If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

25 August 2006

The cookie crumbles

I'm proud to say that I'm a pretty tough cookie in many ways.

I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of me in a debate on something I really cared about, a business negotiation if you've screwed something up that you could have controlled, or a catfight in a dark alley.

But the cookie DOES have a crumble point. (And I'd bet that I'm probably in pretty good company here:) I just can't get comfortable with the idea of a bat flapping around in my house.

But here, in the countryside, where window screens don't exist, bats flapping around occasionally during the waning summer nights are pretty well the norm. I have a (French) neighbor who regularly extoles their virtues:
"How beeeyoooteeful zhey are when zhey fly! Quel pretty noises zheir wings are make-ing! Zhey are zee ballerinas of zee summer sky!"

And yes, damnit, rational sense tells me that they're kind of cute and fuzzy if you get them up close, they don't eat people, 99.7% of them are not rabid and will not bite you, Dracula was fiction, and they really aren't interested in me. The classic "they're more scared of you than you are of them". (Mmmmm-hmmmmm. SURE. Funny, he doesn't SEEM scared.)

I have really, truly tried to adopt this "when in Rome" philosophy about pipistrelli. . In fact, my life would be markedly better if I could.

But I have a mental block here. I am a GIANT TREMBLING SACK OF JELLO-ED GIRLINESS when a bat whips through. Adrenaline kicks in, I have to struggle to focus my eyes, and I'm sure my blood pressure shoots through the roof.

I put up a brave front, sure. (What else is there to do?) I sigh angrily (as if he can hear me.) I get up from my desk, throw open all the windows and hope he will find his way back out before I actually have to DO something about him. And usually he does.

But damn, those intervening five / ten / fifteen minutes, I'm a fucking wreck inside.

And the alternative to those open windows is ... living in a house that is so hot you can't breathe inside, much less think. Ridiculous.

Gee. Do you wonder what's going on here in Bella Toscana tonight? I just got home from a lovely evening and the first bat of the season just winged his way through. So here I sit in a white tank top and red yoga pants, hoping fervently that it's JUST dogs and bees that can smell fear.

Because if bats can, too, then my house is about to be infested. I'm no match for them, and I know it. Let's just hope THEY don't.


Blogger Umbrian said...

Bats are lovely! Send them over here. There is a neighborhood light outside my living room window and when the evenings are humid and the moths gather under it, I love to watch the bats swooping and hunting.
Without bats you'd be a total mass of mosquito bites.
They are unnerving inside, I agree, but they want out and will find it. I did have one come down the chimney in winter where it apparently was nesting when I lived in the US. The cats loved that evening. I waited, towel in hand, until it rested on the woodwork, then covered it, made it into a little package and took it outside. Then had screening put over the chimney.
The cats were seriously upset at me and I had to clean up the mess they'd made before dinner guests arrived.
It's like dust mites. It's them or knee deep in skin cells. Which would you rather?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous elle said...

Because we're that kind of friends, consider yourself laughed at!

6:04 PM  
Blogger I'm Just a Girl said...

I don't like spiders or wasps. They are about 100 times smaller than a bat. Can you guess which side of the fence I'm on with this one????

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's mice and their larger relatives for me. The hubby describes me as cartoonesque because I'm a stand on the table and scream sort of gal when one of those little rodents makes an appearance. Totally with you on this one!

7:49 PM  
Blogger tallulah said...

I used to have a pet bat named Boo. I love bats! I think you should volunteer your time at a injured bat shelter....(do they have such a thing?) That way, you will get used to the furry mice that fly and they won't flip you out anymore.

I hate grasshoppers. They creep me out to no end. I would go batshit (no pun intended) if there were one in my house.

9:12 PM  

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