Understanding Relationship Communication- through Bats. 

Scrolling Facebook one day, a headline that Egyptian Fruit Bat calls are actually communication caught my eye.  Egyptian Fruit Bats Argue- A Lot

Much to my surprise, not only do these bats communicate by sound, but they have synthesized the substance of human relationship issues to four communication issues. 

“They were able to classify 60 percent of the calls.  One of the call types indicates the bats are arguing about food.”    “I’m hungry”  “what would you like, honey?”  “”What have we got”. “Well, we have spiders?”  “Nope”.  “Mosquitos?”  “Nope”.  “We have leftover peach from last nights dinner?”   “Nope- I think I want a burger and fries from Batdonalds”.   “Why didn’t you pick that up then in the way back to the cave?’  “I wasn’t hungry then.  Will you go”.   “. No!”  

“Another indicates a dispute about their positions within the sleeping cluster.”    “OMG- you snore like a bulldog bat!!   Go sleep In another part of the cave, will ya?”    “It’s too warm/cold/light/dark/quiet noisy in your part of the cave ceiling. ” “You hog the sheets/blanket/comforter”.  “Stop kicking me”.   “How about a bat cuddle.  You never bat cuddle with me”.  

“A third call is reserved for males making unwanted mating advances.”    “DONT TOUCH ME!”   “I have a splitting wing ache”.  “I’ve been feeding baby bats all day.  Do you realize how many mosquitos I caught today?!”   “How come you never help with the the bat guano?  “Hey, this weekend, wanna just fly around and look at the moon and park in the big Redwood”. 

“and the fourth happens when a bat argues with another bat sitting too close.”  “Don’t sit next to me”.  (This is closely related to “don’t touch me above) but is particularly used by female high school Bats of different social circles. 

“In fact, the bats make slightly different versions of the calls when speaking to different individuals within the group, similar to a human using a different tone of voice when talking to different people. “.  These have been classified as the: spouse tone, dating tone, parent to child tone, child to parent tone, boss to employee tone, employee to boss tone, sibling tone, friends tone, false friends tone, in law’s tone, road rage tone and hormonal tone. 

The 40% Of the bat sounds which could not be categorized were found to be teenage bats pouting or having an “episode”, mother in law bats muttering under their breath;  politician bats who didn’t make sense to the other bats,;  bats who only catch insects on cannabis plants who don’t make noise because they’re now eating every insect in sight and media bats. 

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“I’m Sorry, Your Salad Has Been Cancelled. May I Re-book You On Our Earliest Available Salad?

I stopped at my favorite salad place to get my salad to go for lunch this afternoon. They were surprised I hadn’t ordered online, as I usually do, so I explained that I had been in DC for Father’s Day and my Monday 5 pm flight had been cancelled. The earliest re book I could get was at 5 pm, the NEXT day, but not a 90 minute direct flight but a 5 hour flight through Chicago. (why I have to fly to Chicago, from DC, to get to South Carolina never made sense to me, but I digress….) I had to be at work today, so I rented a car, drove 9 hours and was too late to pick up my salads for the week.

“Damn airlines!”, the counter girl said. I said, “What if I came in here and you said, ‘I’m sorry, but your salad has been cancelled. I can get you another salad on Wednesday?’ You wouldn’t stay in business long if you sold salads like airline flights.”

As I leave her laughing at the counter, the imaginary AirlineSalad conversation continues in my head. “But I’m hungry right now, I would say.” “I’m so sorry, says the United AirlineSalad Agent. (The name of the salad company here is not meant to reference any real or existing airline company and any similarity is truly unintended, mostly because this horrible behavior is practiced by ALL the Airline Salad companies, regardless of their name) We apologize for your inconvenience, but it’s exactly the same salad, on Wednesday, going to exactly the same place. (your stomach)

“But, I’m STARVING”. What am I supposed to do for food for the next two days?” “I understand sir, but we’re not responsible for your lack of something to eat when our inability to make your salad is due to weather, employee absences, government intervention, promising to sell more salads then we actually have to sell, war, pestilence, broken salad makers, bowls, labor unrest, computer crashes, computer hacks, or lack of deliveries. However, here at United Airlines Salad makers, we stand by and take pride in our percentage on-time and actually delivery of salads we have sold, which approaches 100%,” said the Agent.

“Well, can you help me get something else to eat?” “I’m sorry sir, we are not able to offer coupons for other food from other vendors”. I could however, direct you to a grocery story where you can buy your own salad fixings, a bowl, dressing, knives, forks and you could fix your salad yourself.” (Sigh), “If I wanted to fix my salad myself, I would have gone to the grocery store in the first place and not purchased a salad from you.” Can I at least get a refund or credit for this salad I paid for, but you cancelled today/” “I’m sorry sir, I cannot do that on the phone or in person, you need to access UnitedAirlineSalads dot com / refunds in order to request a refund. Just have your confirmation number, your 16 digit ticket number, a picture of any food receipt you receive from obtaining other salads, a 2000 word description of what we already know about why and how we cancelled your salad, why you want a refund, what category of refund and your blood type. Either you’ll get a credit in 14-28 business days on your credit card, or maybe an e mail, or certainly a reference number if you need to call us back.

So I opened my WendysDelta app, ordered a single and went there, since I’m still… hungry. “Hi, I ordered a single on my Wendy’s app, the name is Lawrence”. “‘m sorry sir, your single has been delayed due to our selling more singles on line than we have food to make them with”. If you’ll please wait in your car, we’ll have you scheduled for the singles coming our in 6 hours”.

There was a grocery story in the parking lot…..