Just a little side story...(you know I love those). For our 4-year anniversary, we went on a cruise to French Polynesia/New Zealand. We're in this AMAZING location and what does David want to do? He wants to enter the ping pong tournament. I wanted to sit on the balcony and watch the dolphins play in the water below, but he wanted someone there to cheer him on. And I should have known better. Every cruise we ever go on he enters the tournament. And he always wins. He even beats the guys that bring their own paddle and gloves. Seriously. There are people who do that. I don't ever play in the tournaments. I just "practice" with David to help him "warm up." Truth is, I go easy on him so he won't feel bad about losing to a girl. This particular tournament lasted the whole length of the cruise. It was one of those bracket things and every day at 6:00 p.m., another 4 players would be eliminated. Finally, toward the end of the trip, only 2 players remained. David and a French gentleman. Hearing him smack talk in his thick accent was one of the greatest things I've ever witnessed. He was one of the ones that brought his own paddles. The day of the championship game arrived. It was 6:02 p.m. and the Frenchman never came. The game mediator, an Australian employee of the ship who couldn't have been more than 10 years old, said, "Well, someone has to be a winner and we can't have a winner without the final game." The Australian called the guy's room because he had his name, but no answer. He chickened out. Then, he mediator looked at me and said, "Do you want to play him for the championship?" David laughed and said, "Oh yeah, Ruth...come play me." I waved my hand and said, "We'll just call it a tie between you and Monsieur No Show." The Australian wouldn't have it. "NO! There must be a winner!" I gave in, I was getting hungry and didn't want to miss our dinner time. "Fine. Give me a paddle. I'll play with my left hand." Well, you can probably guess who won. I have a gold medal and Tahitian Princess cup cozy to prove it. I was the ultimate ping pong champion of the South Pacific. BOOM. Next.
SO...back to the Smokies. David flipped when I showed him the loft. One night, after a long day of hiking, we headed upstairs to play some strip pool. Yes, you read that right. Thankfully, we were only a few minutes in when I stepped back and felt my bare left foot (ooh, saucy) brush something. I looked down and, puzzled, couldn't quite make out the form in the shadows of the loft. I squatted down to get a closer look. Oh, holy cow, that's a bat. I did a little freak-out dance, dropped my pool stick and squealed, my voice reaching decibels unheard by humans. I vaulted down the stairs and never went back up the entire rest of the trip. David determined it was dead, but still. I felt like breathing the air would give me rabies. I love all of God's creatures, but I don't have to touch all of them. Bats, lizards, possums...I would rather sit in a bathtub of snakes than touch a possum. Those are the UGLIEST critters I've ever seen. And they hiss. They're basically miniature R.O.U.S.'s and there's no use for them. Anyways. David called the housekeeping service, who thought we were saying we had been bitten, but he assured them the bat was already dead and no bites were exchanged.
An hour or so later, we were downstairs watching TV and I noticed some shadows fluttering across the wall. I thought it was my eyes being weird while watching TV, but it kept doing it. So, I focused on the wall. The flutters were still there. "Do ghosts make shadows?" I queried. David just looked at me with one eyebrow raised. I hear squeak squeak squeak flap flap flap and look up. Bat. "IT'S ALIVE!!!!!" I grab the blanket off the back of the couch and cover myself, leaving David to fend for himself. I could not move. I kept asking, "Is it on me?! Is it on me?! I feel like it's on me!" David responded, "Ruth, it's way up in the ceiling, trying to get out through the skylights." And then I felt sorry for it. "Aw...he's just trying to go home. Let's help him. And by 'let's', I mean you." He said I had to help him. I said, "Maybe if we leave him alone, he'll just die again." Then David brought up a very horrible thought, "If we don't get him out, you're going to have to go to bed tonight knowing he's loose in the house." That was not going to work for me.
Have you ever seen Black Sheep with David Spade and Chris Farley? The scene with the bat in the cabin? That's pretty much exactly what happened. We found a broom. David went up to the loft and shooed him down lower. Then he ran back downstairs, helped me grab the other end of the blanket and we corralled him toward the open door. It actually only took about 10 minutes to get him out...10 straight minutes of me screaming, but we did it. He came back to life and we helped him return home.
I wanted to go play ping pong now that the loft area wasn't infested and we headed back upstairs. DEAD BAT STILL ON THE FLOOR! Then, I felt really bad because I thought maybe they were together and he didn't want to leave his lady bat friend. (I'm just assuming the girl was the dead one because, let's be honest, girls aren't as good in survival extremes as guys are. Well, ha, tell that to Katniss Everdeen). But, I fo sho wasn't gonna touch it.
The next day we went hiking and when we returned, Bat Lady was gone. I wonder about her buddy sometimes...if he misses her still. Well, kids, that's what happens when you sneak through the roof into someone else's house. One of you dies.