Life is strange sometimes. Okay, life itself might not be strange, but the stuff that happens certainly can be. It’s also possible the stuff that happens after you’re no longer living could be equally strange, but no one has ever documented it.
If the concepts of reincarnation are true, then we strive to improve on our past performances until we achieve enlightenment and no longer need to improve on anything. In that case, I’d expect a fair amount of the afterlife would involve having to read How Not to Fuck Up Your Next Life–for Dummies.
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As you’ve probably guessed by now, we survived Holy Week.
According to the Bible, Jesus entered Jerusalem as a hero on Palm Sunday, and five days later the same people who had cheered for him were demanding his death.
No one has ever had such a precipitous fall from grace, except maybe Howard Dean…
The timeline is so improbable that it would almost have to be classified as one of Jesus’ miracles, and possibly his greatest. Or his worst, depending on your point of view.
It never made any sense to me. The only explanation that makes sense is that the actual events took longer than a week to unfold. Probably several months. Then everything makes sense, especially the conversations between Pontius Pilate and Jesus.
I’m not sure if Pilate hated the Jews, but he certainly wasn’t the most sympathetic Roman prefect of Judea. On at least two occasions he appeared to go out of his way to antagonize the Jews, and was eventually removed from office for dealing with his subjects too harshly. The fact that he would’ve had any hesitation at all about killing Jesus is another miracle.
And yet, in all four of the Gospels, he clearly doesn’t want to execute Jesus. A timeline of several months would, at the very least, give Pilate the opportunity to meet with Jesus more than once, probably after he had Jesus imprisoned. By all accounts, Jesus was a very charismatic guy. It’s not inconceivable that Pilate found himself liking the preacher from Galilee. So much so that by the time this scenario had reached its climax, Jesus had become the only Jew Pilate didn’t want to kill.
Yeah, I know. It’s all speculation.
Some of you might say, You know, for a guy who claims to be a Christian, you spend a lots of time questioning everything you’re supposed to believe.
Yeah, I do. But then, I used to believe in American democracy, too.
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The cicadas have started singing their strident songs. In the Lakeside Area, cicadas are called chicharros (waterbirds) because the rains generally start a few weeks after they start singing. And I found a tree frog on the patio last night. Another sign of the rainy season.
The rains will be nice. They’ll knock all of the dust and pollen out of the air, and that should lessen our allergy symptoms. Maybe.
But it will also make the velcro grass grow thicker at the golf course, and that’s not good for my score.
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A lots of people that retire here do a lots of research about the Lakeside Area before they uproot and relocate. The good thing is that there’s a plethora of information available on the Interweb. I’m going to guess that most of the articles accentuate the positive. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read any of them.
I doubt there are many articles that mention the flying buffalo ants. And I know there aren’t any articles about the flying scorpion spiders. Another thing you won’t find much information about are the bats.
The Spanish word for bat is murciélago. There are a lots of bats in Mexico. I won’t go so far to say that I’m afraid of bats, but they do kind of give me the willies. The little flying mice bats that eat insects aren’t so bad. It’s the larger, flying rat bats that eat fruit that freak me the fuck out.
Admit it. You thought I was was making this up, didn’t you.
Oddly enough, the most common fruit bat in Mexico is the Jamaican Fruit Bat. We had encountered these bats at our first house. They drank all of the nectar out of Lea’s hummingbird feeders. Retrieving her feeders with a herd of flying bats swooping around my head wasn’t a pleasant experience.
When a fruit bat finds a ripe and desirable fruit, it swoops in and plucks it from the tree, then it flies to a temporary dining roost to eat.
There is at least one desirable fruit tree growing on the hillside of the golf course just below our backyard, and there’s also a very desirable temporary dining roost near that tree. That place is our spacious patio. At night, our spacious patio probably looks just like a cave, which is no doubt very inviting to a hungry bat.
