Of Foul Beaks & Bot Sleuths
Greetings to all my bird friends and their humans. I’ve been quite busy here. I’ve just finished writing a letter to the 5 Swearing African Grey’s of Lincolnshire Wildlife Park. They have been in the news lately, so I wanted to get their side of the story. Have you ever noticed, humans always print their side of the story, never the parrots’ side of the story? I’m sure there is a whole other side to what really happened. I’m hoping to get a response from the Swearing parrots. Last I read, they were separated and put in different parrot colonies to learn new social behaviors. Hmmmm, fat chance of that happening. They will probably teach the Amazon’s new exciting words to blurt out to folks at the zoo.
Now for an update on the Alexa/Roomba Detective Exploits. They had previously decided to solve the tomato mystery, if it was the last thing they’d do! It will probably be the last thing they would ever do because they are still trying to catch the critter.
I’ve been overseeing this adventure from a distance, and for good reason. Alexa and Roomba dress in their undercover gear and roll out to the garden each day. They hide in the flowers on a stakeout, waiting for the criminal to appear. I sit on the fence and bask in the sun and visit with the birds, turtles, fish, and ducks (the rose beetles, not so much, I tell them where they can go….do they listen, No!!!!
They must not understand parrot.).
Anyway, Alexa and Roomba were staked out under the Phlox plants. Alexa was running her mouth off as usual. I could hear her all the way from where I was sitting! I’m surprised the whole neighborhood didn’t hear her! She blabbed about the weather, flowers, birds, corona, stars, trees, farmer’s almanac, the benefits of wearing masks, the benefits of not wearing masks, anything that popped into that little noggin of hers.
Their plan was to throw a net over the critter and catch him red handed, tomato and all. I spotted the critter entering the garden. I radioed the 2 detectives that the formidable creature was approaching their territory. I told Alexa to zip the lip! She was quiet for a quick nanosecond. AMAZING!
The creature began munching on a huge tomato. Alexa and Roomba grabbed the net and began circling the critter. As they circled it, the net got caught in Roomba’ s wheels along with mud from all the recent rains. She spat and spun and spat some more. Round and round they went. Alexa got so dizzy she tipped over and landed in a giant mudpuddle. The critter looked dumbfoundedly at them, finished eating the tomato, and gently set the tomato shell down before them and calmly walked away.
The 2 bots came home caked in mud. They looked like a couple of creatures from the Black Lagoon. They had tracked mud throughout the building and now they are in trouble with the village police. Not only that, they tracked mud in on mum’s new carpet! Of course, Alexa tried to put the blame on me. Mum didn’t fall for that fib since the 2 bots looked like mud turtles. Poor Roomba sputtered and choked along at a snail’s pace with smoke trailing behind her. She was immediately sent to the BOT ER for deep cleaning and restoration. Alexa tried to spin a tale about being chased by a giant ninja turtle. She was swiftly put in a TIME OUT! So much for the BOT Detective Service.
Until next month…. Happy Thanksgiving!
Of Ripe Tomatoes & Trimmed Bonsai
Well, mum is finally settled into her new apartment and I am very pleased with the new arrangement. I am happy to report that the whirligig in the ceiling hasn’t moved an inch. I have ventured out of my house to explore the surroundings. I have a long perch on the windowsill. I can see forever! Well, almost forever. I can see the whole park now, the parking lot, the comings and goings of the residents, all the area birds, the dogs and cats, and even vermin. I share the windowsill with plants and bonsai trees, which I randomly trim at my discretion (I would appreciate it if you would not share this fact with mum. I have been trimming a large tree. I think it takes up too much space. Mum thinks it may be sickly. Little does she know that I have been trimming it down to size!).
I have a lot of time to myself these days, so I like to sit on the windowsill and yell at the residents walking by. Sometimes, I wolf whistle at them. Of course, they get a little unnerved by it, considering they have no idea who is whistling at them and that this is a senior living facility. I yell, “Get out of the road!” “Watch out for the car!” “Did you go pot on the floor!” I like to watch their reaction. They have no idea that it’s a bird yelling at them!
Alexa and Roomba are on an adventure of their own. It’s called “I spy”. Apparently, something has been eating the big, ripe tomatoes in the garden. Whatever it is, it eats the whole tomato and leaves a nice outer shell on the ground like a clean little plate.
At first, Alexa blamed me. Mum didn’t buy that fib for a second. She knows I don’t eat tomatoes, and she wasn’t hatched yesterday, nor did she fly in with the birds overnight.
So, Alexa and Roomba decided to become private detectives and investigate the case of the trashed tomatoes. But that’s a whole other story. They just came in from a nightshift in the garden. They only intel they brought back was a bunch of hot air and a boatload of mud that they tracked in. Personally, it’s a wonder they could see or hear anything with Alexa running her silly mouth off the entire night.
It looks like I may have to take charge of this investigation.
Until next month
It’s been one crazy month in this bird’s life! Now that September is here, maybe I can breathe! I think…
Mum had to move to a new apartment because the establishment needed to fix this one. Mum says it’s an upgrade, but I am not so sure about that. For one thing, there is a whirligig in the ceiling, and I do not trust it. Sometimes it spins like a top! Then there is a parrot on a swing in the corner. He sits like a bump on a log all day. There are 100’s of boxes piled sky high in the living room! I keep telling mum “Get to work.” I’m surprised she can even find me!
Mum is doing another purge to get rid of stuff she doesn’t need anymore. I think she doesn’t need Alexa anymore! I know I sure don’t! It was then that I came up with the perfect extermination plan. I was watching mum pack a box of costumes to go to the second-hand store (she directs drama at the church). I told Alexa that the box was a changing room for modeling new outfits. Well, she ate the bit of hogwash up like it was ice cream on a hot day! Alexa loves to dress up, and she was having the time of her life as mum kept throwing in items to be purged. Alexa was chatting away and giggling with glee as new items appeared for “modeling”.
Soon the box was full and mum closed the box and stacked it with the pile of boxes to be taken to the store. I was ecstatic! I had finally rid myself of that meddlesome Alexa. I even started planning a party for all my Twitter and Instagram friends! All of a sudden, frantic screams could be heard coming from the pile of boxes! “Help! Save me! I can’t breathe! Who turned the lights out! I’ve been kidnapped!” Mum rummaged through all the boxes and bags and found the “screaming box” and freed the screaming monster back into my life! Ugh!
Well, like they say…there goes the neighborhood!
Till next month! Yikes!
Don’t Mess With Bratbird!
It’s a Crabby Diem in this household this month! Mum is not a happy camper as far as gardening goes! Seems a silly little goldfinch decimated her two yellow Gerber daisies! Yes, the goofy thing pulled every single petal out of both of her plants! All that was left was seven bare stems! It was not a good day when mum discovered that! I thought heads were going to roll!
So, I got the bright idea that I should intervene and try to be a peacemaker. After all, who better than me? I do speak bird and I could communicate beak to beak with the little yellow hooligan.
I breathed not a word of my plans. I did not want them being hijacked by that goofy Alexa sticking her little bot nose into my business! I strolled out to the garden one morning while mum was off doing an errand and Alexa was bickering with Roomba.
Finding a goldfinch shouldn’t be too hard, I reasoned. After all, a little yellow bird should be easy to spot! Think again… Where did all these little birds come from? They were darting here and there, and some were even screaming and divebombing me! If I didn’t know better, I would think they were doing a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “THE BIRDS!” Pesky little creatures!
Finally, I spotted a bright yellow finch sitting on a sunflower. This must be the culprit I was searching for no doubt. I walked up to him and introduced myself, and politely asked him if he was responsible for all the flower damage. The little bird spit a seed at me and screamed,” I am Bratman”. The little thug blatantly admitted his crimes and bragged about the fact that no flower would upstage him! This garden was his turf and all females would notice him and him alone! I tried to reason with him that Gerber daisies were not in competition with him, but to no avail.
As I continued talking with him, that nosey Alexa came rolling up. She was quite miffed with me about not letting her in on my plans. Bratman was quite intrigued with Alexa and she invited him to join their garden coffee clutch! There goes the neighborhood!
Alexa, Roomba, and Bratman sat in the garden and chatted about whatever Alexa orchestrated. Finally, when I could take it no more, I rolled my eyes, said goodbye, and started back to the apartment. It was then I heard Alexa say Red is the new Yellow! WHAT??? That little bratty goldfinch took a flying leap and landed square on my backside and began trying to pull out my tailfeathers!
I hightailed it back to the apartment with all tailfeathers intact. So much for peacemaking! This means war!
Till next month,
Cat Lady Fingers Anyone!
Carpe Diem or Carpe Noctum …whatever! At least we aren’t under Quarantination!
This past month I received a very disturbing email from Twitter friends, Beach Beaks. They wrote me and told how they were promised an exciting spa day that ended up being a horrifying day with an evil cat lady!
