Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Up On The Rooftop...

Throughout December, I read with great interest a variety of different views on the Santa myth. I found all the reasons given for the various choices regarding Santa--pass the traditional myth down, debunk it, let the kid kind of decide--fascinating and thought provoking.

Now that Christmas is safely over, though, I think it's only fair that I tell you all that I am in possession of conclusive evidence: Santa exists and...he's a vampire.

On Christmas Eve, while waiting for their kids to go to sleep so they could perform Santa duties, Baby Brother and Sister-In-Law came over to our house to play Balderdash. Balderdash, for those unfamiliar with the game, is essentially hilarity in a box. This is especially true if you're not terribly concerned with who wins and instead focus on making your fellow players laugh so hard they're in danger of rupturing something.

In the game, you're given a clue--the name of a person, a movie, initials that stand for something, or an obscure word and you're supposed to write down a convincing enough guess that other players will vote for your option. Everyone's guesses are turned in to the "Dasher," who reads them all out loud, including the actual answer. The dubious honor of being the Dasher travels around the table round-by-round. The only way to get points as the Dasher is if no one votes for the actual answer, which almost never happens.*

We were in the middle of writing down our guesses for the category Laughable Laws, completing the phrase, "In Sterling, Colorado, a cat may not..." I was rolling my eyes heavenward in search of inspiration when I caught a glimpse of some kind of movement at the edge of my vision. I turned toward the movement and there was nothing there, but just as I was about to look down at my paper again, I caught another movement. This time, I rotated my head a little further and saw a fuzzy brown bat flying directly for my face.

I screamed more from being startled than from any innate fear of bats in general--though, judging from his facial expression, which I was close enough to read clearly, this one was not in a particularly good mood. (Have you ever noticed that bat faces kind of look like angry little baby faces?)

Mass hysteria ensued. Three dogs barking. Seven adults ducking and screaming. Daughter-Only and her boyfriend diving under the dining room table. Hubby calmly trying to shoo the bat out the sliding glass door while telling the rest of us to calm down in an annoyingly calm voice. Me, with visions of splattered bat guts dancing in my head, yelling for someone to please turn off the ceiling fans and then running into Hubby's office and closing the door behind me because I was laughing so uncontrollably and at such a pitch that I thought it might throw off the bat's powers of echolocation, which were apparently already somewhat compromised.

The bat eventually fell to the floor in the living room--Hubby is unsure whether our guest hit the ceiling fan or one of the dogs managed to knock him out of the air. The bat was stunned, but otherwise unhurt and Hubby scooped him into a Nike box and opened the box on the back deck. So, you know, Santa could fly off to finish his rounds.

Because, obviously, that wasn't just any fuzzy brown bat in my dining room around midnight on Christmas Eve--it was Count Saint Dracuclaus, right?


*Further proof that our bat visitor was, in fact, imbued with mystical powers: when we all recovered enough to return to the table and begin voting, Baby Brother read all the answers out loud and no one voted for the real one because the real one was "In Sterling, Colorado, a cat may not run loose with a tail light." Not only does it make little to no sense, it also sounded suspiciously like someone had gotten interrupted mid-thought by, oh I don't know, a semi-menacing-looking flying mammal. Those three points Baby Brother got for that round didn't have a shiny bow on top, but they sure as hell were a gift.

A PS--This is my second Balderdash-related blog post. You can read the other one here. Pointless aside: for months after that I first posted that one, it had daily double-digit page views from Finland. I'm still not quite sure what to make of that.

14 comments:

  1. Santa's a myth?! Man!!

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  2. I have had two bats in our house, once sans hubby and I had to try to figure out how to get it out by myself (my solution was to call by brother in law...I got close enough to see how FURRY it was and I couldn't follow through with my capturing plans!) and the second time, we were watching TV and I thought it was a giant (like Mothra giant) moth. I was slightly relieved that it was a bat instead!

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  3. After establishing my credentials as the one who was best able to usher bamboozled bats out of our bedroom via the broom, in the early years, I found after numerous skirmishes, that the best defense is to accept that bats can achieve entry anywhere, but need an open window to escape. By providing an escape route, the bat will feel the outside air, and eventually bob and dip its way to freedom. And yes, it is perfectly acceptable to draw the sheets over one's head, while waiting for the bat to decide that there are more mosquitos outside than in. I always consider it a two-fer, when it finally leaves. Ah, life in the country, everything you have ever heard, and more.

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  4. Love it! We favour cranium here, mostly because I have no drawing ability (or clay-modeling, for that matter), and Ian is terrible with words. We mercilessly choose those categories for each other. Loved Balderdash growing up though!

    You just reminded me of my own bat story, which I'd forgotten...not 'wasting' it in a comment though- that baby's gonna be a post!

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  5. I love that game! As for the bat, perhaps Santa had a special gift chosen just for you that he was trying to deliver. Rabies, maybe?

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  6. Love your brilliantly descriptive writing! As further evidence of your theory that Santa indeed comes in small furry form, your story reminded me of a similar scene from my childhood. We too had a Christmas bat visitor that even flew down through the chimney. I don't recall if it was Christmas eve, but now after reading your story I'm certain it must have been!

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  7. LOL I loved it!
    That game sounds fun. Man I need to play something other than monopoly, scrabble, words with friends, or Worst case scenario. I really do.
    Thanks for the laughs!

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  8. I would love to play Balderdash with you. I think I would definitely rupture something. I always knew that Santa was batty.

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  9. I'm so glad we don't have bats that come and visit our homes!

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  10. Don't know much about bats or the game Balderdash.... know a lot about balderdash in the real world, however. The game sounds like fun! We were introduced to a silly game called Apples to Apples over the break -- from your hand with seven cards, players choose a card that is synonymous - IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER - with the card on the table. The role of judge rotates around the table - we got pretty hysterical with that one.

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  11. Santa a vampire? Hhmmn. Potential book series there. Enjoyed the post!

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  12. See?! I tried to tell everyone Santa was a monster! And no one would listen to me. Now there's proof!

    Also, bat faces look exactly like angry baby faces.

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  13. I have found many things in my home. A bat is one of them. I hope things stay that way!

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  14. Oops! Typo! A bat is NOT one of them! (too early to be writing! :D )

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