I am back in the extermination business!

A visitor of the night! Dracula in disguise! A bat!

I do not know which is worse. A rat or a bat!

Anyhow the wife left the garage door and the door from the garage to the house open while taking out the garbage. And the bat came in!

We sequestered it in all of the the house, except for the kitchen. We were prisoners in our own home!

What to do? I have had 2 bat encounters in the past. So experience I have! Ugh! What a scary and lousy job killing a bat!

I also have Pete Aceto. Pete has been my landscaper/gardener for years and also recently has assumed the responsibility for maintaining the Utica house. It is 6,500 square feet and needs a general handyman’s attention constantly. Talented I am not! And probably a bit lazy also!

So I called Pete. He had only 1 bat encounter and that was 15 years ago. So at 2 I was more experienced. Not to matter! I told him it fell under his job duties and was his responsibility. He reluctantly said he would come over. Reluctant does not adequately express his disdain for the job. I had to assure him however that I would assist. Two brave guys!

While waiting for Pete, I found a tennis racket. I read somewhere that a tennis racket is the weapon of choice when hunting bats!

Pete showed up. He had a fishing net with him. A long poled one! Turns out that is how he caught his only bat 15 years ago.

We agreed on a course of conduct. Rather I set forth the rules of engagement. Pete was to go first. A coward I am! I would follow with the tennis racket and protect the rear.

And off we went. We, rather Pete, opened the door to the center hall cautiously. We moved into the hall and the rest of the first floor quietly. We searched high and low. No bat!

We moved up the center staircase. We were quietly chit chatting back and forth to maintain our courage.

Half way up the stairs I spotted the enemy! He was hanging from the ceiling over the doorway to daughter Lori’s bedroom. Not big. Not small. Medium size I would say.

Pete approached cautiously and very swiftly and carefully captured the bat in the net. He then quickly slammed the bat, still in the net of course, to the white carpeted floor.

What to do next? Can’t kill it, even if we had the courage, as it would bloody up the white carpet. So we took a large towel, covered the net and somehow secured the bat alive between the net and towel. Pete then ran down the stairs with me ahead this time opening the doors. No back seat for me at this stage of the operation! Out to the street where Pete released the bat alive. Just as we do with fish in the Keys!

A job well done! We congratulated ourselves with drinks afterwards.

Last night we drove to Syracuse to watch my grandsons play basketball in a big time high school tournament. There was my grandsons’ team from Utica, a team from Syracuse, another from Canada and the fourth from New York City. Big boys all! Some even looked like men, especially the New York City team.

My grandsons’ team played the Canadian team. The Canadians were bigger. Even had a 6’8″ shooting guard. That big and he did not play center! For a big guy, he was agile and good at that position. And when he opted to go to the basket, it was 2 leaps and a soft dunk. He only slammed once!

Matt started at point guard. He did well last night. Scored in the double digits. Made 2 foul shots with 12 seconds to go to tie and then put his team ahead. Pressure shots! And performed his job well in getting the ball inside.

It was an exciting game! While the Canadian team was better offensively, my grandsons’ team was better defensively. Two times in the game the grandsons’ team was down 10 and 15 points respectively. And they came back each time! And went ahead each time!

In the end it was nip and tuck! I thought it was won when Matt made those 2 foul shots with 12 seconds to go. No. Canada was fouled and scored one from the foul line. Things got messy. Somehow the ball was back in Matt’s hands. He drove the length of the floor for a lay up with Canada all over him! As he shot, he and a Canadian player collided and ended up on the floor. The ref called a charging foul. The first of the game. I thought the ref was wrong. But I am a grandfather and that was the call. One or 2 of the foul shots were made. The Canadian team won by 2 points.

A great game! My grandsons and their team mates had nothing to be ashamed of. It was all a roll of the dice in those last few seconds!

I rapidly drove the 50 miles home to Utica to catch the 2nd half of the New England/New York pro football game. Watched the second half. Another great game! I was pulling for New York. But all in all, another outstanding sporting event! One for the books!

By the way, I have decided to take the garbage out from now on. To avoid another bat problem! However it is probably something I should have started doing years ago. It is that Italian thing!

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