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“The Bat Story”
During my three years in Omaha between college and the big move, I lived in an apartment complex called London Square. It was a great location, right in the heart of Dundee, one of Omaha’s most desireable neighborhoods, but my first unit there was the cheapest one that I could get: a basement apartment. The unit certainly had its faults in its first months: a dishwasher that leaked stagnant water, flooding that soaked the carpet of much of my living room, frightening insects that were at first sight, unidentifiable, and some extremely smelly old ladies that lived across the hall, that were known to wander the hallway in their diapers. These are all stories of their own, but nothing sticks out of my stay at London Square like “The Bat Story.”
One day I was doing my laundry in the London Square basement laundry room. I was transporting my clothing from the washing machine to the dryer, armful by armful, when a dead bat fell out of said clothing onto the floor. I thought that I had screamed, but I do know that nothing audible came from my lungs. I simply stared down at the tiny bat, wondering if perhaps one moment I would wake up, in my bed, in a cold sweat – but it did not happen. It felt like one of those traumatic experiences that has a surreal quality by virtue of it not immediately feeling nearly dramatic as you know it will sound when it is retold. “Is that what I think it is? Yes, it is a bat? Is it…whoo, yes, it is dead.” I of course transported what clothes that were now in the dryer back to the washing machine for a second go.
The call to the property manager was interesting: “Yes, this will sound incredibly odd, but the other day when I was doing laundry, I discovered that my clothes had been washed with a dead bat.”
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The response of the typically customer-service challenged property manager was disturbingly nonchalant even for her: “oh, that’s funny, someone called and said they had seen a bat in the laundry room, but we went over there and ya know – we didn’t find anything.”
Hmmm. Bats live in caves – maybe they should have looked in the washing machine.
Don’t believe me? Here’s “The Bat”:
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