There is little that will reduce a room full of ordinary, civilized adults to terrified, shrieking infants faster than a bat fluttering through their personal space.
But let me backtrack a bit.
I had the misfortune of attending a dinner party recently. The words “misfortune” and “dinner party” are actually synonymous, so please forgive the redundancy. At any rate, hors d’ouevres found me engrossed in an absolutely fascinating discussion about the myriad of ways requiring the use of motorcycle helmets is adversely affecting our rights under the Constitution. This fellow seemed to have a great deal of respect for, not only the Constitution as he viewed it, but for the sound of his own voice, as well. I soon realized that all I’d have to do to keep up my end of the conversation was to nod occasionally and avoid turning to stone.
Just when I had decided that this person truly didn’t need to avail himself of a motorcycle helmet, since he had nothing worth protecting anyway, a diminutive uninvited quest made his presence known.
Things immediately became more interesting.
For some odd reason, women confronted by a bad flying about will immediately cover their heads while emitting wails that can lead to avalanches in higher elevations. What they fail to realize is that bats couldn’t care less about closely inspecting their dye jobs. Bats have no fashion sense. It’s all the same to them if your hair is L’Oreal Blonde, Clairol Brunette, or Joe’s Midnight Maroon. They also do not become entangled in one’s coif. As a matter of fact, unless you have a swarm of flying insects hanging about the earrings, bats are unlikely to be interested in your company. . . especially at a dinner party.
They do have some standards.
So, the poor bat was fluttering around, just trying to find the fastest way out of there; and since I had been pursuing a similar, and unsuccessful, course of action ever since I had arrived an hour ago, I didn’t hold out too much hope for the little fellow’s chances.
Ah, but he had one thing on his side that I didn’t have.
Intimidation and fear.
Well, two things, then.
Once the males in the group tumbled to the fact that the ladies weren’t screaming because someone was wearing white shoes after Labor Day, they swept into action.
“What should we do?” they cried, in unison.
An overly muscled athletic sort with an audible tan snatched up a nearby tennis racket (and isn’t there always one nearby?) and advanced on the creature with the requisite blood in the eye.
I, being an animal lover in the extreme, did my part by sticking out my foot at the right time. . .or the wrong time, depending upon your perspective. He went down like a sack of. . .well, he went down.
Game and Set.
“All right! HOLD IT DOWN!” I shouted above the din.
An eerie silence, except for the soft fluttering of erratic flight, reigned.
“When I was in the Orient, I learned a trick to call bats,” I explained. “If you will all adjourn to the next room and close the doors behind you, I’ll get the bat out of the house with no bloodshed or damaged crockery.”
Even Pauly Shore couldn’t have cleared that room faster.
After the doors were latched and secure, I held up my hand and the bat lit on my wrist.
“What the devil took you so long, Bart? I was bored to tears!” I exclaimed, scratching him behind the ears. “Come on. Let’s get out of here. There’s a grasshopper at home with your name on it.”
Nobody could blame me for this. I was only following the instructions on the invitation. If they didn’t want me to “B.Y.O.B.,” they shouldn’t have told me to.
I tucked Bart into his cage in the back seat of my car and left.
Dinner Party: 0, Bat: 1
Game, Set, and Match.