Saturday, July 24, 2010

facing down the monster

I have to say, you are lucky to be reading this blog post. It almost didn't get written. That's because I had a brush with death this week. Furry, winged, full of rabies death.

Let me explain.

I arrived in the office on Wednesday morning. As I walked inside I could see our secretary sitting on the edge of her seat just waiting to tell me something. When I walked in the door she said that the custodian was looking for me because she needed someone tall to help her with something. I said I was going to put my stuff back in my office and then go find her, but the secretary offered to go get her. I didn't think that made much sense, but she was out the door before I could say anything.

Well, our senior pastor heard us talking so he came out of his office. We stood in the hallway chatting when the secretary and custodian came to the office. The secretary walked in the door first and she was followed by the custodian who was carrying a smelting net (a net used for catching fish). It was a big net on a long pole. I knew IMMEDIATELY what was going on.

"No," I said. "I know what's going on and I don't like it!"

Well, it turns out I was right. There was a bat in the corner of the ceiling in the entryway of our church. Which meant that I had walked right by it when I came inside. And now they were expecting me to help them catch it.

Now, let me explain something here. I have not always had this irrational fear of bats. In fact, I have stories about times I helped catch some. I have always not liked them, but I haven't always been deathly afraid. But then there were three instances in one school year that involved a bat hitting me in the head, and two showing up in my room in one week. All of these experiences helped foster my extreme dislike of bats.

So, there I was, standing in this small breezeway, staring at this bat. Curled up in the corner it looked small and harmless. But I knew much better. Our custodian began to prop open all of the doors to make for easier bat evacuation. Then she extended the net and tried to get it into the corner to trap the bat.

The only problem was, the net was too big around and didn't fit into the corner. It didn't even come close to the bat. The custodian tried turning the net around and using the handle to poke the bat, but that just aggravated it and made it chirp.

My bright idea, then, was for me to get a broom. I would use the bristles of the broom to nudge the bat carefully off the wall and into the net, which the custodian would be holding underneath it. It seemed like a great plan.

So the custodian positioned her net underneath the bat and stood as far away as the handle would allow. I grabbed the broom and bravely walked up to face the hairy beast.

I looked up at the bat and began to move the broom closer and closer. But it was then that the chaos ensued.

The bat looked at me and then with a menacing chirp it launched itself from the wall. Directly at my face.

As the bat came hurtling at my face I did the only thing I could.

I shrieked. Like a small child.

And not only that, but I fell down. Now I'm not saying that I gently eased myself to the ground. No, I fell to the ground, throwing the broom in the air, and landed on my butt and back.

The bat flew a few circles in the entryway before shooting off through the open door.

The senior pastor, custodian and secretary stood there laughing. I couldn't help but laugh at the situation, too, as I lay there on the ground. It was a pretty comical scene.

As we talked about it later, the custodian said that I should be proud that I faced my fear and helped get the bat out of the church.

My response was that I would be more proud if the story didn't involve me screaming and falling down.

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