As I walk up the path, Madame Suicide is gesturing to me from the window frantically to hurry. I'm concerned, and get into the house as quickly as possible. She very upset. What could this be? I try and ease the story of whatever's caused this out of her. She calms eventually and points to the stairs. " Bat", she says.
Mme S and bats have some history. Some years ago we rented a gorgeous little cottage in Crackington Haven, Cornwall, which had a picture-postcard thatched roof. Unfortunately the roof had some occupants and a nice little bat-sized hole so they could visit us in the evenings. Mrs S did not take well to this, diving for cover and screaming as one got into the front room and swooped at her menacingly. I spoke to cottage owners, but bats are protected and there was nothing he could do except try and find and block the hole.
The holiday was cut short and we returned. Me with a nice suntan and new bodyboard, her with serious bat-phobia.
"What are you going to do?" she asks pensively. What indeed?
I did what any mature responsible 41 year old male with a traumatised partner would do. I started dancing around the room singing:-
"There's a bat in me bedroom what am I gonna do, There's a bat in me bedroom what am I gonna do. I'm gonna kick it's ass that's wh..."
Something heavy hit me. It felt like the TV.
I made my way into the bedroom and closed the door behind me. All was quiet. "Are you sure it wasn't a moth?" I shout. A volley of Yorkshire expletives shoot through the door, silencing me, and startling our flying squatter back into the air just above my head, scaring the crap out of me.
I back myself into a corner to observe and work on a strategy. Running from the room is not an option, as the door is now mysteriously jammed. Almost like it's being held from the outside.
The little critter is just flying circuits around the room, occasionally alighting on something and then continuing his patrol.
I dismiss my first strategy, the old 'Can of Hairspray and Disposable Lighter Flamethrower' tactic as being a bit forceful .* Not to mention risky to my curtains and house, as 'Die Fledermaus' goes down like the luftwaffe over a blitzed London.
I settle for something far more logical. Grasping my crucifix from the bedside table I hold it in the air and cry,
"I revoke my invitation, Count Batula!"
Nothing. Not even a wisp of smoke. That must be one of those things that only works in the fillums.
He swoops again and my thoughts turn to disease. What if he has rabies! Or Ebola! I don't think my small South Staffs village could survive another Ebola outbreak..
I don't know if you've ever seen a bat close up, but they are actually fascinating little buggers. Literally like flying mice. And I was quite enjoying watching him for a while, though he seemed to be tiring, looking for a way out and struggling to find somewhere to land or roost. So the windows were opened fully, and after a few more minutes his sonar detected the exit and he was gone.
Now how do I get out of this room...?
*No Fledermaus were hurt during production of this post. However the nerves of a Yorkshire woman were frayed somewhat.