photo courtesy of Youtube

"Bats on aisle 6!"

Mike Pomranz
January 11, 2018

We’ve all heard the term “bats in the belfry”—despite the fact that no one knows was a belfry is—but how about this one: bats in the bacon. That’s what recently happened at a Walmart in Texas as dozens of the flying mammals reportedly decided to set up shop near the meat and poultry section while dumbfounded customers caught the whole thing on video.

The wild spectacle took place at a Walmart in Alvin, Texas, about 30 miles south of Houston. As probably should be anticipated, some Walmart shoppers were taking the bat infestation in stride. “It definitely makes shopping for your produce interesting,” customer Christy White told Houston’s KPRC.

However, others said that seeing so many potentially filthy bats flying about made them question at least some of their purchases. Bobbie Brock told the news station that she was unsettled by how close the animals came to the apples and cucumbers. “If I was gonna buy it and I was gonna eat it, yes, it would bother me,” she said sensibly. Another shopper, Tim Bentley agreed, and went about stating the obvious. “They need to get them out of there,” he said. “I don't know if it's safe to have people in there. I don't know what they should do but they should maybe get everybody out while they get control of the bats.”

For Walmart’s part, a spokesperson said on Monday, “We are aware of the situation at our Alvin, Texas, store and are working with our service provider to ensure safe removal of the bats.” However, White gave a somewhat more humorous account of how the bat removal was going down. “[Walmart employees] were kind of herding [the bats] toward the exits,” she told KPRC. “They were flying low enough at that point where they were kind of flopping their jackets at them and chasing them out of the store.”

Potentially even more disconcerting is that multiple customers told KPRC that the bats had actually been spotted several times over the past year, with this latest incident being described as their return.

Meanwhile, another local Houston news station, KHOU, got a slightly different take on the situation from Walmart. “We talked to Walmart about it, and they said they’re doing everything they can to keep the bats out, but the problem is the bats are protected so it’s not an easy fix here,” said anchor Mia Gradney. To which co-anchor Len Cannon astutely responded, “What do you mean they’re protected?” At which point Gradney quipped, “Bats on aisle 6!” And the two laughed and laughed.

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