One of life’s great prizes – outside of regular 10-10’s – is situations where you are forced to reach inside and discover something about yourself.
Tonight we discovered I am afraid of bats.
Scaredy cat afraid; fall on the floor and weep afraid. Or, more accurately, as we shall see, flee out the door afraid.
I didn’t like this goddamned call from the start. I had just wrapped up a noise complaint and had gone to another room where X-Ray, Bi-Bob and Wally were helping evict a guy who had smacked down his girlfriend. When I got there Wally asked if I would go get the med bag and I said sure. I am heading down the 100 wing towards the bell elevators when Junior gets on the horn.
– Control, Henry 2.
– Henry 2, sir.
– Henry 2, head to 28-222. A report of bats in the room.
When I get to the bellman’s elevators I go to channel 2.
– Junior, what the hell am I supposed to do up there?
– I don’t know. Don’t eat them, though.
Fabulous. I was genuinely curious as to what to do because I had never encountered bats in the hotel before. Just then Wally joins me. He has an insane gleam in his eye and announces he is going with me. He said he has experience with bats from when he was in the Marines in Afghanistan. Wally didn’t specify exactly what this experience was, and I didn’t particularly want to know, but it was nice he wanted to come.
We get to the room and the guests are in the hall; they report there are no less than three bats in the room. Wally and I bravely make entry even though I’m wondering how smart this maneuver is because who the hell knows what’s going on in there? Wally says they’re probably hiding in the curtains, but what if they’re not? What if they’re hovering in the can waiting to attack me? What if I’m dead in three minutes because some bat sucked all my blood out? I’d miss my final 10-10.
To top it off, we were getting no guidance from dispatch or – and this will surprise you – 77Dwayne.
So we get in there and there aren’t any bats flying around and Wally asks to borrow my flashlight and he goes to the curtains and starts poking around (it should be noted the window is open, probably accounting for how the bats got in there) and after a few seconds announces he sees one. By this time I’m huddling in the corner, whimpering like a four-year-old in trouble. It’s clear Wally is expecting me to go and see the bat for myself, so I bravely walk to the curtains and sure enough, there’s a bat huddled up, apparently sleeping. Wally makes a check for other bats and can’t find any.
Right as I’m wondering if my affairs are in order, Isaac from Engineering shows up because official Monte Carlo policy dictates the Engineering Department is responsible for handling animals. I bravely take him to the curtain to show him the bat we found but it isn’t there! Figuring it’s probably on the way down my shirt or something I flee towards the door, ostensibly to close the door in case we need to keep the bats from flying into the hall, but really to be near the door in case (when) I need to flee.
Isaac makes his own check of the curtains and announces there are no less than three bats in there! He shakes the curtain and after a bit one bat falls to the floor. Isaac tries to cover it with a towel but the bat takes fucking flight and his heading for the door!
Holy living fuck!
I like to think I have my share of courage. I mean, I’ll open the door to a disturbance or a drug call not knowing what’s on the other side without thinking twice. I’ll make nut-crunching balk calls in the major division state championship high school baseball game. I’ll eat in the EDR.
But, apparently, I can’t take flying bats. With alacrity, I open the door and step into the hall.
Wally, however, sounds like he’s about to come. “Oooh! Oooooooh! Oooooooh!” he yelps. He, too, is armed with a towel and they swat the bat down and wrap it up. I pop back into the room.
We go through this two more times: Isaac dislodges the bat, the bat takes flight, Gaylon flees, Wally gleefully knocks it down and Gaylon reenters the room like James Bond. Isaac takes the bats to the stairwell and lets them fly out the window.
Turns out bat calls are not unprecedented. OMP, who was bravely handling a noise complaint when this went down, said he has had a couple over the years and Rich said he had too, adding he doesn’t even bother going in the rooms, a policy I immediately adopted.
Here is your Henry lineup for tonight:
Henry 1 – Old Man Pilcher (OMP)
Henry 2 – moi
Henry 3 – Fred
&%$*ing 77Dwayne! There is no consistency on Saturday nights! Fred does not like the hotel and I am wondering where Jo(s)e is. I know you are, too.