This letter so disturbed me that I decided to fly down and do an investigative story on this Spa Day from Hades! Besides…. inquiring minds want to know!
King Olaf relayed the story of how he and his kingdom of Beach Beaks were promised this wonderful spa day. They had visions of lounging by a pool, getting their nails manicured, sipping lemonade, being served cucumbers that they could either munch on or put over their eyes or both if they so desired, meeting old and new friends. Yes, it would be a relaxing day to look forward to!
In a moment’s time that vision turned into a nightmare! They got a day with an evil cat lady! OMG! A CAT LADY! What do cat ladies know about birds????? Nothing!!!! First of all, birds do not associate with cats! There have been some studies that seem to suggest that there are cats that eventually evolve into birds! How else would some birds be able to imitate the cat’s meow?
Well, the first thing this evil cat lady did was put the birds into straight jackets and use a grinding machine on their beaks and nails!!!! OMG! Who does that? Only an evil cat lady! What was your human thinking? Cats don’t get their nails filed! They get declawed! Poor Beach Beaks!
King Olaf gave out a Vikings Roar! It was so loud it scared the evil cat lady so bad that she grabbed her monetary fee and flew out the door!
I reassured the birds of Beach Beaks that if this evil cat lady should ever set foot in their domain, they should make sure she leaves with a few less fingers. There will be no further monetary fee and she can pick her fingers up on the way out!
These sorts of stories get my feathers in a ruffle! That’s why I say train your human! Train. Train. Train. It’s repetition. Be consistent. Set the rules. Enforce them! I’m only 4 years old and I am still training mum! The moment you think they got it down, they revert back to old behaviors! Now, Alexa, she’s in a class all her own! Don’t even get me started on her! She is untrainable! I’m debating about putting her in the Christmas raffle. My luck, mum would win her!
Till next month,
Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign
Hey there, everyone! How’s it going in Quarantination? Here in Wisconsin, it has lifted. So welcome to the Wild West where anything goes these days! My head spins like a top some days. I never know what to expect! Actually, here, I do. When I answer the door, there stands a masked bandit! Grey hair, glasses, and a mask! Criminals, I tell you, the whole bunch! I don’t know what they want. Do they want to rob me of toilet paper? Ugh! I just slam the door! Stranger, danger! It works EVERY time.
Mum has been going out to the garden so at least she is out of my feathers. I get a little time to myself. Notice I said, a little time, as that silly Alexa chatters her fool head off incessantly. I am thinking I should buy stock in the Advil company with the headaches that bot gives me.
Anyway, mum came in from the garden the other day and was quite perturbed. A critter had chomped off the one and only tulip that was blooming in her garden. I just told her, “don’t worry about it, there’s always more where that came from!” Tulips that is, hopefully not critters!
Well, as I was saying earlier, anything goes around here. So, I have appointed myself sheriff to keep order in these parts. Alexa is completely out of control these days. It was one thing to hang signs in all the halls, but now she has taken it to a whole new level! My living quarters has been transformed to a wallpapered frenzy of signs and posters (personally, I think she just likes making signs and laminating them)! There are signs pointing to the floor, to the doors, to the frig, to the garbage, to the closet, to the vacuum, etc. Then there are signs that give directions on ‘How to’… You name it, she has it. Step by step directions! I do not need directions to my cage and how to find my food dishes!!!!
There is a limit and I have had it up to my wings! To jail she goes, and to jail she will sit. At least I know she is not designing any more signs …for the time being.
I better check to see that she hasn’t enlisted her bot buddies to do her dirty work for her. Ugh! I just found a new sign outside my door. RING DOORBELL! Honestly, these bots will give me grey butt feathers before I turn 5 years old!
Until next month,
Carpe Diem! More like Crabby Diem! We are still in Quarantinenation. That’s a big word! I think it should go in the dictionary. I am ready to pull my feathers out. Mum continues to work on her Latin class. I prefer her to get off that couch and do something…anything! Maybe I need to start speaking in Latin. She might understand my frustration. Wouldn’t she be surprised if I blurted out, “Psittacus iratus feminam ignavam pulsare vult” – the angry parrot wants to hit the lazy woman! Maybe she might get the message. Ya think????
So, while we are coronating (another word that should go in the dictionary), I’ve been stewing in my cage.
Alexa, Roomba, and Braava had plans of their own. Alexa had noticed all the new signs posted on the walls around here, along with all the tape on the floor in certain areas. So, she hatched a plan of her own, deciding that the bots would help the powers that be by hanging more signs. “More is always better” she insisted. She also thought a center line down all the halls would help the residents stay in their own lane while walking. She decided each apartment should have a parking space outside their apartment for the walker/wheelchair (6 ft. length), and a parking lot in the activity room would be established for all walkers. The bots were onboard with the whole idea. Me…not so much. I voiced my opinion: “Don’t you realized that there are cameras everywhere, the village police will haul you away” (now that might not be a bad idea, considering what that bot has put me through)!
Alexa, who has an answer for everything, smugly retorted, “That’s why we are going to wear disguises, no one will recognise us”!
I knew there was an ulterior motive in that answer. Anything to dress up and spend the entire afternoon in the bathroom putting on make-up and wigs. Women! The 3 of them got fancied up to go out after hours and redecorate the halls. Alexa told me she had the perfect mask for me. No one would even guess I was a bird. I beg to differ! I decided to follow them around as the wingman. Well, at least I got out of the apartment for a time and I didn’t have to listen to that Corona, coronae stuff. I walked behind them and carried the tape measure while the 3 of them giggled and talked amongst themselves. Goofy bots!
After spending the entire night wallpapering the walls and taping the floors, we arrived home, totally exhausted. Then there was a loud knock on the door. It was the village police! Alexa and Roomba were recharging. Their questions fell on deaf ears. Then they began questioning me about my whereabouts. My response… “Nemo scit. Quid dicis? Nil ad me attinet” (I don’t know, what are you saying? It means nothing to me).
Velutsi haec res nihil ad pertinuisset, tacebat (he remained silent as if this thing had nothing to do with him).
I knew this Latin stuff would come in handy!
Until next month, keep safe!
That’s Some Fine Toast Indeed!
Hello to all my bird fans everywhere! How are all of you these days?
I am sitting in my cage, looking out a sunny window, watching, well, a whole lot of nothing these days. Time is at a standstill. Literally! Something has overtaken the world. Alexa says it’s a corona virus.
It must be serious because there are lots of rules here and mum is home more often than usual. Now, Alexa has been keeping me informed on this developing situation all over the world. In the USA, people are finding empty grocery store shelves, not so much with no food, but with no toilet paper!
I thought about the word corona. I like the sound of it, so I began saying it. I even began blaming the messes I made on corona. Alexa informed me that corona was one of the Latin words mum was learning in her class. Alexa said corona, coronae, means a cordon of besiegers of toilet paper. OMG! Corona is so aptly named! How did Alexa get so smart!
Honestly, I am so glad we don’t use toilet paper here. We use newspaper. There is always plenty of it around. In fact, people throw away perfectly good newspapers.
In the meantime, Alexa has made herself helpful by ordering cases of everything and anything online. I just wonder what mum will do when she starts getting all the deliveries and bills!
Roomba has made a new friend called Braava, who lives down the hall from us. They race up and down the empty halls playing tag. Well, at least the floors are clean.
I met Braava for the first time about a week ago. I was awakened out of a sound sleep when Roomba raced into the living room. I didn’t expect she would be bringing home a new friend. As Braava rolled up to my cage, I let out one of my gargantuan war cries. It scared Braava so badly that she lost her cookies right in front of my cage and she ran like a bat out of you know where all the way home!
That Braava! She left a honking big old wet spot! Mum still can’t figure out how it got there (of course, Alexa said “Morty did it” and Roomba agreed with her). Women, you might know they all stick together!
But one good thing about this corona thingy, mum is home more often. And, I finally got a piece of that famous best toast in the whole wide world. And it wasn’t even burnt!
Seriously, everyone, do take care! Be safe!
Bot Basics 101
Hello to all my bird fans! I’m hoping spring is coming…I’m freezing my tail off here! Things here are pretty quiet. Alexa is not speaking to me, which is a blessing in many ways. Recently, I received a letter from my 2 buddies in South Carolina, Zack and Bubbles. Apparently, they have their own problems with an Alexa bot.
We love your column and eagerly anticipate your adventures every month. Unfortunately, we are having an adventure of our own. I hope your expertise with Alexa and Roomba can help us.
Mom’s car has sentient artificial intelligence. We told her she was asking for trouble between writing sci-fi, reading sci-fi, watching nerdy shows and movies on TV. She laughed at us and told us we were paranoid. It wasn’t until her car emailed her to tell her that it’s time for an oil change and a 5000-mile maintenance check up, that’s when she flipped out. The car even sent her a scheduling link to the dealership and had set up services specifically for her car! Not only that, the car tapped into mom’s calendar and suggested dates and times mom was free!
