Why do people own birds as pets? Aren’t they annoying more often than not? And less so with the cuddly? I don’t even understand the appeal of the ones that can talk. It’s a neat parlor trick at first, but wouldn’t you get sick of having a not-so-fuzzy, peck-y, claw-y pet who can seize upon a single word and then repeat it endlessly?
At my new place, I have a neighbor who has birds. (It’s actually the same neighbor who told me the “She everywhere” story, in case you’re compiling my anecdotes into some sort of master timeline.) They don’t speak so much as make shrill, inhuman noises at each other all day, to the point that I have wondered if it’s actually an incapacitated relative that my neighbor has chained up in the back room. It may be, honestly. It may also be two incapacitated relatives or one incapacitated relative and one bird, having a “fwaaargh”-off. Really, that’s the story I should be writing.
But no. I write instead about something I remembered when I drove through my old neighborhood today. I passed a house where there is always a caged parrot on the front porch. It whistles. It makes cell phone ringtone noises. Sometimes it sounds like a truck backing up. That’s about it, and really, were I its owner, I’d also keep the damn thing outside.
One day, while walking by, I saw two young boys crouched outside the cage. They were repeating the same phrase over and over, and it was simply “Megan is fat.”
“Megan is fat. Megan is fat. Megan is fat. Megan is fat. Megan is fat.” In unison, the two of them.
That’s the story.
I laughed, but not for the reasons you might think. No, it’s more a laugh about how funny it is that some people think of children as these pure-souled little angel beings who represent the promise of a better tomorrow, when children are actually heartless little shit-monsters. I don’t know who Megan was or what Megan did, but can you imagine being Megan and trying to un-teach a parrot from calling you fat? All day? Constantly? Repeatedly?
Best case scenario: The parrot bit those kids, and Megan saw it happen.