The Man of the House

In doing my share of house duties, I found myself cleaning off our outside deck so it can be powerwashed (you’ll notice I didn’t phrase it “so I can powerwash it”). Part of this task involved bringing a surprising amount of empty beer bottles down to the garage.

To give those of you who haven’t been to my house an idea, my deck is off of the second floor. I had to walk down the stairs, through the hallway, and through the house entrance to the garage. Naturally, I left this last door open to facilitate the numerous trips I had to make.

On my last trip, as I’m walking down the stairs I notice a flutter in the light in the hallway. Before having a chance to wonder what it was, I notice a bird doing circles around our hallway.

“SHIT” I exclaimed, out loud, despite the fact that I was knowingly home alone.

Lucky for me, tweety flew back into the garage. I quickly closed the door. I thought for a second and realized the easiest solution would be to open the garage and let him fly away. We have some serious bird problems in this neighborhood, with birds nesting above our garage (in addition to some other places), so I passed on the opportunity to make him an example to his friends.

Thankfully, I’m not scared of birds. Even more thankfully, Meg wasn’t home. Meg is petrified of birds (and bats for that matter, as I learned in Aruba), so suffice it to say her screeching in the background wouldn’t have helped the situation.

So, I put my sneakers on and opened the garage door. I see the little bastard flying circles around my garage.

At this point, I become aware of something that I had noticed earlier, but only subconsciously. Its wings weren’t flapping nearly as frantically as I do most birds. Its square flight pattern was much more graceful, or at very least, less spastic than most birds.

Upon further inspection, it turns out that tweety was in fact a bat. And he wasn’t in any rush to vacate my garage.

Some readers on this site, namely from around Meg’s home, are neither surprised nor disgusted by this fact. Others, for instance my North Jersey, “city boy” friends, will likely be amazed that bats even live in the NJ area, much less the US in general.

I decide he’s probably attracted to the light that was still on in the garage, so I start to draw up a plan to shut off the light without getting too close to this blood-sucking flying mammal. The best I could come up with was to grab a nearby broom and use that to turn off the light switch, which was alarmingly close to the bat’s flight pattern. That way, if he decided to morph into a vampire, I could fend him off with the cunning use of a broom. No, I didn’t check to see if I had any garlic in the house, but that’s mainly because I knew for a fact that we didn’t.

I suppose at this point, a little backstory is necessary. I hate yardwork. I’m allergic to grass and oak trees, so to a certain extent, you have to give me a little slack. What this amounts to is that I am pretty much the comical parody of the typical neighborhood husband. Most of the men in the neighborhood are outside in shorts, tank tops/no shirts, happily mowing the lawn or working on their cars. When I finally decide to mow the lawn (which is to say, Meg locks me outside until it’s done), I’m out there in long pants and a long sleeve shirt. I mow my lawn as quickly and half assedly as possible, race inside, and jump immediately into a shower.

I tell you that story to further paint the picture of me against the bat. I’m standing in my driveway, in pajama shorts and a cut off, and I’m holding a broom as if I were a trained martial artist wielding a sword-

Wait, let me try that again.

I’m holding the broom as if I were a goofy, uncoordinated computer programmer pretending he is a trained martial artist wielding a sword.

I am standing in my driveway, facing my garage. A bat, donning a whopping 6 inch wingspan, is circling (rather, squaring) around my garage. And if that wasn’t pathetic enough, I’m not even attempting to subdue the bat directly. I am inching up the side of my garage, broom outstretched, flapping it wildly trying to shut off the light switch.

Had the bat flown in my direction, there is a good chance I would have, for the first time in my life, “shrieked”.

The good news, is that what I lack in testosterone and general masculinity, I make up for in intellect. My plan worked, and the bat quickly flew out to finish his business elsewhere. I scooped up what was left of my dignity, and went back inside to my bat-free house.

Despite all of this, everyone is abolutely not allowed to laugh at the part of our wedding where in my vows I promise to “love and protect” Meg.


  1. Bahahahhahahaha! Let me just say for the record that much to my chagrin, I have screeched out loud. Not because of bats or birds, but because of bugs. I am now in the process of taking the last few leisurely trips into the garage and shed before the cricket families move in to their summer homes. As it is, when I go into the shed I kick the door several times to let them know I’m on my way in and could they be so kind as to hide from my sight. No luck, every year they just sit there mocking me, daring me to come in so they can rip off my face and suck out my brain. I could swear Jeff purposely puts all the things I want at the back…I swing the door open like I was going on a drug raid, eye up what I want and run like hell to grab what I need and get out. Only one time was there any real threat, and that was a few years ago when there was a rather large (rip your head off man!) black widow spider. Fortunately, the sprinkler guy was here, and even he was a little hesitant to launch an assault, so I had to withold his payment till he disposed of it :)

  2. Jeff, nice work on placing the important stuff in the back. I’ll take that as a small lesson on marriage.

    Our house is awful with spiders, especially this time of year. Luckily, they don’t bother me after the initial “What the hell is that!?”.

    Meg has actually screamed at a spider to the point that I honestly thought she had hurt herself. I came flying upstairs to find her standing on the couch, pointing at a black dot in the corner.

  3. hahahah… man… i miss driving down there on the weekends every month. Had that been me there w/you… it would have looked like ‘The Great Outdoors’ slamming each other w/pots, pans and nets….

    Glad you got rid of it… i wouldn’t have bothered… close it in garage and let it ‘eventually’ die of lack of food in there… untill then the garage would be off-limits in my house. We’d open the door again at Christmas.

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