Bats, Butter and Brainstorming: A Blast from the Past

Originally posted November 12, 2009 on my blog on The story of an unexpected visitor in my residence hall at Purdue University. 

I opened the window when I got back to my room because it was warm outside and the breeze felt good. I had some homework due the next day, so I was just typing away at my computer when suddenly, a card fell from my shelf to my keyboard. Figuring it was a breeze, I stood up to replace it. Out of the corner of my eye, I then saw a brown what I thought piece of paper float to the other side of the room, and I started towards it to pick it up and replace it too on my shelf….but I realized it wasn’t floating, it wasn’t a piece of paper…it had wings…and it was flying! A bat!

I screamed involuntarily….not at the fact that it was a bat, but because it startled me so much. You don’t always get a bat flying around in your dorm room….

And it did start flying around, but I scared it to death. So it ducked for cover in my roommate’s coffee cup (she was not present). I could see it shaking. I started apologizing profusely to it, explaining that I only screamed because I startle easily, not because of its identity as a bat. I told it that everything would be ok and everything would work out. While I spoke, I watched it, and it hid its head in the coffee cup. I thought, despite my objections to the word, that is a cute bat…

I wished this story ended with the farm girl heroically taking the cute bat outside and gently releasing it and warning it about the dangers of flying into dorm rooms and that it may not be so lucky next time, so it better be careful.

Alas, it does not.

So then I went down to the front desk. The guy working said, “Can I help you?”

I started laughing and replied, “Um…I have a bat in my room…and need some help getting it out.” I just didn’t know how to remove a bat from the premises, despite my expertise in removing sheep from the haystacks.

He started laughing as well, and so did the fellow resident next to me filling out some paperwork. He called the janitor, who came and took the bat downstairs. The janitor returned the coffee cup, I washed it out and that was the end.

No heroism, just lots of making sure the window isn’t open too wide anymore…….

Addendum: After telling this story to the state biologist of Indiana’s Natural Resources Conservation Service during the next summer when I worked at the state office, he informed me that the bat probably did not make it, since it was so late in the year. It was a sad thought.

However, I also have adventures with moths, as shown in those post from September 6, 2010, titled, “I Talk to Moths.” This story also occurred in the same residence hall, just a different room. 

I had my window open and a moth flew in while I was talking on the phone, and he flew around for a bit. Then I decided I didn’t want him in there while I slept, so I wanted to chase him out. The problem was, he got up into my lights, and I had to pull the cover down off of the long bulbs (they’re fluorescents). Once I did that, I tried grabbing him to throw him out the window to no avail. Then I started talking to him. “Hey little guy, come on, you can’t stay in here. Gotta go now.”

Now that I think about it, this reminds me of the bat incident from last year.

And now looking back, not only did I talk to the moth, I considered the creature to be a he. I was just reading my AP style book for a quiz tomorrow, and read an entry discussing the use of pronouns with animals. If the animal does not have a name, you are to use it. “The dog ran, it was fast.” However, if the animal has a name, you are to use he/she. “Rover jumped high, then he landed on a porcupine. Poor Rover.”

Also, yesterday, I realized that anytime I eat butter, I think about its molecular structure. Or if I eat margarine, I think about butter’s molecular structure. Saturated fat loaded with hydrogens, which is why it’s a solid. And anytime I think about yogurt, I think about hay. Yogurt has bacteria, hay needs bacteria to be digested, we don’t have the right bacteria so we can’t eat hay. But if we eat the right yogurt, maybe one day we’ll be able to eat hay and revolutionize the food industry and solve world hunger.

So we’re still working on the yogurt thing.

But here’s another great idea, recorded on my pleonast blog on April 14, 2010

“Let’s all move to Scotland
Weather’s not so hot
There’s lots of lovely people there
Who won’t be pushed around.

“Where poor man’s sons and daughters
Can learn philosophy.
Scotland’s a fine example
Of the full society.

“Let’s all move to Scotland.

“We’d be so happppppyyyyyy…..

There are lots of sheep there too. They failed to mention that in the song. They were going to write it in, but since they were limited to 44 seconds, they didn’t want to cheat the sheep out of all the praise they need, so they decided that they would just write another song about it. I don’t know what it’s called yet, they’re going to let me know when they get the contract all ironed out.

On the other hand…..Indiana is nice too. I know lots of lovely people here. And the weather pretty much rocks right now.

That’s a song by The Fabulists that is sadly not on YouTube. 

And what would a blast from the past be without a Purdue All-American Marching Band tribute to Lady Gaga featuring the cymbals? This is from the first year when I was in the band. Loved playing this song because of the awesome low brass POWER. 

That’s all for now, folks. I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past!

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