Bat Mobile

It was Halloween. That is really the only explaination for what was to happen.

That Wednesday started as most do for me. I woke up to the "Morning Music Mind Bender" on 92.3 WTTS. I showered (best I can remember). I ate breakfast with my wife. I drove to work (I think that's how I got to work, although I never remember the journey – I just end up there). After a few shots of espresso, it is well established what I do at around 9:30 (if you don't know what I'm tallking about, see blog "Poo-pea". Then it's time to do a little work and start thinking about what's for lunch.

That's where the day started to become different from every other day of my existence. A couple co-workers (Jenn and Shannon) and I decided we were going for a driving lunch. Driving lunches are rare because I work downtown and when I'm not eating leftovers at my desk I am walking to one of the many nearby eateries. So, it's always a little extra treat to go somewhere just far away enough to necessitate a short little drive.

So, off we went. We hopped into my Mini and did a little "motoring." We went to The Abbey for lunch, which was lovely. Lunch was so lovely, that I was in no mood to return to work. So, I suggested we go up to Goose The Market for some gelato. Jenn and Shannon offered very little resistance. To the Goose we motored.

Mid-motoring Shannon says in a strained and slightly quivering voice, "Ryan. Please tell me the bat back here is fake! How does one respond to that? "Huh?," I said. "There's a bat back here, please tell me it's fake."

"I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about," I said as I'm driving, trying to remember if a fake bat is one of the many random things that has found it's way into my car, and craning my neck to see if I can get a glimpse of this alleged bat.

At the next stop, I turned around as Shannon pointed into a side compartment/catch-all next to the armrest in the back seat. Sure enough, there was something dark and fuzzy in there.

With Shannon plastered to the back window opposite the bat we proceeded to the market but had nearly forgotten about why we were headed to the market. I had a flippin' bat in my car.

I had a hundred questions going through my head...well, just one. "How in the hell did a bat get in my car?" I lied, two questions. "How did Shannon find this bat buried beneath all the other junk that finds its way into that compartment?" I still have no idea on the first question. But, Shannon confessed that she was being nosy and looking through some receipts in the side compartment when she felt something furry.

We arrived to the market and I flipped the driver's seat forward to get a closer look. Sure enough, a bat. A dead bat.

I grabbed a paper towel and picked him up and put him on the side walk. A stranger came walking by and I stopped him saying, "Not that you care, but I just found a freaking bat in my car." He didn't say much, but I took his silence to mean that he was as stunned as I was. I left the bat on the sidewalk and went on to get some gelato. Had I known what good friends we'd become, I would have never left him on the sidewalk where anything could have happened to him. He forgives me now, but it put a strain on our relationship for awhile.

I happened to have a Ziploc® baggy in the back, and that seemed like a good home for a bat. So, he joined us for our trip back to the office.

At first, I just brought him back to exhibit him for all my co-workers. He did draw quite a bit of attention.

When I took a close look at him and saw that his little paw was wiping his eyes like he was ready to take a nap, not knowing he'd be entering his last deep sleep, he stopped being a bat to me and started being Alfred. Alfred, that's his name. I don't really know why. It just is.

Anyway, Alfred and I have gotten quite close. He sits by me everyday at the office. He comes with me to meetings. He's quite creative. We've learned alot about each other. He's learned that I don't like to be interrupted when I'm in a creative flow. And, I've learned that he loves green Skittles®.

I hope this story can help you open your mind to being open to friendships with people or things that may not look like you do, talk like you do, may carry diseases, may not be the same species or even have a heartbeat. Heck, they may not even like the same color of Skittles® (I like red...which is green's complimentary color. Coincidence?). My friendship with Alfred is a story of friendship succeeding against all odds, and it lives on to this day.

If you care to meet Alfred, he's here at my right hand M-F, 8:30-5:30. If you can't make it down to my office, this photo will have to do.



Here's the thing. I have this affinity for poop stories. I'm not crazy about poop itself for the same reasons most people don't like it (smell being the chief reason). But, I love a good poop story. Further, I love to tell a good poop story. Dog poop, people poop, bird poop ... I don't discriminate. My immediate family can vouch for this obsession. My brother-in-law will often bait me into getting on the topic because he knows I just can't stop myself.

So, I have a new story to share from today.

You can set a watch by my poop schedule. As far as regularity goes my pooper is the Big Ben of poopers. Predictably, I had to go to the restroom at 9 o' clock A.M. on the butt-on.

There was nothing extraordinary about the poop experience itself. Everything went as planned.

I stood over the stool as I flushed to ensure there were no stragglers. But, in fact there was a straggler. It was a perfectly shapen, toilet-washed pea floating in the bowl. It was so clean, shiney and looked good enough to eat. I marveled at its pristine condition, but knew I had to let it go. So, I pushed the lever and bowed my head in respect. The pea exhibited the kind of resiliency that allowed it to navigate my bowels without compromising its perfect shape and color by refusing to go down the chute. It just kept floating back to the top. I flushed and flushed until I started to feel guilty about forcing the issue. This pea clearly deserved to be immortalized in the Guiness Book of World Records – or something. This pea was a fighter. "Should I keep it?", I thought.

No, I couldn't possibly keep it. I wanted to remember the pea as I last saw it with its shiny green finish and perfect shape. I didn't want it to be remembered as a shriveled and brown chunk pinned up on a bulletin board somewhere.

Now that I had decided to let it go there was the matter of actually getting it to go down. So, I called on the problem-solving portion of my brain (small as it is) and decided that with a single square of toilet paper layed over the pea it might be just enough to send it on its way. Sure enough, the toilet paper wrapped itself around the pea and dragged it to its after-after life.

So, when you're sitting with friends sharing poo stories, please remember the "Poo-pea" and keep its memory alive.