“Are you talking to me?” Sherry called, from the kitchen.
“No. It’s Paddy McKaw, that damn parrot again.”
Three weeks ago, in a moment of stupidity, I bought a blue and gold macaw from a friend of Mario’s. Someone had taught that parrot to swear like I do when I hit my thumb with the hammer. Even worse, he commented on everything he saw.
“You look like you got drunk last night,” the parrot said. “But then, you always look that way.”
“That’s it,” I told him, as I threw a big towel over his cage. “That cover stays on until you learn some manners. One more smart crack out of you and I’m giving you to the zoo.”
The house immediately got quiet.
While we were having dinner Sherry said, “After we finish eating I want you to help me with my suitcase. I have it packed but I can’t quite get it closed.”
When we got up from the table we went into the bedroom to work on the suitcase. I struggled trying to close it and couldn’t do it. At least I had the satisfaction of not hearing the usual smart comments from the bird. He sat quietly in his cage.
“We can do this,” Sherry said, eying the suitcase. “Everyone in the world does it.”
I said, “I’ll get on top and push as hard as I can. Maybe that will take care of it.”
“It’s not working,” Sherry said, after a while. “You’re not using both hands.”
“Yes, I am. This is really hard.”
“O.K. Why don’t I get on top and bounce around a bit and see if that does it?”
“It’s not working,” I finally told her. “Why don’t we both try to get on top at the same time?”
The parrot’s head popped out of the cover.
“Zoo or no zoo,” he said. “I got to see this.”