A Tale Of Two Parakeets – Clarence Takes The RapPosted: September 5, 2011
“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.
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.
One afternoon I woke up and Clarence was standing over the other bird, what ever her name was.
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)