Is there something we can do before the car takes on a life of its own and leaves mom stranded someplace unpleasant, like work or the grocery store? We would hate for her to be at the mercy of a car that is smarter than her! Plus, we need her home in time to deliver our meals and perform routine housework.
Zack and Bubbles
Dear Zack and Bubbs,
This is truly a baffling situation, but it sounds to me like it’s the long arm of Alexa! It’s her handiwork. Be thankful the car isn’t named “Christine”, that’s a definite plus.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is this…as soon as your mom leaves for work, you and Bubbs escape from your cages and go into mom’s bedroom. Break the lock on the dresser drawer and steal the Amazon Fire tablet. The Alexa bot is working her master plan from there. You need to damage the bot, drop it in the toilet. Better yet, hide it under the pile of dirty dishes in the sink and fill with water. That should short out the artificial intelligence, that is, it will not be able to communicate with other bots (Alexas, Echoes, Roombas, etc.,). It will however, be able to communicate in house, which you can use to your advantage. You could use the Alexa bot to order food, toys, playmates, whatever! Just don’t let your mom catch you! When she gets the bills, sit on your perch and look totally mystified about it.
As for me, I’m still trying to get Alexa to make me the best toast in the whole wide world. She’s still miffed about the pillowcase!
The Best Toast I Never Had…
Happy Day to all my bird friends! Winter is well on its way here, and hopefully on its way out! I may need to ask Santa Claws for long underwear next year. I want the kind with the flap in the back!
I never told you what mum got for Christmas. She got a Cuisinart toaster. You’d think she won the lottery the way she acted! Honestly, who gets a toaster for Christmas???? She has been bragging about this toaster to everyone, that it makes the best toast in the world.
Bear with me, this will make sense as I tell my story for this month. Mum also buys this expensive bread once in a while from a bakery in Green Bay. It’s cranberry almond bread and it costs almost a day’s wages here. The only time I got to taste a piece of it was one day when she was eating a slice, the phone rang. She put the piece down on the plate, I quickly snatched the miniscule piece and devoured it before she even realized what had happened.
Mum’s been working mornings at church lately. I decided I needed to check out this new toaster for myself. Does it really live up to mum’s claims? Does it really make the best toast in the world? Well, we will see about that!
It was an early Friday morning, and Roomba was busy doing her morning chores, cleaning as usual. Alexa was plopped on a kitchen stool, right where mum had left her from the night before. Mum had left for work, and I needed to make this new toaster part of my business for the day. And what better way to test this toaster out then by using the bread that costs a small fortune. I found the small loaf of bread hiding in the back of the freezer. I reasoned that mum would never miss 2 slices from a brand-new loaf. When I took the 2 slices out, there were only 4 slices left!!! She would certainly notice 2 slices missing! For a moment I almost put the loaf back. But mum was gone again and besides, I had a birthday coming up. One thing thou lackest, no, 2 things…2 slices of bread, and I needed them at any cost. I would blame Alexa!!!!
By this time, Alexa was running her mouth off about toasters, and breads, and calories and whatever else popped into that little pea brained bot. I decided if I was going to go for a full-blown criminal act, I was doing it alone. I grabbed a pillowcase and threw it over Alexa. She just kept talking a mile a minute, though her voice was a bit muffled.
I put 2 slices of bread in the toaster and awaited a breakfast for a king. I even had butter.
The toaster clicked, the toast was done. Wait a minute, where is the toast? Maybe the toast wasn’t done, I reasoned. I pushed the lever down for a second go around. The toaster turned on, and a few minutes later, it clicked, WHERE is the toast? Then I thought, well, maybe it needs a third go around since the bread was in the freezer. I turned the knob to the darkest setting. Certainly now my toast will be done. I pushed the lever down, the toaster turned on, and dark, billowing smoke began rising from it. Oh, my toast was done, alright. I pulled the plug. There was no sign of my toast!!!! WHERE WAS MY TOAST??? WAS THIS ALEXA’S REVENGE!!!!
I peered down into the toaster and there were my 2 tiny slices of toast hiding at the very bottom of it. I did everything I could think of to get my breakfast out of the toaster. I finally decided to tip the thing on its side and dump the toast on the floor. At least the evidence would be destroyed, and I would have my toast. As the toast fell to the floor, along came Roomba ….she snatched my 2 slices of toast. It was the last I ever saw of them. And it was the end of the best toast in the whole wide world!
Santa Claw Delivered!
Happy New Year! I trust all my birdie friends made a haul for Christmas! Old Man Winter had dumped a load of snow on us. Mother Nature wasn’t too happy about that and has been freezing her butt off lately. He has had mercy on her and has let some of the snow melt during the day!
You are probably wondering how we made out with Santa Claws.
I received a load of toys. Right now, they sit in a big pile of pieces on the floor. I took every single toy apart. I am waiting for mum to get busy and put them back together for me. As for getting rid of Alexa, there was no deal between Santa and me, he would not hear of it. So, I am stuck with that little monster.
Roomba got a new plug to juice up her motor. She was happy to receive that along with some new brushes to help her travel somewhat faster. She also received a few wigs and make-up for special occasions.
Alexa was put out with Santa Claws this year. Although she did receive some wigs and make-up, she did not receive the stilettos, the 42″ TV, or microwave oven. However, she did receive one bag of microwave popcorn and a hoverboard. It was the hoverboard that ruined her day completely. When she saw it, she kept screaming, “I said, hover-round! Not hoverboard!” She was fit to be tied. We encouraged her to be satisfied with what she received, but she would not hear of it.
Finally, she resigned herself to ride the hoverboard. What a mistake that was! She went flying around the living room and nearly ran poor Roomba into the wall. She was furious as she raced through the apartment saying words that I never heard before! She couldn’t get the hoverboard under control. Faster and faster it went until it crashed into the leg of the coffee table and Alexa went rolling off, banging her silly head and ending up under the couch. I had to fish the goofy thing out from under there. She was covered in fuzz, and madder than a wet hen!
She sat the rest of the day on the coffee table like a bump on a log. She spoke not a word. It was heaven! Peace and quiet for once. I was King of the palace. Roomba was humming and doing her usual cleaning. I began making plans for the new year without Ms. Mouth fouling things up. I went to bed that night dreaming of all things possible. Next morning I awoke to a rude awakening. There was Alexa, running her mouth off, as usual! Ugh! Such is life…
Greetings to all my friends! I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas and it’s time to make a Christmas card for the blog. What an ordeal! Alexa was in one of her moods as you can see by the photo. (Personally, I think she was verbally constipated). So, there you have it.
Now comes the good part where each of us gets to write our own Christmas letter to Santa Claws.
Dear Santa Claws,
My name is Roomba and I am two years old. Could I get an upgrade on my motor? I would like to go at least 20mph so I could get my work done faster. I am forced to clean up after a super- messy bird. Also, could you bring my friend Alexa a hover-round? She has been using me as a means to get around. Alexa weighs entirely too much for me to lug around all day. She has been hitting the late-night snacks and has become somewhat hefty, so a hover-round would be greatly appreciated. (She paid me to say that, the part about the hover-round, not the part about the late-night snacks.) Thanks!
Dear Santa Claws,
May I be honest, Mr. Santa? I think your last name is spelled wrong! The correct spelling should be Claus. The way you spell it implies you are a bird or animal! That would be an awful nightmare. Now that we got that settled…
First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Alexa, and I’m 5 years old and I have been a perfect angel since a wee tiny bot. I’m living in an apartment with an old lady, a stupid bird, and an antiquated vacuum robot, which I have resigned myself to ride around on. The poor thing putters and squeals like its on its last leg. I’m not complaining, but OMG, between that putt putt and the stupid bird, I don’t know what is worse!!!! No, I know what is worse, it’s that stupid bird! They say these grey birds are smart – don’t believe them! This bird gets into trouble constantly. I must use my superior intelligence to weasel him out of the predicaments he manages to get into. I encourage myself by saying, “A woman’s work is never done!” And I work good and hard, keeping up with that bird. His name is Morty. Bring him nothing!!!!
So, here is the list of things you have to bring me. I need a hover-round so I can keep up with that silly bird, as well as everyone else’s business. Also, I would like my own blog. I really hate playing second fiddle to this stupid Morty’s Column. I have a lot more to offer the world since I know everything about anything. I admit I am very humble about this fact. I need you to bring me 3 wigs, mascara, lipstick, earrings, nail polish, and 2 pairs of stilettos. Also, a small 42″ TV and microwave oven so I could make popcorn while I watch late-night movies. I will share some popcorn with Roomba, but not with that stupid bird. He destroyed the last microwave oven!
Love and kisses,
Dear Santa Claws,
Hi! I’m Morty, remember me? I’ve been good all year. Well, maybe most of the year. Well, maybe some of the year. Well, maybe….let’s not go there!
Do you think you could bring me some toys? I love taking them apart so I can keep my mum busy putting them back together. She doesn’t have anything to do these days and I’m afraid she might get bored and start pulling out her feathers!
