The Bats Are Coming

It’s when you can’t hear the bats, that’s when the bats are coming.

That is what is printed on the front of the birthday card I received from my brother-in-law. On the inside it says, “Other than that, I have no birthday advice.”

Because I don’t think that is enough to convey just how much he makes me laugh, I’d also like to share with you the personal note he included.

To say that we are thankful to have you in our lives goes only a short distance to express how grateful and blessed we feel. We wish for you all the best life has to offer. May this year be full of success, love, and happiness, and may it be the first of many more to come … That is, of course, unless the machines rise up against us. If that is the case, then may your life be filled with joy until that point, and may your death be swift and painless. Though, I’ve heard those damn robots enjoy the sounds of human suffering. Sons of bitches won’t take me without a fight! Anyway … Happy Birthday!!!

There are 19 comments on this post

  1. Ha! I received the same card for my birthday on 7/17 and thought I’d do a google search on it, which brought me here. It’s a hilarious card! …I love random stuff like that. The note included in yours was equally fun. Thanks for sharing!

  2. HA! I received that card yesterday (10/21) and thought it was great. I also googled it and was brought here. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ha! Ha! Ha! I got that same card as you three three days ago (11/3) and googled it and here we all are…I am beginning to suspect that your brother in law was onto something with the Machines…

  4. Bwaahahahaha… I sent the same card to my sister in November. Now I use the phrase as a signature line on GoogleTalk sometimes. So very random; gotta love it! 🙂

    Hmmm, could this be a movement in the making?? (gasP)

  5. Ditto that: sent the card, googled, here we are. Couldn’t believe that Hallmark approved it. Just a little gem in my day (and for my best buddy as well, to whom i sent it). It really is the little things…especially once the robots rise or the zombie apocalypse spreads.

  6. Ok, I received this card from my brother and he can’t wait for my reaction. I feel like such a loser because I don’t get it! Can someone explain it to me?


  8. Can’t believe we all think alike, and it has brought us here in search of other such profound tidbits of wisdom. Great card; loved sending it to just the right friend (not all would appreciate the humor). What other goodies are out there? I think you’re right Scott, this might be a movement in the making!

  9. Next step in our takeover of the world:

    “It’s when you can’t hear the bats…” t-shirts!! LOL

  10. Just got this card, I did not understand it. Googled it and here I am. Does anyone understand it?

  11. OMG laughing so hard, can’t wait to give this card to my friend.

  12. Can some PLEASE just explain what it means! I received the card, but had never heard the quotation before.

  13. Please explain the quotation

  14. Same here. I got this card today, didn’t understand it, googled it, and here I am! Hmmm…

  15. I think this card is so funny, I gave it to a friend of mine TWICE. He gave me an early Christmas present this afternoon – a “It’s when you can’t hear the bats…” t-shirt! And it’s still funny!

  16. I dont think the quote is really supposed to “mean” anything. Its just funny. Very funny. I got this card back in March and I lost it. Can someone who still has it tell me which card company makes it? I cant seem to find it anywhere.

  17. This card was the first card that I picked up when I was searching for a card for my cousin’s birthday. I instantly knew it was the one! I was laughing so hard as I carried it all the way up to check out line.

  18. Found your site while searching…..Indiana, here….
    (Bear with me, as I’ll apologize in advance for the length of the post….)

    We scored a deal on a second home on 20 acres of woods in West central Indiana 4 years ago. 3 acre pond, with a little cabin about 70 from the water. Plenty of bats……..

    Bat watching is always fun there. We’ve seen what appear to be 20-25 on any given summer evening flying overhead. One night, Kathleen, my wife, said “There is a baby.” The young bat was following an adult in the air. As we watched, the adult caught a bug, and, as it interrupted it’s flight with wings open, the juvenile bat flew into the fold of the adult’s wing and and fed on the bug. Never saw that before……..

    Last April I bought Kathleen the same card as you all have for her birthday……It’s still on our kitchen table.

    Last August I fell asleep in a chair in the living room. Somewhere around 1 am, and the only light in the room was the television. Naturally, I decided it was cereal time, so I went and got a bowl of Golden Grahams, and went back to the chair. I flipped a little light with a 40 watt bulb on next to the chair, and saw a something move over me. I looked up, and a Freaking Bat Was Circling Our LIVING ROOM!!!!!!!!

    Being a real man, and all, I did exactly what my protective instincts told me: Cereal bowl in hand, I sprinted toward the bedroom with my head down, slammed the door and turned the light on.

    As Kathleen tells the story, I was talking very loudly in an animated way about our infestation. (I did, as I recall, convince her to eat a couple of bites of my Golden Grahams….they were tasty…) Kathleen said we needed to get it out of the house. I volunteered she should lead the charge.

    I followed Kathleen out of the bedroom. She barked commands like “Shut all interior doors.”, and, “Get some towels so we can catch it if we have to.”, and, “Open both sets of patio doors.”

    We ended up going out onto the patio to wait for it’s exit. We never saw the bat again…..

    Needless to say, I spent the next 6-8 weeks looking for puncture wounds I was sure were somewhere on my body, waiting for the rabies virus to come back out of remission, and reading about my ultimate demise…..I’ve sealed up most of the suspect entry spots.

    I have learned that there is a real good chance that a lone bat in a home during late summer is usually a juvenile that doesn’t know better…..

    Since then, I’ve been a little quicker to duck when a bird, or even a butterfly, passes over me…..

    “It’s when you can’t hear the bats, that’s when the bats are coming.”

    The son of a real good friend is a graphic artist, and designs t-shirts. Maybe I’ll scan the card, and get us all a good deal on some shirts.

    I need to lighten up on this rabies thing, though. I’ve driven it to the point where I’ve come up with a real good story based upon a guy getting rabies from a bat…..

  19. If you have to ask what the card means, then you will never understand it. It’s just one of those things. You either immediately get it and find it hilarious, or you don’t get it, and it can’t be explained. Hence, why most of us wound up on this page. Innate humor cannot be taught or explained. #thebatsarecoming

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What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

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You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.