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A Tale Of Two Parakeets – Clarence Takes The Rap

Mark Twain photo portrait.

Parrot quote taken from my favorite book, Following The Equator. (Image via Wikipedia)

“She was not what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”  Mark Twain

Several roofs over my head ago, I lived in a little apartment. I was dating a woman  who was several roofs younger than she is today.

On a shopping expedition one day, the topic came up again about how I needed something to “liven up” my apartment. I tried being slick and said something like how she livened things up. It didn’t work. She still bought me the two parakeets like she intended to.

I don’t know what about the dead plants in my apartment made her think that I would succeed in keeping two things with nerves and heart beats alive. I think it was really a way to establish more of a presence for herself in my apartment. She already had a toothbrush there as well as a bunch of stuff in the medicine cabinet. Perhaps to some, a parakeet is the next step up on the relationship evolutionary ladder:

He is my boyfriend…My boyfriend sent me flowers…I have stuff in his apartment…I have two birds in his living room.

I imagine the next two steps on that particular evolutionary ladder to be “I moved in” and “I found the nicest bedspread, he didn’t even own one”.

What’s In A Name?

The birds needed names.

MD 20/20 - Bum Wine (aka Mad Dog)

Beverage of choice for the original Clarence. It made him mean. (Image by philosophygeek via Flickr)

I don’t remember what she named her bird. I named mine Clarence. Clarence’s namesake was an old wino I knew. The wino and I knew each other well, but we didn’t always see eye to eye. I thought it was funny to name the bird after him. She never thought it was as funny as I did.

Clarence and the other bird lived together for a while in my apartment. Do you know why birds are not a good gift for a person who works the over night shift? I didn’t know why when Clarence and his friend moved in. It didn’t take me long to learn. Birds sing, throw seed and raise a ruckus while the sun is up. If you know someone who works overnight, you should try to remember the lesson I learned. Depending how much you like that person, you might want to consider the gift of birds.

Tragedy Strikes

One afternoon I woke up and Clarence was standing over the other bird, what ever her name was.

a blue parakeet

Mug shot (Image by marissa elkind via Flickr)

She had thrown her last seed. I was as certain that Clarence hadn’t killed her as I was that I had no idea how to tell male and female birds apart. I mean, it isn’t like they wear clothes and I wasn’t going to look under anyone’s feathers. I thought Clarence would take the blame for other bird’s demise, so I did what any reasonable person would do. I disposed of the body.

I disposed of the body and I got another bird. I got caught.

Perhaps it was the six inch long, freshly dug grave in front of my apartment that gave it away. It is important to get rid of the body. It is critical to do that somewhere far from the scene of the crime. I think that is one of the reasons I could never be involved in crime. I pay attention to the wrong details.

Grave or no grave, she knew it was just another green bird as soon as she walked in. I think she had been looking under some feathers.

Clarence took the rap when she figured out my bird swap ruse. He took the rap again when he outlived the second bird. When that next bird died, I eventually got a third one to live with Clarence.

I’ll tell you about that bird soon.

(this is where the link to the next part of A Tale Of Two Parakeets will go)

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43 Comments on “A Tale Of Two Parakeets – Clarence Takes The Rap”

  1. I strongly suspect you were framed. I’m not sure whether it was Clarence or your beloved. I’ll wait to read part two before presenting my case.

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    You were lucky she didn’t have a fondness for snakes or gators. The way some people say, “Let’s be a couple” is kind of frightening. I’d prefer a nice potted plant – I dare her to figure out if that cactus is a replacement!

  3. shoutabyss says:

    When did MD 20/20 become so colorful? I am decidedly out of the loop.

    In all of my travels I have never had a pet bird. Once again you best me.

  4. Katybeth says:

    Birds hate me including the one I own now…. Solstice was left in a parking lot next to my car that was over 3 years ago and I wish I left her there…she has a very bad attitude.

