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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