathroom. (All the reasons, might I add, that I thought it would be good for us not to have the bat in the house - germs, rabies, painful bites, shots etc...) I was wanting to tell him that we were aware of all of the dangers of this particular rodent, hence, why we had the "critter" locked in the bathroom. Just as I thought about giving my dissertation about our knowledge of bat germs, another officer walked in.

Now this officer was tall - very very tall - he also seemed like a tried and true police man - fearless. He asked my husband - "So you have a bat..." My husband informed him of the bats confinement to our bathroom. It was then that I heard the most beautiful words of the evening - "Well, where is your bathroom?" and he starts looking around the room - in search of the infamous bathroom. As he is making his way to through the house - he asks us what we have to catch the bat with. My husband smiles and hands him the neon fish net. He tells us that he would be more comfortable with a box. I was sure that I could find a box - and produced one in short order. I vaguely heard the younger officer remind him how painful the rabies shots are. None of this moves this fine man and he proceeds to open the door and catch a bat with a neon fish net - placing his captured prey into the box. It is then that the bat begins to realize he has been had and starts squealing - the box is quickly covered with the queen sized sheet - and carried outside. The police set it free and we watched as the bat flew away. The helpful gentleman, our local police hero's, waved their goodbyes and told us to have a good night. It was then 12:40 am.

Yes, this was something I had to blog about. For the record, my husband was able to get enough studying done to be able to preach a decent message for Sunday School. As I sat and listened to him preach I would find my mind wondering and then I would start laughing as I thought of the events of the night before. Only on a Saturday.

And in case you are wondering - no, he never did find his suit coat - but we are still on the lookout for it!

Have a great week.


Patty said...

my father was a police officer and went on many a bat call. One time it was from my sister as she was staying over night at her girlfriends house across the street. They called the police and my dad was the one to respond. He found two young girls hiding under a blanket shaking with fear !

Stephanie said...

Found you through Show and Tell and scrolled down to find this post. How hysterically funny, though I'm sure you didn't think so at the time!