    Why do you feel like you need two birds? Clarence seems to want to be an only bird….Would one bird be a reflect badly on your relationship? If so, I would think the fact that Clarence the wino bird keeps killing his partner would be a worse reflection….

    This post is very funny, given the idea I gave Cole yesterday (my in house artist) for your header; before I ever read this post.

    Chirp.

  5. Laura says:

    I’m shocked. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the first bird died of natural causes — but even so, you and the replacement bird are clearly guilty of identity theft.

  6. I can’t read about dead parakeets without laughing because I’m reminded of Dumb and Dumber.

    “petey died. his head fell off.”
    “Well, he was kind of old.”

    And then the little blind kid: “I thought he was kind of quiet.”

  7. Maxim says:

    Your ex-gf is a bird murderer. She should of known the inevtibale demise of that bird would come if placed in a place of such evil. The blame falls with her.

  8. linlah says:

    Being named after a wino always makes you live longer.

  9. Blogdramedy says:

    I think today you’re channeling Monty Python. Their parrot sketch was priceless. 🙂

  10. The Jagged Man says:

    Give birds to those you love and cats to those you ______ (fill in the blank).I now know why MD, aka Mad Dog 20/20, comes in assorted colors: Like birds,girlfriends and threats to our society we need a clear and visual means to define danger:
    Severe (red): severe risk
    High (orange): high risk
    Elevated (yellow): significant risk
    Guarded (blue): general risk
    Low (green): low risk
    Great read Oma and I am glad the roof over you and yours in still there! Write On !

  11. What did you do to Clarence? He apparently had it in for you.

    MD is bad. It multiples. In college, before a party we’d have 1 bottle. The next morning there would be several in the fridge.

  12. planetross says:

    My brother had a parakeet named Buddy and then got another one named Holly: he never figured out the Buddy Holly connection until I mentioned it. My brother was a bit dense.

    If a girlfriend of mine bought me a pet, she’d be an ex-girlfriend with pets: I could pet her from afar! hee hee!

  13. Todd Pack says:

    I had a friend in high school whose father taught his bird to land on your shoulder and whistle “Dixie” THIS LOUD. His father is the only person in the who liked having a bird. The bird “escaped” after a few weeks.

  14. madtante says:

    Clarence was a badass. He needed solitary confinement. I had a parakeet when I was little–he was a badass for his size, too. His name was Groucho 🙂

  15. Spectra says:

    The real question here should be, “MOTIVE?”

    Did Clarence stand to benefit in any way at all in the event of the other, nameless bird? Was there maybe a tiny, postage-stamp-sized insurance policy hidden at the bottom of his seed tray?

  16. Spectra says:

    …erp…I meant, in the event of the other birds demise.

    P.S. Thanks for shifting the color scheme here so I can read again! 🙂

  17. Luda says:

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of beaks, it was the age of feathers, it was the epoch of birdseed, it was the epoch of chirping, it was the season of Clarence, it was the season of other-unnamed-green-parakeet…”

  18. Any time I watch a pet I take a picture on the first day so I can increase my chances of finding a good replacement if it dies or disappears.

  19. Elly Lou says:

    Please tell me Clarence had a tiny little saxophone.

  20. dottiemaggie says:

    yeah. I once thought I wanted a parrot. Then I went from a shift work job to…. another shift work job… and I have decided that not only would I be crap at keeping the cage/space clean (let’s not discuss my kitchen. . . ), but I would murder the bird on my mornings off.
    My cats have learned to steer clear, and my dog is as much of a sleep-in lover as I am.

    I don’t know why people thing ‘small’ caged animals are ‘easier’ pets. they totally aren’t. Cats are the ideal low maintenance pet. (I’m still not sure how I feel about dog ownership. Though I keep thinking about getting a puppy. I think it’s because I’m about to turn 30 and my ovaries are getting desperate.)

    Anyway, my friend got a budgie, and it died in a week, so she replaced it, and I definitely couldn’t tell the difference. Guess I’m not a bird person.

  21. […] The thrilling end of the tale that started here. […]


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