Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Batshit

Last night, it occurred to me that the universe of TV and movies I can watch before bed without being traumatized is shrinking in direct proportion to my age. I used to love scary movies like Friday the Thirteenth, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween (starring rumored-hermaphrodite Jamie Lee Curtis). Now I know that life is scary enough without seeking out gratuitous, recreational sources of fear. 

There's a reason moms gravitate toward shit like Jerry McGuire and Love Actually, and not so much Saw 5 and Hellraiser 3. I already feel like the Grim Reaper is stalking my family as I watch my kids conquer basic life skills like riding a two-wheeler and crossing the street in front of their school. So I'm not as inclined as perhaps I once was to watch people be tortured, dismembered by chain saws, and fed to a chipper shredder one after the other in quick succession.

Still, I'd have thought a nature documentary about Vietnam was a safe bet. Well I was wrong. Apparently, there is a species of bat in Vietnam that makes its nest and breeds up to 25 young per litter in a hollowed-out stalk of bamboo. Yes, my friends. I'm here to tell you that entire families of flying mice are reproducing INSIDE bamboo stalks in the jungles of Vietnam, hiding from poisonous snakes until they can squeeze out of the little slit they poked in the stalk and embark on their nightly quest for a blood meal. I've always had a dark fascination with bats (see prior post titled The Nutcracker: A Retrospective). But 25 squealing bats stuffed inside a bamboo stalk--the existence of which was satisfactorily proved through advanced infrared night vision nature cinematography--crossed the line, even for me.

The bamboo bat documentary resulted in a dream (sorry, I know there's nothing more tedious than a recounting of someone else's dream), that a large family of bats was living in my dresser, and my mom was helping me (in vain) to exterminate them via a highly specialized set of bat-eradication procedures. It was vivid enough to stick with me hours and hours later. If I was walking through a Vietnamese jungle and saw a family of 25 bats fly out of a hole in a stalk of bamboo, I would drop dead on the spot, and all of my problems would be over. But I went to Vietnam just last year to visit a friend, and unfortunately, I didn't see any such thing. So I guess I'll have to find some other way to solve my problems.

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