Swans Commentary » swans.com November 5, 2007  





by Peter Byrne





(Swans - November 5, 2007)  

She:  I don't like it. The house doesn't feel the same.

He:  You've got to adapt to change, be flexible.

She:  He just sits there clinging and doesn't say a word.

He:  That will take time, like it says in the small print of the guarantee.

She:  He just stares.

He:  That's his way of interacting.

She:  I don't like the way he eats. It's as if he's stealing the food.

He:  You haven't tried hard enough to make him feel at home.

She:  He snatches a goddamn seed as if we might grab it back from him.

He:  Normal insecurity.

She:  I wouldn't call his one-eyed glare a friendly glance.

He:  That's not his fault. Nature shaped his head that way. You get one eye at a time. If you want a full frontal with white teeth, you bring home a chipmunk.

She:  The pooch doesn't take him seriously. The seed-popping trick hardly rates a growl.

He:  Your dog's got two eyes but can't see beyond his bowl.

She:  At least my dog gulps his food down like a critter halfway up the evolutionary ladder.

He:  All the pooch can do is eat. Don't expect any words out of him.

She:  You don't appreciate reserve. But, you know, I can't believe the gift of the gab is hidden in that botched skull of your nervous friend.

He:  Where have you been? Everyone knows these things talk. Throw the word parrot at anyone and you'll get back the word talk.

She:  And if you say, parrot to a parrot?

He:  Don't worry. You'll get a comment, in time.

She:  You're telling me it's like with a baby? He starts from scratch?

He:  A baby? Don't you know anything? These birds are ageless. They live forever.

She:  Take him back to the store then. He ought to have come with some senile mumbling.

He:  Don't be silly. They explained it all to me. He'll clam up like that until he catches on to our way of life.

She:  Our what?

He:  Speech rhythms, pet expressions, pregnant silences, occasional mild expletives, that sort of thing.

She:  Egad! Zut alors! I hope he won't take over the channel changer.

He:  For the media, we'll have to work out a schedule.

She:  He has his favorites?

He:  It's like bringing up a kid. You don't expose him to dumb or off-color stuff.

She:  Let's ban talk-radio for a start.

He:  I'll buy that. We don't want him fighting the abortion wars or with Jesus Saves for his first words.

She:  No Swift boating, only solid old Republican values: zero taxes and guns galore but only this side of the border, ready to fire in the glorious fifty.

He:  Right. Keep the shoot-outs in the family or at your local school.

She:  Am I wrong or are we aiming to turn out a respectable little gentleman?

He:  That's it. I'm nixing the news anchors. We don't want a know-all around the house.

She:  Ditto for any Charley Charisma grandstanding. It wouldn't go with our curtains.

He:  As for rap, I'd rather cut out whatever parrots use for a tongue.

She:  I'd say no to those smart-aleck weathermen as well. Have you noticed how they smile through hurricanes?

He:  We'll keep him away from the soaps too.

She:  Smart move. What does a parrot want with all that dating and divorcing know-how?

He:  I'm thinking more along the lines of a civic education.

She:  PBS? He hasn't the nerves for it. He'll be throwing his seeds at the screen and demanding a rerun of The Audubon Story.

He:  Let's go right to the top and tune him in to the White House.

She:  What are you saying! He'd pick up the undertaker's drawl of the veep and scare the life out of me while I'm doing the housework.

He:  The top banana gives press conferences when unavoidable.

She:  Look, if you want to produce an inarticulate parrot it's easier to insert earplugs and close him in a dark cage.

He:  All right then, we'll restrict his listening to the candidates for the presidential primaries.

She:  Okay, but count out the female. I don't want to live with a cuckolded parrot.

He:  We'd have to be fair. We could roughen up her voice with her husband's. His is plenty gruff from all those million dollar pep talks he gives.

She:  Forget that lanky black enthusiast as well. Who wants a bird around spouting the American dream between chews on a seed.

He:  Our boy could lend an ear to what's-his-name from Carolina.

She:  Absolutely not. No one's going to y'all me in my own house.

He:  There's that guy who claims he held up the Twin Towers with one hand.

She:  He talks like gangbusters. You want a live-in private eye?

He:  Then the Mormon's our man. He's got clear diction.

She:  Clear as zero plus zero equals zero. With all the bullshit flowing around this country you'd perch one of the main sewers over your living room sofa?

He:  The smiler who's campaigning on tallness has an Academy Award voice.

She:  Sure, and junior will be hitting us for elevator heels and a basketball.

He:  Among the non-freakies, that only leaves old Mac.

She:  The Warrior? Talk sense. The three of us shut up here with some gung-ho parrot that thinks he's General Patton -- I'll cut and run like a Democrat right now.

He:  You're being too fussy. We overprotect this youngster and we'll be paying for a shrink later.

She:  He can do group therapy for free in the birdbath.

He:  It's better to give the candidates a try. You're not going to find any cheaper verbiage on the market.

She:  True. But tell me one thing. Is Polly going to fly along when we walk the pooch?

He:  Why not? We'll get him a nice leash.

She:  Well, you know, it's a delicate moment for anyone, and the pooch is getting on.

He:  You figure the flutter of wings might upset the mutt's bowel movement?

She:  How would you react on the can if you heard the senator from New York cackle her new laugh or the ex-mayor of New York City gnash his teeth at some terrorist under the bed?


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art13/pbyrne52.html
Published November 5, 2007