Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Bat In My Belfry

From True Tales of Detroitcirca 1989 (!!). All present-tense references are very, very dated.

As of now this True Tale has no ending, only the threat of disease.

It began this morning. I awoke in my swank bachelor pad, stretched and yawned myself into consciousness, and staggered into my tiny kitchenette to brew up a pot of coffee. Then I pulled on some clothing, pocketed a few coins, and headed out to buy the morning paper.

I had only gone a few paces when I spied an unidentified mass in the hallway, high up near the ceiling. Gadzooks, I thought. The slobs are at it again – attaching unspeakable refuse to the walls. How can they treat their home so poorly?

But when I stepped up for a closer look it was rodentus nocturnus — in common parlance, a bat.

I leaped back several feet and looked again. Indeed – a warm-blooded, fur-bearing creature hanging by its feet, with distinctive rat-like ears – capable of instilling fear and inflicting an incurable wound, in one rabid bite.

It was 7:30 a.m. Who needed coffee? I was wide awake now.

I dashed down the four flights of stairs to the main floor, and knocked on the door of the building manager. There's a bat in the hallway upstairs, I told her. “You know, a bat? Vampires, Dracula, rabies?” She said she’d do something about it.

I bought my paper and went back upstairs, slinking past the beast. With its wings closed it appeared somewhat larger than a gerbil. It moved as I went by, adjusting its foot-hold on the panelling by the ceiling. 

Back in the safety of my apartment I read the paper, sipped coffee, and wrote out a check for that month’s rent.

A few hours later I emerged to run some errands. The bat still clung, upside-down, to its perch. When I got home he was still there. He had not moved, save for the occasional adjustment of his foot-hold. Goddam foot-dragging management! I grabbed my camera and crept up on the beast, and took several photographs.

I left again in mid-afternoon. The bat still clung to its spot, no doubt waiting for nightfall. It was time to confront the manager again.

Her name was Mattie. I found her in the hall outside her quarters, smoking and engaged in lively conversation with someone I determined to be a handyman.

I got her attention. “You know...that critter is still up there.”

“Oh, no!”

The handyman looked at me. “There’s a bat upstairs,” I said.

“A bat?”

“Yeah. You know – vampires, rabies?”

“We had one once before,” Mattie said. “It was in the basement. My nephew was here then. I had him take care of it. But this time...” her voice trailed off, and the handyman realized it was up to him to get rid of the thing.

“What did he do?”

“Oh, he ain’t afraid of anything!” Mattie chortled, dragging on her extra-long cigarette. “First, he hit it with a stick, and then stomped it to death.”

How quaint, I thought. “I’ve had to walk by that thing about ten times already. Somebody has to get rid of it. I don’t want rabies!”

The handyman appeared uneasy. “Where is it?”

“Right above room 409!”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

The bat is still there. It's been twelve hours – or rather, it’s been twelve hours since I first saw the damned thing. I hope they don't kill it, but they probably will.

The accompanying pictures were shot on film, and scanned from a proof sheet.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Check this out

Here are links to a few things I've developed over the last year or so, relating to the JFK assassination.
Life's three versions: This documents the defunct magazine's role in covering up the assassination.

Fifty: This one gathers a handful of essays on the JFK assassination. I consider them worthy reading, as the fiftieth anniversary of that crime draws ever closer.

Dallas photos: Presented mostly for entertainment purposes. Maybe human interest is a better phrase for it. Anyway, it's a bunch of pictures, most of them by me, of the Dealey Plaza/Dallas area. There are a few curiosities included.

Let me know what you think!

Also, check out my book! And I don't mean from the library.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Springtime in the Rockies...

It's a romantic notion, isn't it?

Yesterday was May 1. International Workers' Day. Dance 'round the Maypole!

May 1, 2013
In my little Colorado berg, we got a ton of snow.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning the night before, in effect from 6pm Tuesday until 6pm Wednesday. As of 6pm Wednesday, the snow was still comin' down.

And did for a few more hours.

The snowfall never really got all that heavy, but it fell steadily from Tuesday night through yesterday. I estimated at least six inches fell. According to the paper this morning, some areas got a foot of snow!

This is an arid region to begin with, and we've been on the brink of a serious drought for a long time now. Last summer was really hot and dry, with quite serious wildfires throughout the state. So any moisture is welcome. I'm not going to gripe about what, when all is said and done, is really only a day or two of inconvenience.

But, a foot of snow? In May?

This morning I had to shovel.