I was looking for a computer book for my sister-in-law. It seems that she doesn’t know how to use her laptop computer and no one in her family has the patience to sit with her and teach her. When I told her that she needed to read Computers for Dummies, she got very insulted. I tried to explain that “For Dummies” is just a brand name for a series of books about just about everything. “They’re designed for beginners and they’re really good books,” I said. She thought I was just trying to talk my way out of the grave I was digging for myself.
So, with her birthday coming up, I went to the bookstore at the local library to pick up a copy. They didn’t have any computer books for sale, but the saleslady told me that I should be able to pick up a copy at Winding Way Books on Chestnut Street. It was an omen.
My brother Kevin and his family of Super Heroes live on Winding Way in San Francisco in a house they purposely painted in Batman Blue, as they are all big Batman and Superman fans.
[Side story. When their neighbor saw the color they were painting their house, he asked them if they got the paint for free. He couldn’t think of any other reason why anyone would paint their house that color.]
I went to Winding Way Books and asked the saleslady to direct me to the computer section. She informed me that they didn’t have a computer section. I turned to leave, and then turned back around deciding to browse through the store to see what kind of books they did have. It was a second-hand bookstore and they had pretty much everything – except computer books. I decided to pick up a paperback book for reading on the bus.
At home, I like to read hard cover, large print books, but for the road I like something that takes up less room in my knapsack. I picked up The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, a sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I loved The Da Vinci Code, and I loved the first 90% of Angels and Demons. I hated the ending in that book and was pleasantly surprised when Ron Howard fixed it in the movie. So, I figured that I’d give The Lost Symbol a shot.
Later that evening, I decided to plop myself down in my recliner chair and get a start on the 639-page book. By page 30 I realize that I had read it before, but forgotten how it ended. (A frequent occurrence for me.) Still, I was caught up in the story and wanted to continue. Then, the overhead light started flickering, and I started cursing. I have a high ceiling in my living room and can’t reach the light fixture even while standing on a chair. I would have to go get the step ladder.
I looked up at the accursed light fixture and saw there was nothing wrong with the bulbs. The light was flickering because there was a small bat flying around it like a moth to the flame. I jumped up and went running for a broom (since I don’t have a tennis racquet). When I returned, the bat was gone. I tapped everything in every room with the broom, but could not find the bat. I told myself that he must have left the same way he got in. I told myself that, but I didn’t believe me.
I don’t have air conditioning, because I don’t like to be cold. I spent a year in Adak, Alaska and really learned to despise the cold. So, it has been at least 80 degrees in my apartment for the past month. That night it was 82, but I slept under a thick comforter, just in case the bat was still in my apartment and looking for something to bite. On the positive side, I got on the scale the next day and found that I had sweated off two pounds. I searched the house again and could find no sign of the bat (or “Bat Signals” as they are known in DC Comics). That evening I was in the kitchen and I suddenly saw the bat flying around the living room. I prepared for battle. I put on long pants, my winter coat, and wrapped towels around my head for protection. I would have donned oven mitts and my batting helmet, but I told myself that it was only a small bat and that I really should “man up,” at least a little. I opened the front and back doors, hoping that my opponent would flee the scene before the fighting got too intense (or even began). Then I grabbed the broom and charged onto the battlefield. I felt like John Candy and Dan Aykroyd in the Bat Scene from the movie The Great Outdoors.
It’s already too late to make this long story short, but I will leave out the gory details of the battle. Suffice it to say that my opponent chose fight over flight, and my broom was flying faster than Harry Potter’s. Two lamps got knocked over and a mirror got knocked off the wall before I finally emerged victorious. The bat is now in a body bag, and I, the great white hunter, can safely go back to my recliner and continue reading. Plus, I’ll be able to sleep tonight without sweating my ass off.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,