It’s my sister’s birthday next week and I think I know what I’m going to get her. We’re in Wisconsin right now, lying around and watching the Bears game like the sacks of shit that we are. Still reeling from last night’s baked spinach pizza. Our primary Madison operative got us a show tonight at the Weary Traveler, where they have live music from 9 to 12:30, though there has to be a break every night from 10 to 10:30 so the upstairs renter can fall asleep.

The last time I was in Wisconsin was in the summer of 1981, back when my folks lived in Chicago and I was only slightly larger than our cat. I don’t remember too much about the trip, being three and all, but I do remember we’d rented a creepy old wood cabin and were staying by the lake. This place is apparently known for its mosquitoes, even though I’ve personally left more blood in the Omaha metropolitan area than the rest of the world combined.

So here we are an hour or two outside Madison, it’s 1981, my little brother’s still about a year and a half off, and we’re all holed up in this lakeside cabin. This being the early eighties, my sister is sporting the blowdried and bangled leg-warmer look of most girls her age. She was big into Madonna and the Police and I suspect she wasn’t exactly thrilled to be out in the woods with her family for the weekend.

Anyways, dinner gets eaten, dishes get done, my sister and I get tucked in and my parents presumably retire to the living room to play cards or read National Geographic or whatever people their age did back then. It is a pleasant night, we are a happy young family on vacation.

Fifteen minutes later, my sister starts screaming because there’s a bat stuck in her hair. My dad comes running and deals admirably with the bat, and we leave the next day, but my sister is forever changed by the event.

So I think it’s clear what needs to happen before we leave town. I’m going to find this bat and demand satisfaction.

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