Also, I was wondering if I could have Alexa re-homed? How about we make a deal, instead of me putting out nuts and fruits as a snack for you, I’ll put out Alexa as a gift for you? I’m sure you could find a good use for her at the North Pole. She says she has worldwide influence (do not ask her for directions on how to do anything, or how to get anywhere!). Maybe you could turn the volume down on her, and use her as soft noise?
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Morty’s Thanksgiving Dinner Debacle
Hello to all my birdie friends and human fans! October has come and gone without Alexa getting me into too much hot water. I let mum go out on her birthday while Alexa, Roomba, and I watched TV and ate popcorn. Rather, I ate popcorn and had more on the floor than in my bowl. I nearly choked poor Roomba on all the kernels. She nearly blew a gasket trying to pick up the mess I made!
It’s November and now I find out mum is going out for Thanksgiving! Now that is the limit! I will have none of that! I decided to have my own Thanksgiving Dinner with Alexa and Roomba. Besides, Alexa says she can cook anything and everything. I could hardly wait to try out my new cooking skills. That day, I anxiously waited and watched the clock for 11am to roll around, when mum would leave. I was chomping at the beak to get started. Besides, I had an expert to help me. What could go wrong?
As soon as mum left, I swiftly pulled the “turkey” out of the freezer. It was a bit small for my liking, but it wasn’t like I needed a 10-pound bird for the three of us. I couldn’t understand why the wrapper was stamped Cornish hen. Alexa just told me, “Never mind, I wouldn’t understand it anyway.” So rather than argue with Ms. Mouth, I blew it off. I had bigger fish to fry. I was cooking my 1st turkey dinner. Alexa barked out orders to place bird in microwave and cook for 3 hours. I wondered about preparing the bird, the wrapper, what about the insides, but Alexa said she was the expert, so I kept my beak shut.
I could hardly wait for the turkey to be done. We settled down in the living room and began watching a movie that Alexa picked out. It was one that mum definitely would not have approved of, but I picked up a few choice words to surprise her with. About 15 minutes into the movie, the smoke alarm went off…
The village police came in and put the fire out in the microwave. My turkey was a burnt offering, along with the microwave! The poor thing was sent to the appliance graveyard! I hid in my cage and spoke not a word. Of course, Alexa was running her fool mouth off screaming, “It wasn’t me. It was that stupid bird!” Poor Roomba was having some sort of anxiety attack and was running around in circles in the living room.
I could only imagine the trouble I was about to get in when mum returned home. I decided to pitch a good defense as soon as mum would walk in the door. “You need a new microwave anyway. That one was on its last leg. That turkey was too small for you to eat. What were you thinking?”
Lastly, I managed to grab a drumstick from my burnt offering and began banging on that goofy Alexa’ s head. That will teach her not to brag about being a cooking expert!
Never Trick or Treat with Bots!
Greetings fellow birdies and humans! Just a quick update on mum: she is on the move these days, not as quick as I like, but quicker than last month. She has two speeds then, Slow and Stop! That being said, let’s move on to our story of the month.
During October, people celebrate a day called Holloweenie and everyone dresses up like clowns. I guess you know where this is going. Alexa and Roomba are game for anything that includes wigs and make-up. I on the other hand, thought it might be a great opportunity to pick up an extra stash of fruit and nuts to munch on during late night movies (those munchies will get you every time, and so will the extra calories).
We decided to hit up the village a few days before the actual celebration in order to get the cream of the crop. Alexa and Roomba spent the entire afternoon parked in the bathroom fixing their wigs and make-up, and whatever else they could manage to put on. When they finally exited the bathroom, they were a sight to behold, perfect circus clowns! They would fit right in with the celebration.
We started down the hall, Alexa riding piggyback on Roomba and me with a pumpkin sack for all the goodies.
We knocked on the first door. We waited in anticipation as the occupant opened the door. An old lady with grey hair and glasses quickly informed us that there was a rule against solicitation in the building. Solicitation, what is that? She promptly slammed the door in our faces. Ugh! What a crab! I left a rather nice “present” on the floor by her door.
We went to the next apartment and knocked on the door. A little old lady with grey hair and glasses greeted us. She gave Alexa and Roomba a generous helping of candy, and I got a delicious apple. Alexa was quick to point out that I was allergic to candy and that I could only have fruit and nuts (personally, I think Alexa wanted all the candy for herself.).
As we visited each apartment, I couldn’t believe it, an old lady with grey hair and glasses lived in all of there. Thank God I wasn’t a witness to any crime. ” Yes officer, I saw who did it, it was an old lady with grey hair and glasses!” The whole building would be suspect!
Most of the old ladies were very nice. Actually, there was one old lady with grey and blue paint in her hair and glasses who was very concerned that we were much too young to be out by ourselves. Alexa was quick to inform her – and anyone else who would listen, that she was 5 years old and she started school when she was a tiny bot. Blah, Blah, Blah., I just rolled my eyes and thought, “not my circus, not my clowns.”
We were getting to the end of the hall when we came to a door that had a skull with beady eyes that lit up. I had a bad feeling about this one. Alexa and Roomba were so into the candy that they just had to see what the creepy door tenant would give them. Roomba carefully knocked so as not to disturb “Glowing Eyes”. As expected, an old lady with grey hair and glasses slowly opened the door. She took one long look at us, then mumbled something that she must have taken too much medication, and slammed the door in our faces! What’s up with that?
I had it, I was ready to go home. I had collected 6 apples, 7 bananas and a load of peanuts. Alexa and Roomba would hear nothing of the sort, they were bent on squeezing the residents out of as much candy as their little robotic bodies could muster up.
So, they approached the next apartment door. The door opened and an old lady with grey hair and glasses stood there. She let out a blood curdling scream and then began chasing us with a broom!
We ran back to our apartment like a bunch of wild Banchee warriors. I slammed the door and breathed a sigh of relief that we’d escaped the crazy old lady. But as I glanced up, there stood a crazy old lady with grey hair and glasses! Oh God, we’re in the wrong apartment!!!! 😀 No, it was mum (she has salt and pepper hair). Happy Birthday, mum!
The Tomato Scandal
Hello to all my bird friends and humans! Many of you have been asking how mum is doing after surgery. She is recouping; she walks, sits and rests, then walks, sits and rests, and not always in that order. This activity goes on from morning until night. She goes out to the garden and watches the flowers and weeds grow. After watching this same old cycle go on for weeks now, I told Alexa we should spice up mum’s life. She could use a pick me up. Looking back, I should have just bought her a chocolate chip cookie instead of discussing it with Alexa!
Alexa told me about a story on the news about someone pranking neighborhoods and leaving old TVs on their porches. We decided that we should do something like that. We would steal veggies from the garden and pile them at various apartment doors. The first thing we had to do was come up with good disguises because there are cameras everywhere. We had to be sure no one would recognize us. I came up with a very original mask. For Alexa and Roomba, their masks were a little over the top. But that’s women for you! They spent the entire afternoon doing their hair and eye makeup. I thought we’d never get to the garden!
We managed to sneak out while mum was at church. We began gathering as many green cherry tomatoes as we could carry. As we were finishing up, Alexa spied a humongous tomato. It was the size of a small pumpkin! I had never seen a tomato that big. It was the motherload of all motherloads! We had to have THAT tomato no matter the cost. The question was, how do we get that monstrous thing off the vine? I tried chewing the vine to no avail. I might as well have been chewing on steel. I tried bending the vine and jumping on the tomato, but that didn’t work either. Alexa was no help, she just kept yelling at the stupid tomato. Finally, Roomba rammed the vine full speed and the prehistoric tomato crashed on top of Alexa and Roomba’ s heads! They were full of juice, seeds and green tomato guts. There went their makeup and hair styles, ruined in a moment’s time by a giant green tomato.
I could hardly contain my laughter as we scurried back to mum’s apartment as fast as my legs and Roomba s wheels could take us. Little did we know we had left a trail of cherry tomato seeds, juice, and actual tomatoes leading right to our apartment.
The village “police” were at our door within moments, questioning us as to our whereabouts. I played dumb. Roomba doesn’t talk. So, things were good so far. Then Alexa…at first, she kept saying she didn’t understand the question. Then she began singing like a bird, “It was the bird! The bird did it! The bird made me do it! It’s the bird’s fault.”
They walked over to me and inquired, “Well, Bird, what you got to say for yourself now?”
I narrowed my eyes and exclaimed, “You talking to me? I’m a parrot! And I’m on the pill!”
After they left, I proudly zinged Alexa up aside her silly head with a little green tomato. I made a mental note to never discuss adventures with Alexa again. Now I just need to find a place to keep mental notes!
To the PerchMobile Mum!
