Monday, September 20, 2010

Going Totally Bat-shit

As the days grow shorter and gloomier, we here at FirstNerve Manor amuse ourselves as best we can. One of our favorite pastimes is called “When Worlds Collide.” The fun begins when you find a smelly news story involving a head-on collision between the forces of PC and NIMBY. Then you climb the creaky stairs up to the fourth floor of the northwest belfry, fire up the hibachi, and enjoy some Jiffy Pop while cackling over mankind’s follies .

This evening in the belfry, we’re enjoying the story of Maclean High School in New South Wales, Australia. Seems that 20,000 or so flying foxes—a species of large bat—have descended on the school and are using it as a roost. In doing so, they’re crapping all over the place and creating a vile, ammonia-like stench. They’re also noisy. Students and teachers are at wits end.

So why not chase them off the property? Ahh—they a protected species, you see. They’re endangered, all 20,000+ of them.
But attempts to move the bats have so far been unsuccessful.

The NSW Department of Education, which removed bats 10 years ago, needs a licence and federal government approval to remove them.

[NSW Teachers Federation representative] Ambrose said the federal government had since spent about $30,000 to form a committee to advise the school on how to approach the problem.

He said the initial recommendations, which are yet to be formally accepted, tell the school “to work around the bats”.

“They want us to timetable our classes differently, they don’t want us to do sporting events, they don’t want us to ring our bell, they want us to minimise our voices so we don’t disturb the bats,” he said.

“Work around the bats.” That made the martini come out my nose. Pass the popcorn.


BitterGrace said...

You have to admit, those are some fine-looking bats. With the $30K the b'crats spent to "form a committee," they could have built the bats a home of their own.

~x~ said...

it's kettle corn.
don't hog it.

Olfacta said...

Remember when Bob Dylan nearly died from -- bear with me -- periocarditis, an infection of the membrane around the heart -- a few years ago? I read that it had something to do with bat guano, i.e. batshit, which was inside the walls of a house in Mexico he had been renting. Now, I don't know if this is true, just saying.

Pass that kettle corn over here, eh?

Anonymous said...

I think they are awesomely cute! I agree they that with that 30k they could have built them a bat mansion!

Olfacta, my undestanding is that those infections of the heart can be caused by a host of things, most commonly having major dental work done (eg., a pulled tooth) then not taking AB's. Most likely what happened to Bob.

Avery Gilbert said...

To Everyone in the Belfry:

Small bats always used to find their way into my Grandfather's house in Vermont. My early method for returning them to the wild was a soft overhand lob with an ancient squash racquet. Sometimes I cut the bottom out of a one-gallon plastic milk jug and use it as a giant scoop to catch them in flight or trap them against a window screen. Cover with a piece of cardboard and you've got bat-in-a-bottle, ready for release. Best is the butterfly net--but you have to be quick so they can't rip it.

My uncle once ate bat steamed in banana leaves (fur and all). I think it was in the Mariana Islands.

I'm just spacing out here looking at the full moon. More popcorn, please.