Friday 28 Oct 2016

Bats on a Plane
Jennifer Flaten

Flipping channels, the other night, I stopped on a local station long enough to hear their teaser for the 10 o’clock news programme. “Bat invades local flight. Tune in at 10 for our exclusive coverage.” You think I am making it up don’t you.

Ah, If only I was, but sadly I am not. I also wish I could say I didn’t tune in, but, I can’t. I watched.

I could tell you I was just waiting for the weather to come on but that would be a lie. I wanted to hear the bat story. Just for the record, the story was about the small furry flying mammal kind of bat, not the cracking a ball out of the stadium kind of bat. 

The story in a nutshell, oh, admit it you want to know, involved a bat that somehow bumbled its way onto to a local commercial flight. Yes, that is the entire story. No, the bat didn’t do anything except flap around.

This “news” story says several things. First, that I’ll watch anything. Second that the economy is now so bad that even Count Dracula is flying coach.

It also shows that the local news has finally exhausted every booth selling something skewered and fried at the fair. During the opening days of the fair, every newscast started with a reporter breathlessly reporting on the latest deep fried morsel. Now, the newscasters have run out of tidbits, not to mention the fact they weigh about five pounds more, and they are back to hard hitting news.

Well, people were hitting the bat with rolled up magazines to shoo it away from them, so you could say that some hard hitting was involved. What amazed me most, aside from the fact that a bat made it through TSA screening, is the fact that people got footage of the bat flying around the cabin.

How do people manage to get their cameras up and rolling in time to film this stuff? If I had a bat buzzing me I would not be reaching for my camera qua phone. I would be reaching for the Raid or a really big fly swatter.

I can barely get the phone out of its hiding spot in my purse in time to answer a call, let alone out and open the camera program in time to catch anything in action. Yep, I am one of those people whose videos start with a tightly focused view of the ground or sky, whichever, sometimes I even pan between the two, and audio of them saying, “Is this thing working”.

Now, I see the CDC is contacting all the passengers, ostensibly to confirm that no one contracted rabies. Uh, huh I am positive no one got up close and personal with the bat, it was too busy flying around to bite anyone. Maybe it is just a ruse and there really are vampires and they fly incognito on Delta.

This explains why the bat looked confused. Perhaps he or she was supposed to be in first class, sipping a Bloody Mary and not in coach. What drama, what pathos; I eagerly await the big screen release of “Bats on the Plane” sequel to “Snakes on a Plane,” I hope the bat has a good agent.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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