Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holy guano, Batman!

Late yesterday I decided to go ahead and can the tomato sauce I had been cooking down all weekend. It had scorched a little on the bottom while I wasn't watching it, so I'm not sure if you could call it "fire roasted" or not. And while I was going for tomato jam, it might be barbeque sauce or perhaps spicy ketchup. Context is everything, even in the kitchen.

To gear up for canning a vat of tomato product after Ally had gone to bed, I went ahead and drank a cup of coffee around 5 pm. I hardly ever drink coffee that late any more, but once upon a time in grad school I could imbibe a lot of coffee round the clock without any ill effects. I have fond memories of going to the JFG Coffee House in downtown Knoxville at 11 pm and getting a bowl of a latte and a slab of red velvet cake, followed by another bowl of latte, and then getting back to our little UT-subsidized slum apartment and instantly falling asleep when I got to bed at 2 am. And when I woke up at 6:30 am, it was like someone had thrown a switch and I was instantly awake, ready to churn out another 10 pages of my master's thesis. Caffeine was my drug of choice and it was largely responsible for me finishing my degree. (Of course, three weeks after I graduated I learned that I had no fewer than six cavities in my mouth, so perhaps my graduate lifestyle was more about survival than proper health.)

Anyhoo, I got my jam/sauce/ketchup canned and went to bed around 11 pm. I promptly realized that those little caffeine molecules were still careening around my system and they had no intention of slowing down enough to let me sleep anytime soon. Eventually I dropped off and landed into some weirdly fantastic dreams that seemed plausible in the dark but make no sense now. I'd dream, then wake up, fall asleep and dream some more. I remember jolting myself awake to a screechy female voice saying something that sounded like "I won't take the responsibility again!" and not being quite sure if it was from my dream or I had actually heard someone talking. Back to sleep again. Then I awoke to hear what sounded like someone  running their hand over the screen door and immediately afterwards I heard that godawful soft whuff-thwup-whuff-thwup of bat wings in the bedroom. Oh, Sugar Booger.

Same scenario as last time: wake up Steve, scoop up the dog, evacuate the bedroom. Go out on the deck, open the screen door, and hope the bat flies out of the bedroom by morning. Steve went upstairs to sleep in the guest room and I shoved the dog down to the end of the sofa and slept there.

That screeching noise I heard? I think it might have been made by the bat. I also think that the sliding noise I heard was Sugar Booger pushing past the "fur" fringe on the edge of the screen door that normally would keep out bugs and bats and things like that. We'll be closing the sliding door at night until we can find a firm, rubber gasket to install on the screen door. Would I have heard any of those noises if I hadn't been hopped up on caffeine? Would I have been awake enough to figure out Sugar Booger's secret passage way? Who knows?

Clearly we're dealing with no ordinary bat. Also, sometimes a late cup of coffee can be an asset.

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