Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Gods Are Deaf

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," holistic help for your hellish dilemmas! Got a vexing problem? Bring it to Auntie Anne.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" are especially adept at interpreting weird dreams. Take advantage of our two-for-one special, and save 15%!

Do you know anyone who got from the age of 15 to the age of 30 without making a terrible mistake along the way?

Usually it's a bad marriage, or experimenting with drugs until addiction sets in, or running up massive credit card debt, or plunging your car off a cliff after a long night in the pub.

These things can be cured. You can go to rehab, AA, get a divorce, find a payment plan, and generally settle down into a sane, reasonable life.

Anne made a mistake in her 20s that can never, ever be rectified. This terrible mistake will outlive her and be a burden to her children, possibly even her grandchildren. It's a mistake that haunts her daily, with piercing ferocity. It cannot be fixed in any humane fashion.

In 1987, Anne bought a macaw. The macaw was a baby, a little chunk of pink flesh with no feathers.


The macaw (I'll call him Decibel) can talk. A few words. What he does best, however, is SCREAM HIS FOOL HEAD OFF TILL HE CAN BE HEARD DOWN THE BLOCK. (They say you should use capital letters only to indicate screaming.) When this bird starts, he sounds like someone being assaulted slowly with a very deadly weapon.

He has spent 20 years in a cage, removed from his kind and his homeland. Every time I see him, guilt pierces me worse than his noise. I wish I could find some happy bird sanctuary for him, but 9 out of 10 people who buy macaws wish the same thing. Sanctuaries for captive-bred macaws do not exist.

Lately I've been working away from home, long hours. When I step through the door he goes nuts, screaming and whistling so loud the jet pilots overhead can detect the racket.

There's no turning back time for me. But consider this little entry your Birdaholics Anonymous testimonial.

Do not buy a captive bird. Birds are supposed to live outside, in the trees. They are social species who make lots and lots of noise.

The next time you hear a blue jay or a crow calling to its cohorts, imagine if that sound was coming from a creature sitting right next to you in a cage.

The bored gods are going to send me back for another round of hell on earth for buying and keeping a caged parrot. And I'll deserve it too. No complaints uttered, it is my forever sin.

FROM ANNE

THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

11 Comments:

At January 11, 2007 , Anonymous Autumn said...

I feel your pain. I have a love bird that can send shivers like nails on a chalk board down your spine. He/she is so loud that I can her it squaking over the sound of a rug dr. cleaner that I used last night to clean my carpets. It seems birds (like dogs and cats) live forever. What are we thinking when we adopt/buy such things?

 
At January 11, 2007 , Blogger Angela-Eloise said...

Anne, you could take him to San Francisco and turn him loose to live with the flock of parrots there. I believe there was a nearly-famous movie made about them.

BTW - if I dreamt that Alex Baldwin killed a bear with a knife during a college homecoming parade, what would that mean, exactly?

I tried to comment yesterday on your No President Left Behind post, but the captcha thingy was not working. Instead, I left you a love note on my blog!

 
At January 12, 2007 , Blogger buddy don said...

her thar. i nominated yer blog fer the best undiscoverd blog (or whutever twuz). twuz hard to deecide twixt that n best writ. i read thisn n git to thankin i shoulda gone tuther way:

'Do you know anyone who got from the age of 15 to the age of 30 without making a terrible mistake along the way?

Usually it's a bad marriage, or experimenting with drugs until addiction sets in, or running up massive credit card debt, or plunging your car off a cliff after a long night in the pub.'

tiz a verr apt observayshun ye make on a counta ceptn fer that last item (drivin offn a cliff) i dun made purt near sum form or ever miss take ye listed. i dint ever have no birds ceptn sum budgies that my furst wife brung into the marrg. they gut et by a cat we tuck pity on (bofem ded in one day!).

i wunder lots bout that tank of fish i keep, witch tiz big a nuff (155-gal) to make it easy to rashunull-eyes it n them crawdads n cichlids n catfish shore seem to luv it in thar.

 
At January 12, 2007 , Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

Anne, I guess I was a late bloomer. I had a smooth teens's to 30's, no addiction, perfect credit, safe driver insurance, cats and dogs I loved and met a fairly normal life. Now about 37 it all went to dark in a bucket down a wishin' well with a golden bell, bucket hanging clear to hell. Divorce, bankruptsy the whole thing, now I have weird dreams on top of it all. Heck, I may get a bird now just to see what happens next!

I hope bd's nomination goes through I will vote you in! He is right you offer phrases a body can ponder for days on.

 
At January 12, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jed, we at "the Gods Are Bored" are soon to be offering more dream interpretation. Send them on, and let Aunt Annie tell you what they mean!

Anne

 
At January 13, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered inviting the bird to your first ever Arbor Day Feast as the main course?
Kayakdave

 
At January 13, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are serious macaw fans out there - many own several birds at a time, give them the run of the house, and devote proposterous amounts of time to them. It makes little sense for you to keep him, just because you'd feel guilty about passing your problem to someone else. He'd be happier living with another macaw at some bird-lady's house.

Take a look on Petfinder or your local Craigslist, you might find individuals or breed-specific rescue orgs that could help find a new place for Decibel.

Better to do it now while he's still only 20. Your heirs will have a tough time placing a 60yo bird...

 
At January 13, 2007 , Blogger Rosie said...

Bored gods have crappy senses of humor in my experience.

There was an old lady who had one of these birds that I met when I was a child. The thing was 60 years old and had been with her all of her life. The bird outlived her. They sort of scare me.

I also met one who lived in the Napa Auto Parts store in Bluffton, SC. He had learned to imitate people imitating the screwed up noises their cars made.

Are you not really a goat judge? There is such a thing, you know. I don't show mine.

Thanks so much for dropping by!

 
At January 13, 2007 , Blogger Davo said...

on the other hand, canaries are bred and interbred to be pale yellow shadows of their cousins in the wild.

My little tacker in his cage sings, trills and chortles all day to his mate. Veritable avian arias. I don't dare let him out, would not survive in the wild, and feel no guilt.

 
At January 14, 2007 , Blogger Anne Johnson said...

Dear Anonymous:

I called a Bird Adoption hotline and offered my parrot for adoption. They sent me a woman who said she had another macaw just like him and didn't mind noisy birds.

When the potential adopter arrived to check out my parrot, the first thing she said to me was, "The snakes are going to go." Apparently she had at least 3 snakes. And when she started listing her roster of birds, all I could think of was one word: "hoarder."

She told me the macaw she had that was the same species as mine was 90 years old. She said her new boyfriend was going to build an aviary on the back of her mobile home, he just hadn't started to do it yet.

I gave the lady a nice ceramic parrot mug and sent her home without my parrot.

I'm doing the best I can with a captive-bred bird. Perhaps some day the faeries will open a window of opportunity for Decibel. (Not literally, not in this climate!)

PS - I'm not a goat judge really. I know that there are such people. It's just a standing joke in my household.

 
At January 23, 2007 , Anonymous sophia said...

With the rainforest disappearing maybe you need to view your adoptee as a refugee from an enivormental war. Helping a third world ecological disaster victim find a new home and enjoy the little critter while we still have them.

 

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