The season is on!  Which season?  Football, Volleyball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer…you name it; the sticks and the balls and the nets, the helmets, the hitting, the sweat—all ramping up for participants and  fans alike.  And others….

Came home after the football game the other night—which, by the way, could have been played on top of the hinges of hell, so hot was it, don’t even think about how incredible it must have been inside those uniforms—and I found another celebration going on in my house.  Not the cats, one of them had taken off for parts unknown and the others were lying down on cool-ish hard surfaces.  No, no, it was a member of the mammalian order Chiroptera, a bat, flying around in the living room, swooping, actually, back and forth, up and down, round and round, luckily, just in that room and not all over the house.  I don’t know that it was the football victory that brought all of this activity on but it wasn’t there earlier.  Go figure.  Do I have to hope for a bad season to escape this on a regular basis?  Do the bats have little TV’s up in the rafters to catch the Buckeyes’ games? Are my Saturdays going to be spent cheering Ohio State and shooing away the bats?  Do they watch upside-down or right-side-up?  All questions for another day.  Anyway, the bat was flapping about in just one room, so I got my trusty fishnet, just in case I had to execute a removal, and crawled across the floor to the door to open it, in hopes that the bat would take the hint and leave the building—like Elvis.  And—Mirabile dictu!—that’s what he did.  Flap…flap…gone!  I hate it when I have to net the little critters and dump them outside because I always worry that they’ll get hurt somehow and I’ll feel bad for that instead of just happy that they’re gone.

So that was Friday.  Saturday was a hot date at A&W for root beer.  It was hot again, of course and looked like there would be rain but that did not pan out.  The explorer cat returned without explanation and with a healthy appetite.

Sunday was plenty warm again but the crowds at Sky Lanes Bowling were not deterred by either the temperatures or the intermittent rain or the occasional roll of thunder.  At one point, the rain seemed as if it was going to get serious and umbrellas popped up all over.  From one of  the higher vantage points looking down on the masses in the lower parking lot, it looked sort of like a gathering of psychedelic turtles of exotic species.  Then the rain stopped and the drawing went on.  Two barrels were on site—not up on the roof—one humongous red one for the fifty/fifty drawing and one somewhat smaller one(Hermann’s Pickles) for the Queen of Hearts event.  Both were being given a turn or two every so often before the actual drawing.   The cameraman was getting “up close and personal” with the crankers of the barrels and looking out at the people waiting for their chance at riches.  All of this was not taking place up on the roof, as   previously happened but on ground level on a truck bed.  There was one special drawing before the main event, announced as an extra bonus prize; the winner of that didn’t get  the cash but she did get to see her daughter, who returned home from Kuwait.  So that got applause from the crowd.

There was some concern about the speaker/P.A. volume being too low so that not everyone could hear—probably a result of not being on the roof—but when push came to shove, everyone seemed to quiet down enough to hear the critical numbers.  Which, as it turned out gave $54,433—give or take—to the Garfield Stadium Improvement Fund and an equal amount to the lucky winner.  The Queen remains in hiding and will be so for at least another two weeks, as the Labor Day weekend will be taking a breather from the excitement.  There are only five numbers left, “live”, on the board.  The first draw of the evening was a ticket with no name and no number (Read the directions, folks). The re-draw produced a name and a phone number; the phone number was called, the card was turned over : #3.  Under the number 3 card was…the Ace of Diamonds…no Queen of Hearts.  See you all again in two weeks.

This whole enterprise is taking on the aspect of a wedding or funeral or family reunion where you see people that you haven’t seen in ages…and some you’d rather not see, probably.  A good natured crowd, mostly, bent on consuming amazing amounts of adult beverages and tons of food of all sorts.  I   had good luck with my aluminum can recycling project; several groups were putting their empties in bags, so I just scooped them up and into my large bags.  At one point, I left two of the bags and took the third one to round up stragglers, when I came back, the original two were gone.  Yikes!  But then somebody told me that they’d been taken around back to the BIG dumpster , so I searched for them in the designated location and was able to rescue the lot from indiscriminate disposal.  Pay no attention to the rumor that I’ve taken up “dumpster-diving” to eke out a living.  On the way home, carrying three bags of cans—quite an enterprise in itself—I got help when Don Craver and his ever-helpful daughter, Darlene, offered to take the load to my house, which they did.  I wasn’t up for riding in the back of the truck, so I hoofed it back on my own and found the treasures at the end of the drive.

Then the bat came back.

It was a full week.