You Want Batman? Because That’s How You Get Batman

, , , , , | Learning | March 1, 2020

We happen to have bats hanging out in the attics of many of our older campus buildings. Many students aren’t aware of this, but if a person is quiet and patient, they can watch bats fly from behind some of the older buildings. Our library, in particular, has a problem and there are signs on doors, in the elevator, stairwell, etc., to not touch bats and inform staff if one is spotted flying around. Only the third floor is a quiet space; all other floors have community areas for groups to collaborate in and talk. 

One night, I’m up on the second floor with a bud when we notice squeaking after a while. It’s not bothersome and we figure it’s either bats or the A/C is janky. Whatever, the building is old. A group of athletic underclassmen, however, decide they want to know for sure. At first, it’s just one or two coming over and looking at a window. Even I get up and briefly look closer. I recognize the sound, figure it’s not worth my time or health to bother with, and walk away. 

My bud and I are tolerably amused as the investigations are becoming more common and with bigger numbers. They’re impressively quiet.

Eventually, some of them even begin trying to jump to reach the ceiling and dislodge a panel. They can touch it but not dislodge it. I figure that’s enough.

Me:
“Hey, man, you know those are probably bats.”

This, of course, just wins some “Oh, cool, I’ve never seen a bat before” looks and their efforts increase for a moment. 

Me:
“Do you also know bats are known for carrying rabies?”

Student:
“Oh, s***, man. Really?”

Me:
“Really.”

I know that bats are not significantly more likely to carry rabies than other mammals, but this stopped the investigations for the night. We did tell the staff.

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