2012.12.19 The Lord of Laundry

Written by David Green.

Who has time to write a column? I had some 20 years ago when this one was written. It’s good time anyway because I recently heard what must have been a bat in the basement.

 By David Green

I think I was reading a newspaper when all the ruckus began. The kids were spread across the living room with me, reading and playing games. We knew our wife and mother, Colleen, was in the basement getting a load of laundry started.

That’s when the yelling began, followed by the sound of objects scattering akimbo (that’s Japanese for “falling every which way”). Then came what seemed to be the sound of someone falling upstairs. Sixteen steps is a long way to fall up.

[Excuse me a moment. I have to go turn back the washer for another short rinse cycle.]

We all jumped up to investigate, but Colleen was there  in front of us before we could get out of the room. “There’s a huge bat in the basement!” she explained.

It looks like it’s becoming a tradition: a bat for Thanksgiving.

Actually it was two years ago that we had a bat for Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s the cycle they follow. It worked out well for us that time: my sister-in-law Ginny had just arrived and she caught it in a box. She let it out the back door and we watched it fly off toward the neighbor’s house. I think they needed a bat for Thanksgiving.

Our current resident is known by me as the Stealth Bat. No one can see it but Colleen. I don’t know how we’re missing it, because she says it has a wingspan of at least a foot. That’s not bad for a basement bat. You’d expect to see one that big in the bedroom, maybe, but not in the basement.

Colleen’s very disappointed in herself. She really didn’t want to exhibit batophobia on her next close encounter. She had just read a book to the kids about bats and she learned anew how to appreciate those cute little mammals. Amazing critters, and very useful in the Big Picture of animal life.

But you know how it is. They’ve got that weird, floppy flight. They swoop and dive and almost run right into your face as they circle past the furnace and come around for another fly-by. You just know they’re going to burrow into your hair and have babies.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time searching for our guest. I’ve gone around the perimeter of the basement with a light while the kids follow with laundry baskets over their heads. I’ve peered into ancient duct work from heating systems of lost civilizations. I’ve poked around boxes of mildewy books and fuzzy LP records. But it’s all hopeless because there are thousands of places to hide.

While sitting in the living room yesterday afternoon, Ben claims to have heard a noise and then the sound of breaking glass. I couldn’t find anything. When he escorted a friend to the basement last night and shut the door behind her, he claimed to have heard a noise in a corner.

But in my many loads of laundry, I haven’t spotted so much as a fang. Yes, the laundry’s all mine now. Why do you think I’m trying so hard to find the thing?

Colleen’s greatest fear is to lift a shirt or a pair of pants from a laundry basket and uncover the furry little beast. It will fly right into her hair as if a bat magnet were turned on.

The laundry is piling up, but I’m doing my best. And besides, its only a few days until Thanksgiving and Ginny’s coming again. We’ve already called her and she seems delighted. It’s been two years since she served as the Bat Exorcist. Two years since I was last the Lord of Laundry.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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