Timmons Wages Battle Between Good, Evil

Like a lot of you, I’m at the age where sleeping through the night is an elusive commodity. It’s not that I have trouble falling asleep. I’m usually lucky that way. It’s just I don’t stay asleep.

The biggest issue is going to the bathroom. On a good night, that may only happen once or twice. On others, well, I’ve lost count.

And far too many times, when I wake up – whether it’s 2 in the morning or 5, I can’t go back to sleep. I just can’t. Most of my work days then start before the sun comes up for that very reason.

A few years ago I was interviewing former Crawfordsville mayor (and football coach) Glenn Knecht. He was in his 80s and had some health issues. After a coughing spell he looked at me and paraphrased the old Bette Davis line, getting old is not for sissies.

Amen, brother.

So it was the other day that I opened my eyes and was surprised to see the bedroom wasn’t dark. I looked at my watch and it said 6:58 – and even though my bladder was screaming at me to hurry along, I stayed in bed for two more minutes . . . just so I could say I didn’t get up until 7.

Hey, we take little victories where we can get them.

But this victory was tainted. I did not go to bed at the normal 8 or 9 the night before and stay there all night. Not at all. For this night, you see, was marred by an intruder sneaking into our bedroom well after midnight. My wife let out a small shriek that woke me up and to our horror, we found ourselves staring at the trespasser – a bat.

Before you pooh-pooh our terror, let’s take three facts into consideration.

· Bats can transmit rabies – and should one bite you and get away, rabies shots are next.

· According to the CDC, bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in the U.S.

· Bats can turn into vampires.

OK, OK, maybe the last one isn’t so much a fact, but hey, it’s a weird world out there today. You can’t be too careful.

This is the third time a bat has gotten in and, I’m not sure how, but it has been my job to get the creepy things out.

Did I mention the vampire thing?

Listen, you might be laughing, but I spent hours upon hours in the Diana Theater watching Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Peter Cushing and others transform from a creepy flying thing into creepy standing things. And it was always the poor schmuck who laughed it off that got killed first.

No one can accuse me of not learning a thing or two growing up.

I shook the cobwebs off, grabbed a broom and started flailing away. I managed to get the thing out of our bedroom and into the living room. The only problem was the ceilings are higher out there – and the . . . danged thing landed on the wall near the ceiling – far out of my reach. (As if further proof was needed to prove it is an unholy creature from hell – it sat on a vertical wall. I mean c’mon, it has little claws, fur, flies and can sit on a wall.)

I was going to try to throw a pillow at it, but my wife reminded me that whether I hit it or not, the pillow would likely hit the TV.

Just as we were debating the accuracy of my pillow throwing, the bat swooped off the wall and flew straight at my face. For a brief moment, we were eye to eye, locked in mortal combat. He knew the broom meant his death and I knew he wanted to bite into my jugular and cause mine.

It’s that moment where men’s souls are tried and found equal to the task at hand, or wanting.

I dropped the broom and dove behind the couch.

Bat 1, Tim 0.

So went our struggle until finally, the broom and bat connected. I didn’t kill it – stun was more likely. With thick fireplace gloves on, I scooped him up and threw him outside where he flew up into a tree – no doubt ready to pounce upon his next unwitting victim.

Of course I couldn’t go back to sleep right away. Who could? The adrenaline of the war between good and evil we just waged was pumping through my veins. I decided to read – and realized the book on my nightstand was by Stephen King.

Not a help.

I finally did get back to sleep and remained there until 7 a.m. I did not get up once during that period. So all in all, sleeping in until 7? The bat might’ve been worth it.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at [email protected].