The talking bird in the cage of the animal shelter said "Hey you there kid!"
And I was like "Who me?
And that bird was like "Yea, you! Come ere'. You look like a smart kid!"
I thought it was a joke so I laughed, especially at it's mafioso voice. It was my first day volunteering at the shelter and I hadn't expected to be looking after birds. So I called back to it "Hey bird! You've been watching too much Saprano's, eh? Someone trained you really good."
This upset it cause it molted some feathers and squawked "What, you ain't never seen no intelligent talkin' bird before, ya chump?"
And then I said a little taken aback "Um ... why are you being a cliched character if you're so intelligent, and, you're like, a bird ... And not even a parrot ... Why are you talking?"
I was so weirded out, but I decided to play along with it. I didn't know much about birds, but I did know some could be trained and are smart enough to have whole conversations. It was just, something was off about this bird ..., especially since it looked like a song bird and I never knew of any song birds that could talk.
The bird then told me in a really cranky voice "Look heres you! I may be a cliche with hows I'm talkin to yous, but by God, I'm a frikken' talkin' bird that ain't no parrot or parrot-likes! That's original right? RIght?! I talk and I'm smart, get over it"
So I say a little perturbed "yea, you're right, that's original and okay you're smart. Okay? Um so, what do you want from me?"
The bird eyes me and squawks "Polly wants a cracker!"
"What?" I say, a little takin' back. "I thought you weren't a parrot and you're suppose to be smart, remember? What, you're a pirate's parrot now? You got bird schizophrenia" I say that to push some buttons, or at least test if there were any buttons to push when it comes to birds.
"Polly want's a fuckin' cracker! They're in that drawer over there you nit wit! Why don't you come heres so you can understand better, chump" the bird said rather viciously.
I take a step back, offended, weirded out even more, and started thinking maybe they've finally, and by "they've" I mean the MAN and his henchmen, maybe they've finally spiked our drinking water with that LSD stuff. Maybe I was dropping acid and, well, forgot I dropped and now I'm in a dream talking to a talking song bird, and it's Saturday and tomorrow I go in for my first day of volunteering at the shelter.
So I told that cranky bird, believing this is all a bad trip and in my head "Look, you're so cliched it's hurting my head. First mafia, and now the classic parrot shtick. You don't have to be rude to me you freaky talking bird. If you want a cracker all you gotta do is ask and I'll get you one. Gosh!"
That bird starts chuckling in a voice that, if I was listening from another room, sounded like he was hacking up a hair ball. "Gosh?!?" It laughed or rather hacked. Oh my god! This kid is killin' me! "Gosh", who says "gosh"? Haha!"
That pissed me off. "You're making fun of me now oh Mr. Polly wants a fuckin' cracker!" I spit back at it, mad at myself for being mad at a stupid talking bird that incidentally was suppose to be intelligent, but it was stupid, and maybe I was stupid too, or high. That thought made me madder.
The bird composed itself, settle it's ruffled feathers and lowered its body closer to the stick on which it was perched "Hey kid, that's whys I told you to come here and by here I mean close. And whens yous gets here, you'll all of a sudden get smarter."
The bird said that so calmly and so authoritatively that I felt a little compelled, but also grumpy "Okay," I said, and edged closer to the bird cage, and it waved it's wing until I was close enough.
The bird then whispers to me "Yea, you smart shit look over there!" It directed it's wing to a cage on the right that I hadn't noticed Beneath the cage was a sign that said "Polly". "Yea" the bird said, "That's Polly and he hasn't eatin' all day. So, get him a fuckin' cracker you stupid human else he'll die and they'll liquidate you; and no, I don't means kill yous, I mean you won't be able to volunteer here anymore!"
I was pissed off, but the bird was right, so I didn't say anything. Besides, it's no fun being out smarted by a bird brain. I gave Polly its crackers. That other bird though, that smart little bird with the foul mouth, it eyed me the whole time. When I finished the job I turned to it and said "You could have said that from the get go!" I gave it the finger and promptly left the room. I could hear it squawking something foul back at me, but blah, I had enough of its antics.
I went home that evening and the next week when I returned to the shelter, the bird was gone, but Polly was there.
"How are you Polly?" I jokingly said, thinking that what went down last week was just the result of a bad trip or something I'd been "recreationally" indulging in.
"You stupid shit" it squawked unintelligently.
And, well, I don't work there anymore.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
A man sits in his living room on a big beat up blue lazy boy. He just arrived home from a day of work and his appearance confirms this - disheveled bushy brown hair, shirt half unbutton half pulled from out of his pants. He doesn't care though. He is content and happy with the world - on the tube his favorite piece of mental oblivion plays itself out in animated glory as the talking cartoon human caricatures act out scenes of comedic air and fluff; in his hand a cool beer sits dripping condensation onto his brown hands. In a lot of ways he is a stereotype of a male come home from work, but in others ways his youth allows him a defining characteristic different from other males that have come before him - he isn't married. His girlfriend lives in a separate home and he is happy with her. They'd been fighting, but the waters are becoming calm again. She had agreed to stay in the city and not go off to where ever. He needed her so much is ached in his heart. Was it love? Possibly, and he didn't want to lose it to that someone else she'd meet and have an affair with if she moved away. He just needed time to tell her how he felt.
