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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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.

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