Posted by: dougery | April 14, 2011

Bats, man

Some people have a thing about birds. Others can’t stand spiders. My mother is terrified of snakes.  An old friend of mine pretends to worship sharks but in truth I know he’s terrified of them. My brother would sooner jump off scaffolding than share it with a single bee. The creature that haunts my wife’s nightmares is the lobster. Then there are leeches, ticks and other bloodsuckers. The point is there is something creepy out there for everyone.

Me, I love birds. Spiders, too. They eat bugs, come in cool colors and irradiated ones engender excellent superheroes. One of the defining moments of my childhood was successfully catching a snake, so they cool, they cool. Sharks are legitimately frightening but its not like they aren’t also the easiest to avoid. I’ve been stung so many times that bees and I have agreed to a tentative détente. Lobsters taste delicious, revenge against them is a culinary treat. And all those parasitic buggies are just trying to make a living is all. They can’t help it that putting food on the table equates to latching on and slowly secreting anticoagulant into your bloodstream. No, none of these beasties creep me out, at least not as much as they do other people. But I am not immune to animal-phobia. I am susceptible to one thing.

Bats give me the howling fantods.

Have you ever seen a bat fly indoors? It is the creepiest thing ever. They are basically flying rat puppets, bobbing up and down on strings, but wildly. The way they move it is not hard to see where the term ‘batshit crazy’ originated. It must be a drag to have all that sonar equipment only to have it screaming in your head WALLS WALLS CEILING WALLS COUCH WALLS HUMAN FACE, etc. But that isn’t an excuse. If I had echo-location I’d use it for good instead of evil. Like Daredevil, atomic submarines, or that guy from the Police Academy movies. You know, the time he was that bubble helmeted guy in Spaceballs and lost all the bleeps, sweeps and the creeps? Comedy gold.

Bats are just gross. Basically the ugly animal chimera. None of the cool stuff: dragon, lion, er, goat. Nope. Just beady eyes. Little disjointed claw fingers. Tufts of fur between odd patches of scaly leather. Rat teeth. Pig noses. Yuck.

And don’t bring up Batman to invalidate my point. What makes Batman cool and powerful are the same things that actual bats entirely lack. Batman employs perfectly choreographed fighting moves. Real bats are herky-jerky messes. Real bats don’t have bat gadgets like batarangs and bat grappling hooks. Why? because they are stupid. Batmen didn’t infest my grandmother’s wood-stove when I was a kid only to come pouring out of it screaming and threatening to scratch my face off when I was told to start a fire. Also, Batman doesn’t hang upside-down from the roof of his cave. Nor does he produce a large pile of guano beneath him as he sleeps.

Nope, bats are gross and disgusting animal failures. If this was an answer written on a pop quiz, Nature you get a ‘D’. The only thing keeping you from a straight up ‘F’, bats, is this speech from Community. God bless you, Community, for being the funniest thing on television.



  1. birds. ew.

  2. at least birds are useful! You don’t stuff pillows and blankets full of bat fur. no, you use goose down.

  3. Two things:

    1.) “Community” is maybe my favorite show ever.

    2.) Batman helps your argument. Nails it, really. Batman is the greatest badass in history. He’s a supergenius crime fighter who, though only a normal dude, regularly brings the hurt to supermen, dark gods, and assorted cranked-up crazies. And he’s afraid of bats. Superman? Cake. Darkseid? Cake. The Joker? Fruicake. Bats? Hells no. I mean, he dresses like one ‘cuz they scare the bejeesus out of him. He wraps himself in his own fear and so becomes fear itself. What I’m trying to say is, you’re in good company.

  4. Thanks, Osutein

    Abed’s speech for the youtube-at-work-deprived. it scans just as funny as his Bale batman impression inflected voice:

    “Batman.” — Jeff
    “Yeah.” — Abed
    “Are you staying for the party?” — Jeff
    “If I stay, there can be no party. I must be out there in the night, staying vigilant. Wherever a party needs to be saved, I’m there. Wherever there are masks, or there’s tomfoolery and joy, I’m there. But sometimes I’m not, ’cause I’m out in the night, staying vigilant, watching, lurking, running, jumping, hurtling, sleeping. No, I can’t sleep. I don’t sleep. You sleep. I’m awake. I don’t sleep. I don’t blink. Am I a bird? No. I’m a bat. I am Batman … or am I? Yes, I am Batman. Happy Halloween.” — Abed

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