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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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