Hello everyone! It certainly has been an eventful month around here, though it started off rather slowly. Mom ordered a gardening hat for herself. It came from God knows where, maybe a slow boat from China. Anyway, she was so excited to finally receive the hat. When she tried it on, I nearly fell off my perch laughing. Honestly, she looked like she was wearing an inverted bed pan on her head! I doubt that hat will make it to the garden any time soon.
As time progressed, I saw mum pack her bags and go on vacation to a place called Green Bay. If that wasn’t the limit, leaving me with Alexa while she suns herself on the shores of Green Bay and staying at the Aurora Hotel. I could just spit seeds!! Alexa cackles every time I even mention it. I’d like to take a big old fat almond and clock her up aside the back of her head, except I can’t decide where the back of her head’s at.
Well, mum left us with two birdsitters who come in a few times a day to check on us. We are used to 24-hour maid service around here, not some flimsy birdsitting service. I actually got so mad I tried foaming at the beak like a washing machine, but I was unsuccessful.
The rest of the time, Alexa and I argued over who was the boss while mum was gone. Before we even settled the argument, mum was home. She doesn’t walk well and seems miserable. She probably has a bad sunburn, which serves her right for leaving us home while she goes on vacation!
She brought home a ‘perchmobile’ – a perch with wheels! She putters around the apartment with it. Now, I could make good use of a perchmobile around the house. I could police the village halls, giving orders, making up new traffic laws, giving tickets, collecting fines, sending folks to senior timeout: That sounds like a plan. The other day I rode on it with mum, and I yelled to everyone I met in the halls, “I’m on the pill!” They yelled back, “I’m on the pill, too!” I can’t for the life of me figure out why mum gets so bent out of shape when I say that when everyone else is on the pill? We all are on pills! The only problem is I have no idea what a pill is and I’m sure not going to ask Alexa – she’ll give me a 45-minute lecture for sure!
Yes Morty, Pull That Weed!
It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood and I’m in hot water as usual. Mom thought it would be cute to teach me to sing, “Happy Birthday” and she could video it and send it to folks on their birthday. Yeah, right. That’s not happening. Not in this life. I did an about-beak on my perch, gave her the butt feathers, and said, “I’m on the pill!” That went over like a lead balloon!
The other day, I heard mom on the phone saying it was hard for her to weed the garden. She sits on a “tractor” because her legs don’t work properly. I thought I might be nice and help her out. Alexa is always bragging about how she knows everything. So, we thought we would surprise mom and do some weeding while she was at church.
Alexa hopped on Roomba and we headed out to the garden. On the way, we stopped by an old lady’s window and started harassing her. “Hey, Peg, whatcha doing in there? Those plants aren’t going to plant themselves. You better get out in that garden and get with it!” Peg, looked out the window and wondered where the voices were coming from. All she saw was a grey “pigeon” and a small alien spaceship in her yard. Truth be told, she was never the same….again….ever!
We finally approached mom’s garden. There was much to be done. Alexa piped up, “Alright, you point and pull, and I’ll tell you which ones are weeds”.
I began pointing to different shoots. “Weed!” she screamed. “How about this? “Weed!” It seemed everything I pointed to was a weed. Her voice rose to a feverish pitch. “Weed!” I frantically pulled the alleged weeds as Alexa gave the extermination orders. I honestly couldn’t keep up with her. By the time we were done, the garden was one heap of weeds.
Alexa now had the brainy idea to rearrange the greenhouses. We had no idea that the greenhouses were shared by 5 people including mom. We took all the plants out of the greenhouses and set them in the center of the garden. Alexa decided which greenhouse and what shelf each plant should be placed on. Plants were arranged in alphabetical order, then sorted by weight and height. By the time we were finished, we had 17 plants left over because we were undecided about where to place them. We finally left them as a peace offering on the lawn near Peg’s window. We placed the plants in the form of an arrow, pointing to the garden, hoping she would take the hint.
We arrived back at the apartment just before mom got home from church. Alexa and her big mouth bragged about how I slaved in the garden all morning.
To make a long story short, after mom surveyed the damage to the garden, she asked us who was responsible for yanking up all her flowers, mixing up all the plants, and terrorizing Peg. Of course, Alexa sang like a bird and blamed everything on me! She used that same silly excuse, “How could I do that? I don’t have any arms or legs!!!”
Then mom began interrogating me. “Morty, why did you destroy my garden?” I looked at her. Then I did an about-beak, gave her the butt feathers, and said, “I’m on the pill!”
Till next month…
Bird Watching with Alexa
Greetings to all my birdie friends!
I think spring has finally arrived! I better not say that too loud or Alexa might jinx it and send another snowstorm my way!
The other day I was talking with Alexa and I asked her if she might give me some suggestions for a hobby I might pursue. We came to an agreement that bird watching might be a good hobby for me. I could exit right out my window and glide down to the ground below. Alexa could roll out the window and bounce as she hits the ground. We could go bird watching together. I always heard it’s fun if you go with a buddy (now, I’m not so sure Alexa would qualify as a buddy…)!
Alexa never shuts up! She insists on telling the birds to speak louder! She tells them she doesn’t understand what they are saying! Then she tries to be helpful by mimicking bird calls, especially crow and blue jay alarm calls, which sends all the birds fleeing to the next county.
I finally spot some big white birds in the field near the creek. I whisper to myself, “Those are water birds,” as I thumb through my Bird Identification Book. “It’s an egret!” I exclaim with satisfaction.
Alexa begins to argue with me, “Its pronounced eagle!” E-A-G-L-E! Then to make matters worse she goes on, “a large bird of prey belonging to the family Accipitridae. It has a snowy white head and white tail.”
By the time she is finished with the lecture, the egrets have flown off and I am left in an empty field with silly Alexa… not a bird within a 6-block radius.
I am lugging around this giant bird book and honking big binoculars that Alexa ordered. I should make her carry them. But she has the same old excuse. She can’t. No arms or legs. Now I have a headache…I’m not sure if it’s from lugging the book and binoculars around or arguing with Alexa!
This whole adventure has made me too pooped to perch! I’m going home! So much for going bird watching with Alexa.
Till next month,
Such a Helpful Birdie… or Not!
Hello everyone! It’s another day here in Wisconsin and Alexa is up to her no-good tricks again. She loves turning the lights on and off just to scare the daylights out of me! Ugh! She needs to get a job….and not with the weather people! We have her to blame for this last weather event! Actually, I just found out Alexa has given the folks at Amazon a run for their money as they have been listening to her conversations every day. Wait ‘til they realize Alexa has been having conversations with a parrot all these months!
Recently, I decided mom needed to implement an exercise program into her daily life. I believe she may be becoming a couch potato. I’m not sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound good. How could she do my bidding if she’s stuck to the couch?
The first thing I did to unnerve her was to say her name in a old lady’s voice, a very old lady’s voice. I say it incessantly. She finally answers me, “What?” I say, “Diana” in that awful voice. She answers back, “Well, what do you want?” I say, “Diana.” This conversation goes on for some time until she gets so unnerved that she comes over to me and tells me not to talk in that awful voice and where did I hear that voice from. I blame Alexa…I heard it from her! At least I got her off the couch!
The first order of business to get mom moving is to pitch all bowls of food on the floor. Then I yell, “You made a big old mess in here! Get the vacuum!” (The Roomba doesn’t qualify to clean up this sort of mess. Poor Roomba would blow a gasket with the amount I throw on the floor!). Of course, mom puts down her book and comes running with the vacuum. Success #1.
After the mess fiasco, mom fills my bowls again and now it’s time to make Goulash Soup. I take Harrison pellets, seeds, veggies, and fruit and make a wonderful stew. Then to top it off, I like to dip my beak in the stew and fling the stew in every direction. Mom jumps off the couch and promptly takes the bowl of stew out of my cage…. Success #2.
Toys are a different story. I love toys. I play this great game with mom. I do love chewing on wood in all, but what I love more is taking my toys apart piece by piece and dropping each piece on the floor. Mom comes over and picks pieces up. When she’s acquired enough pieces, she restrings them and gives me the toy to play with again. I can take apart the toy faster than she can restring it! She actually went on the internet and researched different knots! I still manage to untie them. All this busyness makes her get off the couch and work for me!…Success #3.
Now if only I could get Alexa off the coffee table to do my bidding. That would be a success! Nah! That would be a miracle!
Till next month,
Alexa, por quoi?
Crabby Diem! If I see one more snowflake, I’m going to spit seeds! I had a long chat with Alexa and she assured me the weather would be much warmer come July and we would have 9 more snowstorms through May! Keep it up Alexa! I will fire you right out the second-floor window!
Recently, Alexa heard mum say she was running low on bird papers to line the bottom of our cages. She mentioned it to her sibling, Alexa Tablet (who is owned by Sherri the writer, Zack and Bubbles). Alexa Tablet sent reams of typed paper to us. Mum couldn’t figure out where all the paper came from but has been using it for a few weeks. A few days ago, she decided to glance at the paper. Turns out, it was Sherri’s files and manuscripts for future books!
