Just Plain Batty

| Working | June 5, 2013

(Note: My husband and I are traveling to Australia to volunteer at a bat rescue hospital. We need a series of rabies vaccines in order to work with injured bats.)

Nurse: “So what bit you?”

Me: “Nothing, we’re going to rescue bats in Australia and we need the shots so we can handle them.”

Nurse: “Bats? That is so gross! Why would you do that?”

Me: “I’ve loved bats all my life. I’m so excited; [husband] arranged for it for my birthday.”

(The nurse frowns at my husband.)

Nurse: “Hmm. When I was younger, I went to summer camp. There were always bats flying around the campfire and down by the river.”

Me: “Yeah, they were eating the bugs above the water and the moths and things that are drawn to the campfire light. I bet they saved you from a ton of mosquito bites.”

(I launch into a little mini speech about all the ways bats help the environment and what we’ll be doing in Australia and the types of bats we’ll be working with. The nurse is listening and nodding her head the entire time. She gives my husband his shot and then moves to me.)

Nurse: “You should take a badminton racquet with you.”

Me: “Why?”

Nurse: “We used badminton racquets to knock them out of the air.”

Me: “What?!”

Nurse: “We had a scoring system and everything; there were bonus points if you stomped on them. You should try that. They crunch!”*mimes stomping on something* “Crunch, crunch!”

Husband: “You understand we’re going to *rescue* them, right? We’re not going to kill them.”

Nurse: “But they’re filthy and diseased!”

Husband: “They can be, which is why we’re getting shots now.”

Nurse: “You need to take a racquet to protect yourself.”

(By now, she has finished. I put my coat on and we leave the room without speaking. However, the nurse shouts down the hallway after us.) 

Nurse: “You’re going get sick and I’m going to laugh when you have to come back for more shots because you have rabies!”

(Ironically, the week after our last shot, the CDC sent a letter telling us that the batch of vaccine we received had tested positive for live rabies and we had to go back in for two more follow-up shots as a precaution. Fortunately, we never saw that nurse again. Working with the bats was FANTASTIC!)

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