The Richmond Observer – COLUMN: Indiana Joe and the good parrot Fake Pas
For about a week now, I’ve been staring at this beautiful blue bird that loves to visit my neighbor’s lawn.
I assumed I liked it there because it was there every day, pretty much in the same place. I don’t know how to describe the shade of blue as it is so bright blue with a faint green trail that I imagined someone’s exotic pet bird had come loose and was on my neighbor’s lawn.
We get Jehovah’s Witnesses every now and then, every now and then we get a really pushy guy selling overpriced vacuum cleaners, and we once had a political candidate. A local from a few streets but a political candidate nonetheless.
We’ve lived here for a while and I’ve seen cardinals and jays, pigeons and wrens, but a parrot was big news. There was once a woman in Columbia, Maryland who saw a little monkey in a tree in her back yard, so she went out to meet the monkey and the monkey bit her pretty hard. That did the television news. I didn’t want to be the guy who went to his neighbor’s lawn just to get the Tippi Hedren treatment from a tropical bird that can’t find its way home.
Yesterday morning I woke my wife up so she could come outside and see this parrot that keeps sitting in the grass in front of my neighbour’s house. I didn’t bother telling the neighbor about the parrot because that would have made too much sense, and my wife and I hadn’t been in our neighbor’s yard in our pajamas, well, never.
I walked over our driveway, over the small lawn and gestured excitedly with my “I’m a grandpa, what’s your superpower?” Coffee cup that tries not to scare the parrot while sloshing hot coffee over my hand.
“Look,” I whispered, “it’s a parrot!”
“You think you are whispering, but you are just screaming softly,” said my wife.
I put a finger to my lips.
“Ssh”, I said, “you will scare the parrot.”
“Which parrot?” My wife said something between the “what” and the “parrot,” but this is a family newspaper so use your imagination. “It’s 6:30 in the morning and you got me out of bed looking for jungle animals.”
I pointed to the bright blue bird on the lawn.
“That’s not a parrot,” said my wife, giggling.
“Then what is it? A macaw? A toucan? No, it can’t be a toucan, they have multi-colored beaks and are larger. I’ve seen enough boxes of Froot Loops to know what a toucan looks like.”
“It’s not a bird at all, you big idiot. It’s a kid’s next house toy. “
It was then that I realized that this beautiful wayward bird that I had been worried about for a week was actually a plastic toy. Not only was it nothing remotely parrot-like, it was also a big blue M&M candy that rode on a motorcycle. I don’t know if it was plain or peanut, but judging by its shape, I’d be more inclined to peanut. My beautiful bird vision wasn’t a bird at all, it was something that would melt in my mouth and not on my hands.
“Would you like to take a picture for the Audubon Society, Mister Magoo?” said my wife.
“No, I don’t want to take a picture for the Audubon Society, you battle ax,” I said, “I want to go back inside and wash the coffee off my hand.”
“I’m sorry it wasn’t a parrot.”
My wife put her hand on my shoulder as we walked across the lawn.
“Me too,” I admitted, “I woke you up for an M&M on a motorcycle.”
“Let’s not say these words again. Let’s just forget that this happened. ”
For those who have been patient enough to read this far, it seems like I need to schedule an appointment with my ophthalmologist. A few months ago, when I wrote the column about breaking my glasses and getting new glasses, I did just that, but I skipped the exam and had the nice glasses lady put my lenses in new frames. My wife said she would call and make an appointment for me. Better yet, she said she would go with me in case my students get silly and I have to wear those temporary sunglasses that make me look like Ray Charles.
Best of all, my wife brings snacks for the waiting room. She promised to bring a bag of M & M’s so we can share.
Joe Weaver is from Baltimore and is a husband, father, pawnbroker, and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes about the brighter side of family life.