Friday, April 9, 2010

The bat and the tennis racket

Today on TV I heard someone call someone else "batty," and my mind, uncontrollable as it is, zoomed back to a memory.

It was the 1950s. I was in the fifth or sixth grade, and my third- or fourth-grade sister was lying in her bed, recovering from a tonsillectomy. (Back then, doctors thought that tonsils, like appendixes, were some kind of evolutionary mistakes - breeding grounds for disease - and should be removed. The appendix required some serious surgery, so it wasn't removed, but tonsils were relatively easy to cut out of kids.)

On the night my sister came home from the hospital after her operation, a bat escaped from it's nest in the crawl-space part of our basement and flew around my sister's bedroom. She screamed, started to hemorrhage from her mouth, and was rushed back to the hospital.

My sister turned out to be fine, but my Dad, who had been so scared for the welfare of my sister, now was a hater of bats. And soon, another bat appeared, flying around the circle made by the back entryway, the kitchen nook, the den, the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the back entryway, etc. It swooped and soared, as well as it could, but my Dad grabbed a tennis racket (a 1930s-40s model with huge wooden parts) and waited for it's next circuit, blasted it out of the air, and beat it to death.

The bat, of course, just wanted to find a way out of the house to find some gnats or something. Dad, of course, just wanted some revenge. I was just a little wide-eyed grade-school kid watching all this.

You probably are waiting for a moral to this story. Let's try to think of one.

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