4/04/2006

Bird's World

song du jour: Teardrop, Massive Attack

mood: laughing!

Thanks to Kate for this extremely funny take on African Grays by Mark Morford of the SF Gate. Be sure to read his byline at the end too.

My one personal experience with that particularly freaky species of parrots was at the home of friends of Skyler's dad in Cairo. They had to remove the bird from the room because he went ballistic at this daft and decadent American chick, who caused his normally sane and somewhat predictable family to babble in some foreign form of gibberish other than his native Arabic. Within minutes of his removal, however, he'd picked up the one Arabic sounding word I was saying, that of the chromosome donor's name, in my exact voice and intonation, complete with the subtle sound of exasperation, and he would say screaming from down the hall, this name over and over and over and over every time I tried to talk.

The bird had caused great distress to the building caretakers as well. In Cairo, poor families sort of attach themselves to a new apartment building in a symbiotic relationship with the tenants that is not necessarily born of the usual interview for a job approach and that usually involves the keeping of chickens and a lean to on the roof, smack in the middle of a congested urban metropolis. Unlike in the U.S. where we're used to doing for ourselves, for the moderately well off and up, one only needs to shout downstairs to procure whatever can be purchased at the bus stop sized 7-11 on every corner. - For some reason I never quite discovered, the girl children of these adoptive families up to about age 16 tended to wear a version of the provincial kaftan over a shirt and pants that were narrow cut, flannel, floral prints. In other words, they went about, playing on the sidewalk in what are to us, flannel nightgowns, and I never could reconcile the idea that these very conservative Muslims were walking around outside in their pajamas.

One day, the family of the bird came home to find the caretaker distraught to the point of tears, asking why they kept calling to him and asking him to buy things for them, then turning him away when he knocked on the door. He was going broke, purchasing unneeded bottles of Baraka water and Sprite. The bird family was utterly bewildered for about a minute, but of course, you can guess. Their bird had a Marie Antoinette sense of humor.

P.S. I have no sane excuse for posting at this horrific hour. I woke up to a hot house, something which I have vowed to cherish after a winter with inside temps ranging from 58-64F. Blame blogging flow for getting me out of bed...and now I'm going back!