Smile Politely

Is That a Bat in My Coffee?

This last week, I went to make some coffee for my coworkers, when I saw this AP article posted above the coffee maker:

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—It wasn’t just the caffeine that gave an Iowa woman an extra jolt after she had her morning coffee. It was also the bat she found in the filter. The Iowa Department of Public Health says the woman reported a bat in her house but wasn’t too worried about it. She turned on her automatic coffee maker before bedtime and drank her coffee the next morning. She discovered the bat in the filter when she went to clean it that night. The woman has undergone treatment for possible rabies. Health officials say that the bat was sent to a lab but that its brain was too cooked by the hot water to determine whether it had rabies.

As I stood there, placing the coffee filter into the basket, followed by scoops of coffee grounds, I said to myself, “There has to be more to this story.” I know that my coworkers just wanted to freak me out a bit, but all they did was incite me to uncover the truth.

I did an internet search and all that I could find was this same article. I became frenetic, desiring for someone to do some research into this, but I found nothing substantial. Therefore, all that I’m now left with is my imagination.

I can’t help but imagine what might have happened at this lady’s house either the night before, or the morning of the incident. The key fact that cannot go unnoticed is that the lady owns an automatic coffee maker and that she turns it on before she goes to bed, but what is more important is that she cleans the filter at night, then she heads to bed. I’m not sure what brand she has, but I would assume that you would still have to place the coffee in the filter, then place the filter in the basket, and then place the basket back in the coffee maker before you can set it to run. If this is the case, did she not notice a bat fluttering around in the filter as she scooped coffee onto it?

What I think happened is this:

She filled the usual filter/basket with coffee, slid it into the coffee maker, programmed it and then went to bed. What was left out of the story is that the bat originally grew up in Colombia as a homeless street-bat. He was a pariah, a loser, an uneducated and unwanted bloodsucker who was relegated to the mean streets of Colombia. Eventually he started hanging with some bad bats. They convinced him to try cocaine, but it didn’t do much for him. However, one night, while flying past a mule-cart carrying bags of coffee, the bat lost control, slammed into a pile of loose beans on the cart and accidentally inhaled some coffee. He became addicted within seconds. He started off by doing lines of coffee, but that only made way for the use of needles. His life got out of control.

He became a drug mule to support his habit. The drug cartel flew him to a destination point in Iowa one day and left him there to die. They couldn’t trust him anymore, because the coffee had clouded his judgment. He sought out a nearby farm and found a preacher who took him in. The preacher introduced him to CAA (Coffee Addicts Anonymous) and saved his life. The bat continued to live in Iowa, with the preacher, a man who didn’t allow caffeine in his house. This helped the bat immensely, but he knew that one day he would have to face his demons again. He tried minding his own business, but in order to survive, he had to fly off to other houses at night, in search of food. He had been clean for four years, before he ended up in the lady’s house.

He knew he was in trouble once he swooped in to her kitchen. Her house was redolent with coffee. The aroma was insuperable to the feeble bat. He eluded the lady, found umbrage in a loaf of bread above the fridge and waited for his chance. After she had gone to bed, the bat swooped down and suckled the side of the coffee pot with great avarice. Nothing was going to stop him from getting in. He wedged his body between the filter basket and the coffee maker and furiously squeezed himself in to his empyrean.

Once inside the filter, the aroma was too much for him, so he gave in to his only love. It didn’t take long for him to pass out. In the morning, he woke up to the lady’s alarm clock. He felt guilty and strung out, but he was still happy to be alive. He tried to make his way out of the coffee maker, but his body wasn’t as malleable as it had been the night before. He knew he was trapped.

He tried calling for help, but the lady was in the bathroom, starting her shower. At the same time, the coffee maker started and the water started to heat up in both locations. The lady’s shower head let off a high-pitched scream that overpowered the cries of the bat. He knew that his end was near. He thought of his sponsor, he thought of Colombia and he thought of the life to come, just before he cooked to death.

After her shower, after the screams of the bat were no longer audible, the lady walked into her kitchen, poured herself a cup of bat-brew, and drank the bats life as she perused her newspaper.

So maybe my fictional take isn’t how it went down, but it is really the only way that I can imagine this happening. Now, if the lady was blind, if she was on drugs, or if she tried catching the bat with the actual coffee filter, then maybe there are other explanations. What do you think happened? Please comment.

(After reading this article, when I make coffee in the morning, I reach for a filter, place it in the basket, dump some coffee in, look for bats, place the filter basket into the coffee maker, secure it, check for bats again, pour the water in the back of the coffee maker, let out a high-pitched scream to scare away any bats and then I turn the coffee maker on. It’s a relatively simple procedure. I haven’t found a bat, yet.)

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