Baseball season is a distant memory - even more so for those of us in the NY area - it's rare that a local team isn't in contention- we've been uninterested for so long now, it seems like the schedule ended sometime in 2007.
I was at the humble abode of my brother and his family the other night. The kids were winding down and the McBoingboing residence was descending into the lull that marks the end of the weekend. A shriek, and then a stampede of people come running up the steps from the family room. There's yelping, howling and other modes of expression coming from what I knew to be humans; eyeballs nearly popping out of heads, hands clasped to mouths and a lot of stuttering. A BAT IS DOWNSTAIRS. So the weekend hasn't yet ended, apparently.
My nieces, aged 4 and 5, both delightfully exclaim as they see this as an extension to their day or at least a science experiment. At first the conversation turns to bloodsucking, vampires, fangs & all that until some old wives tales are dashed. Someone mentions that bats frequently get caught in people's hair, and within 15 seconds EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US is wearing a knit hat. We are all still standing upstairs, well away from the bat, but now we look like a family ready to break into the neighborhood's cars. This move gave the rest of the evening a cartoonlike quality I still snicker at. We decided the "tools of disposal" were to be a fishing net and a broom, and my brother and his wife were to be the "disposers". Luckily, for the rest of us, the room where the bat was camping out had a glass door leading to the outside, so we McBoingboinged outside to watch the antics with our jackets and (of course) knit caps on. My brother and sister in-law were creeping around with the tentativeness found in the 'lions and tigers and bears - oh my' scene from the Wizard of Oz. I tried to imagine Judy Garland in a knit cap. Every time they tapped a possible hiding area, we all cringed. My youngest niece, Sara, kept pointing to a lamp on the outside of the house saying it was the bat. We all kept "shushing" her, and then her sister, Carla, also insisted that what they were pointing at WAS the bat. The fielders inside were romping around the den as if they were police trainees on those obstacle courses where they inevitably shoot the old laldy and not the thief - bobbing, weaving, creeping up on nothing and scaring themselves to our voyeuristic delight. I decide to squat down and really look from the vantage point of my diminutive nieces to see what they could be mistaking for a bat. They were mistaking nothing. It WAS the bat, of course. I know you knew it was coming, but none of us on the home team did for a little while. His body was about 4" long and he was hanging upside down tucked behind the drapery valance, gathering his energy like a pinch runner on the bench.
His retrieval was swift, much like a pitcher about to blow a 4 run lead who's just loaded up the bases- the disposers meant business. In one quick sweep, the bat is ensnared in the fishing net & pulled slowly across the glass to the delight of myself and the little ones. The other adults were not amused, but the kids got very interested. "Look, you can see THROUGH his wings!!" "He's skinny, maybe we should feed him" "His teeth are small, he couldn't suck ALL my blood" "I want to fly, too!" I flash back to being with the two of them at the Bronx Zoo in the reptile house, the girls with their faces against the glass in similar fashion, it's an investigation all over again. Now we civilians must go back inside as the team comes outside with their mascot, and the adventure is over.
This ending to the weekend was akin to a rally at the end of a game. Maybe the Mets or Yankees will adopt knit caps in their uniforms this season?