Friday, December 5, 2008


Dis mah bird. He's the coolest bird ever, except when he bites the blood out of me, which is daily. He provides endless hours of entertainment in the form of various utterances. He makes the sound of the phone ringing and then answers it in my voice. He laughs exactly like me. He calls the dogs and whistles, then laughs when they come running, looking all stupid. He will walk across the floor to where I'm sitting and pluck at my shoes until I acknowledge him. When I look at him, he'll hold one leg up and say "wanna get up? Come on". When I pick him up, he'll bite my finger, then yell at me: "No Monster! Bad bird. No biting." Yet I pick him up, every time. He's trained me well.

When we go to the vet, he walks out of his carrier and says "It's ok, I won't hurt you". He curses like a drunk sailor on a week of shore leave too, interspersed with various acclaims to fame such as "Monster, you rock" and "get in the forking cage, you little shit". He whistles the Andy Griffith theme and sings Sweet Child O' Mine. So far, I have two favorite Monster stories.

The first occurred several years ago when I was having work done on the kitchen. During a time of considerable marital strife in our household, the arguments resulted in my calling my husband all sorts of unsavory names after he'd leave the room. The contractor had to walk by Monster's cage several times a day. One morning, several days into the project, the contractor came to me and asked me if I was happy with his work or if he needed to change something. I was puzzled because I had told him several times how pleased I was with the progress of the job. He then asked me why I persisted in calling him names when he left the room. I could not figure out why he thought this. I hadn't called him any names at all. He insisted that he could hear me cursing him when he went into the other room. I put his mind to rest by walking out with him into the other room. When we got in there, we heard, very softly, from the other room, my voice say "that's right, get out of here, you stupid mother f*cker. I don't know why I even keep you around, you dumb shit." Yep. Busted by the bird.

My second favorite is the tummy story. Monster was getting a bit of a tummy on him, as Greys tend to, especially if they eat table scraps. Since Monster rules the roost around here, he gets first pick, then he'll let the dogs have some. Yes, they are terrified of a two pound bird and clear a path when he walks by. When I walk by the cage and Monster is sitting on the playbar on top, I stop and rub his tummy and say, in my best singsong, baby talk, nerve grating voice: "Look at that belly! Just look at that belly! It's a huge, huge belly!" So naturally, Monster was absorbing this phrase. He is the type of bird that has to hear something many times before he repeats it, but once he starts saying it, he never loses it.

Last night Sam was going to the kitchen for a bag of chips a gallon of ice cream and a spoon something or other. He was wearing only boxers and slippers. When he walked by, I heard Monster say "Look at that belly! Just look at that belly!" Best. timing. ever. I love that bird.