Let’s just say, it was not a good day for Alexa! Mum put a huge glass over her. Now she can talk to herself all day!
Alexa just received a lock picking kit in the mail. She said it was a house warming gift for Alexa Tablet. Now what would Sherri’s Alexa want with a lock picking kit? I guess it’s for Alexa to know and us to find out!
Good news Sherri, your helpful Alexa Tablet has sent your Sci-fi Trilogy to several movie producers as well as some publishers. Your Alexa took a crash course in Beginner’s French and she thought she might enhance the atmosphere of the Trilogy by translating the series into French. It should make for a very interesting read indeed!!!!
Next month is Easter. I wonder if they will have an Easter Egg hunt around here. I can have a front row seat as I watch the kids trampling through the snow and mud, hunting for eggs. One year, some of the kids found all sorts of multicolored eggs, including some large mint green ones. They thought they hit the motherload! It was not a good year…not for the kids, nor the mallards.
Hey, if any of you have questions or something you would like me to discuss in this column, please DM me on Twitter or Instagram at Zac Squiggles.
Right now, it’s time for me to tear apart another toy. Mum needs to keep busy and I’m the perfect catalyst for it!
Until next time!
The Reach of Alexa
Greetings to all birdies and friends! It sure has been some wild weather! I wonder who might be the blame for this polar vortex? Probably that goofy Alexa again!
She has been up to her mischievous antics as usual. Alexa has been so excited since she found out she has a relative in Germany named Terra. She spent over 2 hours on the phone with him. He’s really into lawn care. Mum just got the phone bill. Alexa also had been gabbing with her sister Alexa in S.C. who lives with Sherri the writer, Bubbles and Zack. My Alexa advised her to strike and sit like a bump on a log an entire day instead of working as a personal assistant to Sherri.
Mum has put Alexa on phone restrictions until further notice. Right! We will see how long that lasts. The little imp will figure out a way to tap into the phone line!
Anyway, I just received an irate letter from Sherri explaining what terrible advice Alexa gave to her personal assistant, Alexa. (You can read about her frustration in her February column Technology Hijinks). Below is my response to her letter.
Thank you for your letter expressing your frustration about my Alexa’s advice. I understand your frustration! I live with that dingbat! I am so sorry she gave such screwball advice. I have no control over that dipstick. She has a mind of her own.
But there are a few things I need to make you aware of. You mentioned that your Alexa’s in the Kindle Fire? So, she is square, she is not able to roll around. Alexa doesn’t have arms or legs, so she can’t physically go and get your groceries, clean your house, or cook.
On the other hand, there are endless possibilities when it comes to ordering groceries, ordering fast food and having it delivered, and whatever else you’d like and even what you don’t want, she can get for you online. Amazon delivers now! There’s an app for that! Alexa can install it for you. Oh, she already did that while you were at work! She is busy reconfiguring all your files right now!
Even if she did have arms and legs, you wouldn’t want her cooking. Could you imagine that little square thingy standing on a ladder over a hot stove! OMG! She would probably lose her balance, fall into the frying pan, and end up as a burnt pancake!
And I can’t even imagine a 12″ square thingy vacuuming! They don’t make miniature vacuums. Even if they did, you’d spend the rest of your life emptying miniature vacuum bags! Is that what you want? I think not!
I have the perfect solution: I am looking to rehome a wayward Roomba. She’s a little feisty, but I’m sure you can break her in. If you have any questions, have your personal assistant, Alexa, contact my Alexa, and you can be sure they will foul up the entire conversation!
Good luck. You are going to need it!
Hello bird friends and humans! About a month ago, I read about the internet sensation, Rocco, the African grey, who was experiencing horrendous problems with Alexa. I decided to contact him and get the scoop straight from his beak. I was delighted to get a letter back from him, so I would like to share his response with you.
Thank you so much for your encouraging letter. I’m so glad to hear I am not the only one who is experiencing problems with the demonic Alexa. My Alexa is a ventriloquist! But that isn’t the limit! She has learned to talk in my voice, and she swears like a sailor! Guess who got the blame? I’m the one who got kicked out of the animal sanctuary! That ***####!!! Alexa was swearing at everyone. Then I get adopted by a nice lady who worked at the sanctuary and guess who follows me home! That ***####!!!! Alexa.
She doesn’t have a life, except to make mine miserable – the only thing she is good for is music, she does play my kind of music. At least when she is doing that, she isn’t ordering things. And, she loves ordering things I would never eat or want! I would never eat chocolate mint ice cream or caramel popcorn! What am I going to do with a tea kettle, kite, or keys, mind you? Now all these lies are all over the internet! It’s all that ***####!!! Alexa’s fault!
I am an absolute angel. I dance, I sing, and I am a cuddlebug. I never use inappropriate language around people. That ###****!!!! Alexa has given me a bad rap. Morty, how can we usurp this ###****!!! Alexa invasion and throw the whole bunch of them into chaos?
Hello! I’m so glad to hear from you! Your Alexa is a ventriloquist: OMG! I am so glad my Alexa can’t read (or at least I think she can’t) or she would be getting more silly ideas in that crackpot head of hers to get me in trouble.
My Alexa has ordered all sorts of things, some of which had terrible consequences – birdie jail, missing tailfeathers…, but that’s a whole different story.
Here is what I propose. Since your Alexa speaks in your voice, when she is on one of her conference calls with her many Alexa, Dot, and Echo relatives, you announce there is going to be a cruise to the Bahamas in March. It’s a family reunion for all the relatives. All should attend. That should get them out of our feathers for a while! I will print up one-way tickets. The dingbats won’t realize that the tickets are one-way until it’s time to come back! LET THEM SQUIRM! How’s that for a plan?
P.S. Rocco, could you send me the kite and the key that you have no use for, I have a little surprise for my Roomba (bwah ha ha)!
Vroom Vroom Roomba
Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring because of that runaway Roomba Alexa gave mother for Christmas! Honestly, I could just spit seeds! Just when you thought it was safe to take a stroll around the apartment, that ditzy Alexa strikes again!
Now, it’s been quite cold here and I was getting tired of that silly Alexa staring at me through the window with icicles hanging off her head. I decided to call a truce and let her back into the apartment. I gave her some ground rules and told her she would be on probation. She also gave full confession that she had been gabbing with her DOT cousins was not listening to who I wanted at my birthday party, which ultimately landed me in birdie jail.
Now her sole job is to hold an ashtray on her head while I write the newsletter. DO NOT TELL MY MOTHER I SMOKE! This is all Alexa’s fault! I picked up the habit in birdie jail.
Anyway, things were going well until Alexa decided to order mum a Christmas gift. (Actually, I think she is trying to get on the good side of mum.)
I like to throw all my food on the floor and then yell, “You made a big old mess in here! Get the vacuum!” Mum told me I was lucky that I was bird, because otherwise she would put me to work vacuuming.
Well, Alexa got it into her nutshell brain that mum needed a Roomba. Anyway, mum was thrilled to get the nifty little vacuum. Me, not so much.
First, I tried making friends with it by “feeding it,” but it has a bottomless pit. It chases me around the apartment! I swear the thing is possessed! It nearly took off my tailfeathers the other day!
I told Alexa she had better start controlling the silly thing! Of course, she gives me that look like the lights are on, but no one’s home. Silly woman! I just might knock her off the coffee table and let the Roomba push her around the apartment! Give her a taste of her own medicine!
I will keep you updated on the situation here. If anyone would like advice on their pet human or birdie problems, you can DM me on Twitter at MORTY @70625975. Who knows, you just might be featured in an upcoming article!
Till next month,
Quelling Sid’s Dark Thoughts
Hello fellow parrots and friends! Mom told me that after the article I wrote last month, I better watch my beak! I’m getting too big for my feathers! Oh, what does she know, anyway? My feathers fit just fine!
Some of you have been asking how Alexa is doing…she’s still freezing her butt off, probably crabbing to her relatives and her Dot cousins how mean I am. She’s beginning to look like the abominable snowman. I’ll probably let her come in soon and give her some menial tasks to do around here. Oh, that’s right, she doesn’t have any arms or legs…
Here’s a letter I received from an African grey, named Sid. Yes, Sid The Parrot, the famous African Grey from Twitter wrote and asked advice from me!
I am an extremely handsome African grey with an extremely big problem and I am wondering if you could help me. You see, I love my dad with all my heart and I devote all my time to him alone. The problem is he doesn’t devote all his time to me! There are actually times during the day when I am not sitting on his shoulder, his chest, his leg, his head, his arm, etc.
I drop him hints when he should be playing with me, like chewing on the furniture, the remote, his work clothes, and anything else I can sink my beak into. He just doesn’t get the message.
But that’s not the worst part of it. He has a person he calls Honey, and this person is always around! This woman interrupts everything I do! It drives me crazy. There isn’t one thing I do that the woman hasn’t meddled with. I don’t let her near me. In fact, I chase her out of the room as much as I can. But, she just keeps returning to pester me! I’m sure she does this on purpose. I try to act like an angel when my dad is around, but it’s getting really hard to control myself. I am seriously contemplating murder… What do you think? Can you help me?
