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Things That go Oops in the Night

Bats and I have something in common (yes, I know that’s weird): we operate in various stages of somnabulism during the day, but oh baby, just catch us after the witching hour ‘cause- whooeeee - that’s when we come alive! It must be a genetic thing and probably delightful for bats, none of whom have to deal with the IBM nine-to-five humanoid work world in the morning. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I am not employed by IBM. BTW, is anyone? And is anyone besides me paranoid enough to think technology is running the world minus warm blooded interference? (This is the mind-set you get for staying up past Farmer John’s bedtime.) Does IBM even exist any more?

Or has it been bought by So-and-So who merged with This-and-That who were wolfed up by Rich-and-Greedy?

Okay, back to wandering about after midnight: Unlike me, I doubt bats are searching for a good book to curl up with at 3 a.m. while sipping a cup of chamomile tea. Then again, who knows what they are up to as they swoop about in gloomy caves during the wee hours, bouncing off the walls. I bounce off the walls, too, but only because I can’t find my glasses.


A related digression and true story: Once upon a time, my husband and I built a swimming pool, which, when not yet filled, the local bats mistook for an upside-down cave. I love that logic- seriously. A cave is a cave, and who cares which way it faces the moon?

However, this took my husband and me a while to comprehend as we relaxed at dusk on our new pool deck, admiring a fab view of the San Gabriels in all their Maxfield Parrish glory. Except we were puzzled by what appeared to be blackbirds on meth, swooping in peculiar formations in and out of our empty pool, making odd screechy sounds the whole time, kinda’ like fowl on helium.

It finally dawned on me we had bats. Well, I am a night creature so (eventually) I know one when I see one.

Like me, bats are not keen on daylight hours. My exceptions would be - I dig tennis + hiking + body surfing. But then, like my batty pals, visual impairment becomes a problem as the sun goes down. Unlike me, bats have that groovy radar thing going on at night. Which is not helpful as I peer at a paperback and attempt to set my cup of herbal tea on the edge of the bedside table.


Where, oh where are my glasses? Why can’t I clap and have them appear miraculously onto my nose? After all, I paid $4.99 at the drugstore for those suckers. JPL (are they buds with IBM?) does all kinds of impressive outer space stuff- I only ask for assistance on earth to find my cheater specs. And I bet a whole lot of people would be thrilled to have keys and glasses equipped with clappers.

Back to insomnia: In the film “Something’s Gotta Give,” the protagonist says she only sleeps four hours a night- but she WISHES she could get the recommended eight. Yeah, me too. Wouldn’t it be lovely to appear bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when the sun comes up? Because I have too many pals who are of this credo and call me at ghastly ours in the dawn to chat away. This should be illegal.

A call at 6:15 a.m.? Barbaric. The caller is stuck in traffic with a cell phone and I’m their lucky pick? Okey-doke, here’s my response:

1) Please don’t call at this dreadful hour. The world won’t stop but my heart just might.

2) Place one hand on the steering wheel, then if using an older cell, hold carefully with hand and crush that thing into oblivion.

3) If you’re wearing one of those look-Ma!-no-hands cells? May I politely suggest you yank that sucker off your head, or risk a very, very bad hair day. Then donate your techno toy via a pitch out the car window to some of those nice folks in orange garb who keep our freeways beautiful. AKA dump that thing, but in a tidy and ecologically conscious manner.

When I get a call before 7 a.m. (or after 10 p.m.) - I think someone has died. Guilt compels me to answer the phone, or if I’ve forgotten to turn the bell ring-a-ding off, it drags me to respond. A 6:15 a.m., the conversation goes something like this:

ME: (Groping as always while the phone does a swan dive onto the floor.) Uh, uh, uh... Hello, hi... just a minute.


CHIRPY: Gosh, I’m sooo sorry! (Tone of regretful but fake innocence.)

Gee, did I wake you?

ME: Um, I, um- (Peering at the clock in disbelief) what’s happened?

What’s wrong? Is something wrong?

CHIRPY: Naw, nothing’s wrong! Just wanted to give you an update on stuff, so let’s talk biz!

ME: (Clearing throat) Ahh...

Here is what I want (but lack the courage to say) to people who think nothing of calling at the crack of dawn. I wanna call them at 1:45 a.m. when I’m in my night time element, and that’s being kind. Most kind.

ME: Hi there! I have some fascinating thoughts about the relative value of potatoes versus turnips. Oh, sorry- DID I WAKE YOU? Would it be better if I called at 2 a.m.? No? 3:15 a.m.? What? You’ll still be sleeping? Taking a nap in the middle of the night?


Back to the wee hours, I’ve brewed my tea (Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime has been my fave since its inception) and found a read that I hope will either enlighten me or bore me senseless.

As in sleep?

Dedicated with much admiration to Peter Jennings, may he rest in peace.