Bats are voracious eaters, so our patio floor looked like unto a disaster area in the mornings when we first moved here. Little Known Fact About Fruit Bats: they can digest an entire meal in about fifteen minutes. Any guesses about what else bats are really good at?
Yep. They shit like there’s no tomorrow.
Bat shit is slang for someone one step beyond totally crazy. Guano is the technical term for bat excrement, which is highly desirable as a fertilizer. If the bats only shit in our yard, I’d probably love them. But they’ve been shitting on our patio walls, and I really don’t love that.
Our walls are white. Well, they were white. Now they’re white with greenish brown streaks and spots, or white with pink streaks and spots. It’s not a great color combination.
I don’t know how long the bats have been using our patio as a restaurant/restroom, but it’s clearly been going on for a while. I tried washing the walls. Guano is some tenacious shit. It doesn’t wash off easily, and some of it doesn’t wash off at all.
I have no intention of trying to kill all of the fruit bats in the Lakeside Area, though that would certainly solve the problem of them crapping in our patio. And that’s the first step I encountered in trying to solve this problem. Cleaning the walls doesn’t accomplish anything if the bats just come back and crap on the walls again.
So, how does one get rid of bats without killing them? No one seemed to know. We did have an exterminator come over and spray the patio with something non-lethal, but noxious to bats. It didn’t work. I set up a sonic blaster device. It was supposed to emit frequencies the bats wouldn’t like and they’d stop dining in our patio. That didn’t work either.
We usually go to bed around 10:00 PM, give or take. There are no bats on the patio when we call it a day. Lea sometimes has trouble sleeping. On those occasions she likes to sit out on the patio, except the fucking bats freaked her out, too. It seemed that peak dining hours for bats were between midnight and 2:00 AM. I usually don’t have any trouble sleeping, but I’ve been on the patio at 3:00 AM, and there were no bats.
It might have been a month ago, maybe. Lea went to bed, but I stayed up. I was probably writing one of my blog posts… At any rate, I finished some time around midnight, and I went to check on the world before I went to bed. And there were no bats on the patio. Not even one.
Hmm. Why do you suppose that is? I wondered. And then it occurred to me that the lights in the living room were still on, and maybe that’s why there were no bats…
We’ve been leaving some of living room lights on at night for the past couple of weeks. No bats! They’re apparently very sensitive to light. It makes sense. The fruit they eat doesn’t look that appetizing to me, and the bats themselves are butt-ugly. Darkness is their only friend.
Having accidentally figured out how to discourage the bats, the only thing that remained was getting rid of the Technicolor® walls of our patio. Simple! I’ll get some white paint. But there’s something like unto three hundred shades of white. Not so simple.
In the States, you can bring in a color sample and it can be computer matched. In Mexico, you can guess which shade is the closest and hope you’re not too wrong. I suck at this kind of thing, but Lea is a supermodel, and she is spooky.
She picked out a shade that wasn’t exactly the same as the paint on our walls, but it’s so close that you barely notice the difference. Most of the guano stains have disappeared, but some of them are still visible after three coats of paint. If only our walls weren’t white…
I told you that shit was tenacious.
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There’s one other bat in Mexico. El Pinche Murciélago Gigante! That’s right, Cupcake. The Fucking Giant Bat of Mexico. They probably live in the Lakeside Area. There’s some really big caves here.
You thought I was making this up too, didn’t you.
The Giant Bat is probably about the size of a Labrador. Maybe larger. Some of them have interbred with chupacabras, resulting in something like unto the closest thing to an actual vampire you’d ever want to meet. Not the cute vampires from Hollywood that make women cream their jeans. These are savage bloodthirsty monsters that will make you shit your pants.
As for what it eats, I’m guessing it eats anything it wants. Cats, dogs, kids. Volkswagen Beetles. And they’re particularly fond of tourists. If we can tell who the tourists are, there’s no reason to think the bats can’t.
So, just remember that the next time you’re planning a vacation to Lake Chapala. It could be the last vacation you ever take.