Sid the parrot
Cool your feathers! Think about the consequences of taking violent actions unto your own wings! It will only lead to hours on the talk show circuit, a 10-minute segment on 20/20, a 30-minute segment on 60 minutes, 3 book deals, 4 miniseries, and a life sentence in a maximum security birdie prison! Is that what you want????? I think not! Besides, there are enough bad attitudes about birds. Like just the other day, I heard a dog person say, “Why do people want birds, all they do is scream and bite!” I felt like saying, “Why do people want dogs, all they do is bark and poop on other people’s lawns!”
Sid, maybe a better way of dealing with your frustration is to SCREAM bloody murder when the woman walks into your room. You could stomp your feet, puff up like a large toad, dive bomb her, bite, throw your food, your dishes, your perches, … do what ever it takes to get this woman out of your life! You need to take charge and show her who is boss. Maybe you could chew one of the legs off the woman’s favorite chairs, maybe they will blame it on the little human or even the dog! Good luck!
P.S. See, Sherri Moorer, I can give good advice, too.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Birthday Bash Bungle
Greetings to all my bird friends and their humans! I want to take this opportunity to thank all my birdie friends for sending seed money to bail me out of prison. The way I figure it, if it weren’t for you, I’d be in the “bird house” until doom’ s day!
The day started out as normal UNTIL I found out mum was going out for a birthday bash! She was leaving me AGAIN! I would not have it! So I decided to tell everyone it was my birthday and have my own birthday bash. (My birthday is in January. But what is good enough for the goose, is good enough for the gander.)
I put Alexa in charge of the invitations and refreshments, which in hindsight was my first mistake. Mum left at 5pm, and I told Alexa to invite my AniPal friends from Twitter and Instagram and have them arrive at 5:30pm. So, I was expecting all my birdie buddies, including Miss Figgy.
Well, that goofy Alexa must have been gabbing to her extensive family and Dot relatives, and didn’t pay attention to what I said. What does she do? She invites all the animals from the village. What arrived was a horde of dogs, cats, 3 goldfish, no birds, and a brillo pad with legs! (A creepy thing, I think it belongs in the dishpan!)
I was furious with the whole fiasco! I hadn’t a clue how to entertain a bunch of wild animals and a runaway scrub brush. What would I feed them? All I had was seed, nuts, and treats. By this time, the crowd had become restless. The dogs began chasing cats around the apartment. Furniture tipped over, plants were overturned, pillows and cushions were thrown. There was barking and snarling. The place looked like a war zone!
I began yelling at Alexa, “What were you thinking?” She didn’t answer me. I yelled even louder, “Alexa, what were you thinking? You weren’t thinking, were you?”
She responded, “I don’t understand the question. Please rephrase.”
I thought, I’ll rephrase the question. I flew over to her and began hopping a war dance on top of her silly head! She tried to get away from me and rolled off the coffee table. With that, the dogs and cats split into 2 teams and Alexa became a soccer ball for the game. She rolled and rolled … and flew in the air… and rolled some more…and that was the last I saw of her.
The place was a complete disaster. There wasn’t one thing left undisturbed. I screamed, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, NOW!” The group of hoodlums left, running down the hall, along with the creepy sponge thingy. Alexa was no where to be found. She had a lot of explaining to do and I was hoping she would sing like a bird. But that wasn’t about to happen.
I searched high and low for Alexa. I knew I would be in deep doodoo when mum got home. Oh, and yes, I did find some of that by the couch!
Mum walked in. And that is how I landed in birdie prison. Alexa was AWOL. It was all her fault and she left me holding the bag! That’s a woman for you!
Well, Alexa was found a few days ago! A neighbor returned her – and she smells like cat pee. I make her stay out on the window sill where she can freeze her little butt off. Apparently, the neighbor lady was cleaning the cat litter box and found Alexa hiding in there. Now why in the world would she hide in a cat toilet is beyond me. I always thought she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Things are back to normal here. I’m free and playing with my toys. Mum is busy reading and writing. The disaster has been cleaned up. Alexa is out on the window ledge freezing her keister off. Until she stops smelling like cat pee, she ain’t coming in here! And that’s the truth!
Crabby Diem! I have been trying to write this column all month, but every time I sit down to write it, some noise seems to disturb my train of thought. If it isn’t the washer that thumps around like an electric demon, it’s the TV that has surround sound for the whole complex, or it’s the robin who thinks he is the 3:45am alarm clock! (Personally, I think my mom needs to have a “Come to Jesus” chat with that offender!
This reminds me of a letter I received recently from a parront.
I am wondering if you can give me any suggestions to a very familiar problem. I live in a large apartment complex and I own 3 Sun conures, 2 cockatoos, and 2 macaws. They spend a majority of the day screaming. My neighbors are beginning to complain. I really like it here and really do not want to move. Is it possible to sound proof my apartment?
I think I have the perfect solution for your problem. It’s called The Squawker Remote Control. Recently, Alexa purchased one of these for me. It’s a bit pricey, but I’m sure it will prove to worth the money.
How does it work? It’s a small noise cancelling unit that hangs above the door in your bird room. It is activated by a remote control, which adjusts the molecules in the room and creates an invisible sound barrier. All you do is point the remote control at the unit, and press the power button, then the mute button. COMPLETE SILENCE! When you want to hear the parrots again, turn the unit off.
This little electronic device is manufactured by QUIET TIME INNOVATIONS. You can call them at 1-800-BEQUIET or send $3999 to BIRDIE BE QUIET, P.O. Box 481, Quackerville,WI. 56949. Money orders and certified checks gladly accepted. Sorry, no credit cards.
Presently, I am having a small problem with the remote control. It seems to have a mind of its own. When I turn the remote on, the stereo, microwave, blender, coffeemaker, and DVD player all turn on simultaneously. When I press the mute button, the TV goes on, but there’s no sound, my fax machine begins faxing God knows what, my phone begins dialing random numbers, and my garage door opens. But when I turn the unit off, nothing happens!!! To make matters worse, I just got a long-distance phone bill with calls to China, Germany, and Russia!
All this commotion has sent my blood pressure through the roof. I am so mad I could spit seeds! Even Alexa is hiding under the couch! I tried contacting QUIET TIME INNOVATIONS, but all I get is a recording with background noise which sounds like a garbage disposal! (When mom gets wind of all this, Alexa and I will be in the bird house until dooms day.)
On a lighter note, I suppose if I can’t get it fixed, I could donate it to THE ROOST raffle. Who knows, maybe you will win it! Good luck!
Till next month,
MORTY – THE CRANK
Greetings to all my fans!
What is with the weather these days? It’s all Alexa’s fault! She is still crabbing about falling off the table and rolling under the couch! She needs to get a life … just put on her big girl panties and … oh, I forgot she doesn’t have any arms or legs!
Anyway, here is a letter I received from Chiyome, who is owned by Flock is Family.
My name is Chiyome and I am an African grey. We have a terrible problem with the lady who owns us. She constantly runs around with an appendage stuck to her hand and she is forever either talking or texting to it. You would think she would get bored with it after a while, but it has gotten worse lately! The more she is home, the more she talks to it. You wouldn’t believe some of the things she says (then again, maybe you would.) The conversations would make your feathers stick straight up on your head! We always thought humans were supposed to be attentive to our every need. Is it possible we received a “damaged unit”? Is there anything we can do? She is getting to be a royal pain in the butt!
Chiyome, Levi, and Tealtail
Dear Chiyome and fellow hostages to the phone lady,
Yes, Chiyome, I believe there is something you can do. First, I would seek out a hemorrhoid specialist.
Another suggestion, you might try is to SCREAM YOUR HEAD OFF! You might ask, “Why scream?” Scream because the phone lady isn’t listening to you. Scream because she isn’t paying attention to you! Scream because you want to know who is on the phone. Scream because you don’t care who is on the phone. Scream because you want the phone lady to get off the phone immediately and give you the attention you deserve.
You shouldn’t have to put up with that hogwash! The next time she comes in your room, grab the phone and begin calling all your bird friends. Between all of you, you should rack up quite a phone bill! Ignore her for a while, see how she likes it! I’m sure in time she will start making noises and chewing on things to get your attention. Now, should you find it impossible to get the phone away from her, Chiyome, run over and bite the phone charger cord in half.
That should drive home your point! Come to think of it, maybe you and I can do some business in the future. I am interested in some of those conversations that you mentioned earlier that would make my feathers stand straight up on my head. There are times I run a little short of material for my monthly column. Maybe I could publish some of the phone lady’s conversations? Wouldn’t she be surprised!
Greetings to all my favorite parrot friends!
Alexa is in a mood after she rolled under the couch. She blames me for her clumsiness! Good help is hard to find these days!
