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Torche guitarist survives bat urine rabies scare

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:59 PM PT
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Some stories are too odd not to pass on, so forgive me.

Torche guitarist Andrew Elstner has revealed that last week he was treated for a potential rabies infection after a bat urinated in his eye. Read that sentence a few more times.

On March 29th, Elstner posted the following via his Facebook:

"Ok so... A bat peed in my eye. Whether or not you think I'm telling the truth is irrelevant at this point. What I'm worried about now is rabies. A bat. It pissed into my eye. Gold [sic] help me."

After incredulous responses from some of his Facebook "friends," Elstner provided the following background information:

"This story is true and a simple one: I housed the James Leg guys at the old house where I used to live in Wildwood. For those unaware, this house was built in 1824 and rests on 70+ acres, and my old roomie who still lives here leaves the back door open so his dogs came roam at will. The dogs are awesome, btw. When we first arrive, it's almost 4am and I'm showing Mat Gaz the house, 'Ok, check it out... Here's the kitchen. And here's like a family room type deal...' I switch on the overhead light/ceiling fan combo and what I think at first is a shadow being cast from the spinning fan blades turns out to be a freaking bat. It circles the room a few times at light speed, and on one of the turns, dive bombs my head and squirts a little nervous pee into my eye. Holy shit. I'm laughing but run to the sink and attempt to flush my eye out. I'm pretty sure I'm fine but... Not the most common of occurrences."

Here's a picture of the rustic house in which the marauding bat attacked:


House in which Torche guitarist Andrew Elstner was assaulted by a bat


Wikipedia tells me that there are an estimated 55,000 human deaths annually from rabies worldwide (most in Africa and Asia). I suspect Elstner did a little research online and quickly decided that he shouldn't screw around. Either way, apparently concerned for his well-being, Elstner followed up with health officials and reported the following:

"Rabies Control and CDC people are telling me I need shots, specifically for the reason I imagined: it could've been saliva AND I slept in the same house with it, could've bitten me in my sleep! What?! I wish I was making this shit up. My info and story were just now faxed to the CDC in Atlanta. Whaaaat!?!?"

The following day, Elstner posted the following update:

"So the rabies saga continues... Currently in the emergency room at St. Luke's to start rabies vaccination. Such a long dumb story. Extremely slim odds that I'm at risk, but,... With rabies, you have a short window to get treated, and beyond that, it is incurable and 100% fatal. Having said all that, I feel like I'm getting treated for a unicorn bite. Bunch of nonsense."


Andrew Elstner receiving treatment for possible rabies


Sadly, Elstner passed away four days later. Ok, just kidding, the dude is fine. We're glad he survived. If nothing else, he'll have something to talk about if he ever appears on a talk show.



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