Right off the bat let me say anybody who has been observing my wardrobe habits in this past week must either be mortified or think I have become a junkie. I have been sporting the same pair of jeans for a straight seven days. Yet I have no apologies to make and neither am I ashamed; and here’s why…
Last Wednesday at exactly 0300hrs my sister and I were rudely interrupted from a binge gaming session of Call Of Duty; Black Ops two. We like to keep the windows open in my room to keep the temperatures cooler than normal so as to ward off the brain lag that is accompanied by staying up all night. My eyes were getting grittier with each passing moment and my play increasingly sloppier. I considered going to sleep but I did not want to look like I quit because I was losing…especially to a girl. I decided to soldier on mainly as a matter of principle. It was right then that a healthy looking bat flew straight into the room.
I am all man; I never back down from challenges, I wear deodorant and floss my teeth but I cannot bear the thought of a bat. I would need months of therapy nursing post-traumatic stress disorder if a bat touched any part of my body. My sister being a woman and all meant she had nothing to prove, no ego to protect, so she let out a shriek and jumped under a duvet. The bat swooned twice, dangerously across my face and I tried screaming myself but ended up sounding like a fart given how dry my throat was. It was making high pitched demonic noises probably to summon the rightful demons to my room given the blood shed I had just been enjoying from my video-game.
My sister was lying stiff on the couch under the safety of a duvet screaming for me to quell the menace. I must admit that in that moment right then I would have gladly swapped genders. For many years I have argued that a man should always follow his gut instinct whatever the outcome. However, in this case my gut was telling me to shut the lights out and slam the door behind me as I leave my sister in the room. It was then that my guardian angel intervened and sent the bat careening into my wardrobe. I shut it, turned the key and threw it under the bed.
When my sister emerged from the under the duvet she found me wearing a grin, like I had discovered oil or something. I lied that I had rid the room of the pest by throwing a pillow at it. She scurried out of the room without a word and I knew game night was over. That night I barely slept seeing as how the bat kept at the wardrobe door scratching and making those high-pitched demonic sounds. When I did finally sleep it was plagued in nightmares where each ended with a giant bat consuming my brains.
For a week the bat kept up the cacophony although it kept getting less and less while my jeans got dirtier. It became routine to come knock on the wardrobe door and confirm whether my resident pest was still alive. The nightmares too reduced and by the time I swept the dead bat into a dustpan today, I must admit that I might have felt sorry for him. I wondered whether he had a family, hopes and dreams such as mine and whether he had to die for me to protect my ego.