This man's quiet contemplation is disturbed by a soft rap on the door. Was it her he thought? No, she didn't knock so soft and curtly. Whoever is at the door knocks again, a little more urgently this time, so he gets up, brushes the invisible crumbs off his lap, and makes his way to the portal of his small apartment.
"Hello sir", says the tiny women revealed behind the door with the thick black rimmed glasses and sharp face. "I represent your girlfriend", she purrs, narrowing her eyes.
The man eyes her, unsure about what's going on and if this is a joke or not. She thrusts out a card to him which he barely manages to catch in his hands. It read "Maddie Carleton, Break-up Attorney, Specializing in civil non-married or common-law breakups between what is commonly called girlfriends and boyfriends in this society." Stupefied he looks up from reading the card and stares at her mouth agape at a loss for what to say and how to interpret this. "Are you for real?" He manages to squeak out.
"As real as the end of your relationship, I assure you sir." She replies as curtly as she had knocked on the door. "Now," she says before he can get a word in "Your girlfriend has hired me to weed through the mundane of this very emotional situation. To put it bluntly sir," she puts her hands on her hips, her briefcase dangling from under her red painted manicured nails "your girlfriend wishes to end all emotional and physical engagements without the possibility of friendship." She slips inside his apartment, beelines to his kitchen, pulls out a chair at his dining room table, places her briefcase on her lap and opens it. She pulls out a small leather book and begins flipping through the pages. "Hmm ..."
"Hey!!" The man stomps after her, leaving his door open. "What do you think you're doing? Who are you?!? You've got to pulling my leg!"
"Aha!" She pips, and stops at a page. "Yes, these are the stipulations your girlfriend has issued you.
"Wait, wait, wait! I've never even heard of a breakup attorney before. This is a sick joke. Are you one of her friends? Why couldn't she just come here and break up with me herself."
"Sir," the woman calmly replies "you girlfriend is currently out of the city. I am allowed certain freedom by law to deal with emotional breakups that may or may not threaten the lives of one of the parties. Sir, you've been classified as a threat, and if you have any doubts, please visit your local law office or court. You will find out more information about people like me if you require our services in the future."
At the door three middle aged women entered. They were all dressed in gray pant suits and wearing heels. The man stared at them with an even more puzzled expression.
"They are highly trained licensed body guards sir. Please don't mess with me or they will promptly hurt you. Now, stipulations." She took one glistening red nail and placed it down on a written item in her book, pushed up her glasses and read. "You are free to sell all the items she has left with you. You may not contact her for she will not contact you. If she sees you she will not talk to you so please don't waste your time doing the same. Ahem, her relatives are free to contact you and you may continue your relationship with them ..."
The man slinks down to the floor on his knees as the attorney talks. Her voices drones out into background noise. He thinks of how content he was with the world and how easily that was lost. Woe, he mused, woe to love! How could she do this, leaving him so abruptly and hiring this attorney here to, to, to do her dirty work! What about the time they had together? Was she really that unhappy? The rage in the man's heart wells up and in a fury-filled moment he lunges at the attorney, hands around her small, frail little neck, tightening until he hears a small but satisfying pop.
The three body guards are on him, and despite their age, they are lithe and fast. They kick him down to the floor, one forces a knee between his shoulder blades, another has her arm around his neck, and the last pulls out a pair of hand cuffs. They cuff him and haul him to a corner where he peers, heavily breathing at the damage he inflicted to the now dead attorney who lay at a sick angle against the table, her leather book on the floor. The body guards stand around him, arms crossed, faces grim, not saying a word. In a feat of wonder, the attorney starts to move, her neck pops back into places. She sits up, fixes her hair, brushes herself off, picks up her book and resumes. The man is sure he'd lost his mind and sinks back against the wall letting her finish her work.
"Sir" she croaks, clears her throat and resumes her husky alto "Your girlfriend has left you her car as payment for this emotionally upsetting treatment. Those representing the law felt this was a good enough payment for your suffering to this sort of treatment." She places her hand on her throat and clears it again. The man stares at her wide-eyed. "I think that is all. Here is a copy of the stipulations, the keys and papers to her car plus a signed and dated document declaring its yours, and sir, here is a receipt that I visited you. Good day."
She rose unsteadily to her feet, cautiously took a few steps before straightening up and trailing out of his apartment with her three towering body guards following close behind her exuding power in a middle-aged female sort of way.
The cuffs on the man's hands fell off the second the women left his apartment. He jumped to his feet and ran to the door and looked out. They had vanished. When he turned around, the cuffs had vanished. He didn't bother to go and see if the documents the attorney left on his kitchen table were still there. Instead he went back to his couch, back to his tv, back to his beer, and tried his best to forget about the whole affair. That night, he succeeded. And when his girlfriend never called him again, he didn't even beat an eyelash.