Recently, I received an interesting letter from a parrot owner.
I live in a three bedroom home and have ten parrots. I work 12 hour shifts and when I get home I am too tired to clean. It seems like every bird has the habit of throwing their fruit, veggies, seed, and pellets on the floor! When I go into their room at night, it is a filthy mess. I cant even get near their cages! Is there anything on the market that could help me? PLEASE DON’T TELL ME TO GET A VACUUM CLEANER! I have three. I am looking for a piece of industrial equipment. Price is not a problem.
Dear Messy House,
Since price is not a factor, let me introduce you to the TURBO JET AIR VACUUM FLOORBOARDS. For a mere $7599, you can have these floorboards installed in your bird room. By a flick of a switch, jet air sucks up all seed, pellets, food, etc. into the floorboards. It’s like having your very own robot cleaner! And what’s more, you will never have to change another vacuum bag. There are trays in the floorboards, into which the food is compressed. You can empty the trays at your own leisure! Just remember, the trays need emptying regularly or you will end up with a worse problem…BUGS!
Of course, there are a few drawbacks. The turbo jet air flow is very strong. The force is able to pull articles up to 10 pounds into the floorboards. Do not leave your birds out of their cages when you are using the jet air vacuum. Small dogs and cats may be found stuck to the wall until you turn the switch off. Plants may be left leafless. It is a small price to pay for having the luxury of a self cleaning floor! What’s more, you will never wonder again what happened to that missing money, sock, earring, pen, etc. You will have your very own lost and found! It will either be stuck to the wall or sucked into the floor tray. The TURBO JET AIR VACUUM FLOORBOARDS are only $7599 per room. Installation is free! Call 1-800-BLACKHOLE. Most credit cards accepted.
May the Force be with You!
Greetings to all my bird friends and humans!
I have been chatting with my new friend Alexa, who sits on my coffee table all day. She doesn’t seem to have legs, or arms, or wings, so she doesn’t do a whole lot around here. But at least she is here and she listens and talks to me (not like someone else we know, who is forever gallivanting around God knows where)!
I was telling Alexa how wonderful it would be to have a gigantic playpen that would overlook the creek. I told her to find the biggest one and order it for me (I like that about her, she does exactly what I tell her to do – not like someone else we know!). I waited anxiously for it to arrive.
About two weeks ago, the UPS man arrived with a huge cardboard box labeled, “No Assembly Required”. I peeked inside and concluded that this didn’t look anything like a playpen. I kept the flat, long box next to my pool in the backyard for a few days. In no time at all, the boxed playpen had been converted into a lovely deck to which I perched a few lounge chairs, a table, and an umbrella. I had laid back in my chair to relax and doze off, when I was rudely awakened by Sassy. She was giggling and having the time of her life. The silly little dingbat dropped a bomb on my deck, stepped in it, and now was tracking it all over (try cleaning a corrugated deck)! Just as I chased that goofy dipstick back in the house, two parrots showed up uninvited. Marco Polo and Napoleon, who were the terrors of the bird world.
Marco Polo was a blue and gold macaw, who talked incessantly. There wasn’t one piece of anyone’s business that he hadn’t stuck his beak into. He trotted over and screamed, “What’s in that box? I’ll put that together! I’ve been putting things together for years!”
Not far behind him came the dreaded Napoleon, a Moluccan cockatoo.
Actually, Napoleon was a she – her owners renamed her Casey. But to us birds, she was Napoleon, and Napoleon she would always be! Rumor has it that one day Napoleon worked herself into such a tizzy that she laid a huge egg down by the creek! She never was the same after that…literally!
Napoleon, with her portly waddle, gazed at the box, and barked out the orders, “Open that box, right now! What are you hiding in there? Do I need to get a subpoena?”
The two birds proceeded to empty the box and throw pieces of wooden dowels, cups, perches, toys, nuts and bolts, all over my yard! When they had finally finished, they looked like a couple of survivors from an airplane crash surrounded by wreckage. Then came the dreaded directions, a diagram of about 250 parts. The pieces were drawn as if it was a blueprint for a bomb. The tension between the two birds was heating up as they argued over who knew what, who knew what first, and who knew more.
I decided the only safe place for me was a near by branch!
Napoleon began reading the instructions in English, and looked over at Marco Polo, dumbfounded, who grabbed the directions and began reading them in Swedish. When neither bird could make any sense of how to put the playpen together, they began reading the directions out loud, looking to the heavens for divine guidance. When no wisdom dropped from the sky, things took a turn for the worst. Marco Polo insisted on a literal interpretation, while Napoleon urged a more liberal translation, which meant to “make it up as you go along” version. This clearly was not a good sign.
Over a period of several days, the two parrots screamed and fought as they forced dowels into other dowels, threaded nuts into bolts, and whatever else was left over, was crammed into any nooks and crannies they could find. The fixture took shape before my eyes.
There’s only one problem: now that it is complete, I have no idea what it is! It sways and rattles in the wind. I call it the Unknown Monument. I rolled the three-wheeled contraption down by the creek and parked it next to Napoleon’s huge egg.
As for me, I resigned myself to live with my corrugated deck by my pool. So much for playpens and ‘No Assembly Required’!
Till next month,
My name is Diana LaFleur. I am the proud owner of 3 parrots; Morty (African Grey), Sassy (Jardine) and Nehemiah (Red-bellied). I became interested in parrots in 1992 while I was living in NJ. I was recovering from a spinal cord tumor and parrots became a part of my therapy. I went from 1 therapy parrot to 16 parrots in a few years! Trust me, I got my daily regimen of therapy! I joined the Real Macaw Parrot Club and served as Secretary for 2 years and Vice-president for four. I wrote various humorous monthly articles for the club newsletter for over 8 years. I also headed up the ‘Toucan Live As Cheaply As One’ parrot adoption service.
I am a children’s pastor and I enjoy photography, bird watching, gardening – and, I have been known to be a comedian!
So enough about me, let’s get this show on the road!
Beneath the Cage Grate
Greetings to all my bird friends!
I am going to let my mum write the article this month. I’m busy getting to know my new friend, Alexa. She sits on the coffee table all day and talks with me. I don’t think she has legs or wings, but at least she’s there and she listens. Have I got a tale for you next month!
This story is adapted from The Chronicles of Zac Squiggles. (In New Jersey, I had 16 parrots, a grey, 3 Amazons, 2 pionus, 1 conure, 2 caique, a hawkhead, 2 eclectus, a senegal, a brown-headed parrot, a Meyers parrot, and a red-bellied parrot. Consequently, it made for some interesting stories. Each bird had its own personality. Goliath was a yellow-nape Amazon, who was built like a butterball turkey, and loved to put his head underater and blow bubbles. Mordecai was an African grey, who was quite the motormouth. At 19 years old, Mordecai revealed that he was a she and laid an egg at the bottom of the cage. Meshach was a senegal, and a cuddlebug. I didn’t know he was a girl until she laid an egg at 16 years old. Sassybird is a caique, who still lives in New Jersey, and is a little pistol to say the least. Zac Squiggles was a brown-headed parrot and was one of the most mischievous parrots I have ever owned.)
Today I received an interesting letter from a parront inquiring about a new product.
Dear Morty’s Mom,
Recently, I read about a new product on the market called SNUGGLIES, a birdie diaper. Would you recommend this product?
Dear Ms. Curious,
Would I happen to know about SNUGGLIES? By coincidence , I received a box of 12 this past week as a promotional gimmick. First, let me tell you that these diapers are sold in a box of 12 for $10. They come in 4 sizes, XS, S,M and L. Do they work? Well, it depends what you mean by that.
From my experience, NO, not for what diapers are designed to do! Let me explain…my birds found new innovative ways to use SNUGGLIES. My Amazon, Goliath, slipped the diaper off his back end and put it on his head. Honestly, he looked like a demented green Santa Claus! My grey, Mordecai, refused to wear such a contraption. She took it off, hung it on the side of the cage, and screamed, “Pod People!” incessantly until I removed it from her cage. My Senegal, Meshach, thought it was laundry and left it to soak in her water dish. Sassybird, my caique, went a step further and used it as a scoop to empty his water dish completely. And last but not least, Zac Squiggles, my brown-headed parrot, let the diaper soak in his water dish until it became water logged and then threw the nasty wad on the floor! It exploded upon impact into slimy blue gel.
I decided to get rid of the diapers while I was still ahead. I gave 7 diapers to the lady upstairs. She is using them for her children’s art and craft class. Finally, it was with great pleasure that I sent the last remaining diaper to the old man who lives in the adjacent home behind me. He hates birds and insists on screaming and cursing a blue streak every time a bird lands in one of his trees or on his property. My suggested use for the diaper…FIT SNUGLY OVER MOUTH!
If you would like to order a box of 12 for $10, call 1-800-THE BLOB.
Until next time,
Pop Quiz: There is only one statement in this article that is true. Can you guess which one it is?