Friday, 17 April 2015
Well the also-ran leaders debate was great fun but all I could think about, listening to the combined clucking and squawking of the three shrill harpies, as they stirred the cauldron and laid into hapless Ed and guffawing Nigel, was the tale of the cheap parrot:
A lady walked into a pet shop one day and began to examine the exotic birds. The sleek black mynah first caught her eye as he trilled for her attention by calling out his name repeatedly, but after a few repetitions she realised that his somewhat challenged repertoire might pale quite quickly in the home environment, so she passed on Monty, as had many before her and turned instead to the parakeets. But despite their pretty lines the only ones in the shop were of an ordinary type, with a dull green plumage and she was really looking for something different.
The surly African grey and green parrots, despite their substantial size, also failed to impress and so it was that she eventually found herself in front of a cage in which perched a magnificent, rainbow-hued macaw. Assuming the spectacular bird would be beyond her budget she sighed and turned to reappraise her options when the pet shop owner appeared. “Can I help you, madam?” he enquired, as such men are wont to do. “I hardly dare ask,” she said, “but how much is that beautiful macaw?” The proprietor took her to one side, out of earshot of the bird and said quietly, “I’m not sure that is the bird for you, but as you ask, he's going for £250.”
“But that is amazingly cheap!” she declared, “Indeed, yes,” he replied, “but unfortunately this particular specimen has quite a wide and embarrassing vocabulary.” He proceeded to explain that the bird had long been a resident of a local brothel which had recently been raided and closed down and in the course of his stay there had picked up some ripe turns of phrase. “Oh,” she said, “but we’re people of the world you know and I doubt we would be shocked. Besides, that would go down a hoot at our annual barbecue.” And without further ado and brooking no objections she purchased the parrot on the spot.
At home she removed the cover from the cage and the macaw blinked as he looked at this new surroundings. “Nice gaff!” he said, to her delight, “Fuck me, I’m loving what you’ve done to the décor!” She clapped and called out for her two teenage daughters to come and see the rude new bird. As they entered he wolf-whistled and shouted “New girls, eh? Wayhey, darlings! Gerr’em off!” The girls and their mother roared with delight and called out, between guffaws, for the father to share the fun.
Dad put down the paper and strolled in from the kitchen. "What's all the fuss?" he asked and then he saw the parrot. He froze, startled, as the bird stopped calling and fixed him with a piercing gaze. For a moment there was silence. He stared at the bird, the bird stared back. The pause continued for a moment then the macaw ruffled his feathers, sat upright on his perch and said “Alright, Keith?”