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Party Manners

African greys Parker and Pepper receive a memo about the rules of birdie etiquette after a disastrous dinner party.

By Patricia Sund

Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
From: Management
Subject: Party Manners

I am sure you both remember the dinner party we had for friends two days ago. It was a lovely evening, and everyone enjoyed it immensely. Dinner turned out nicely and everyone seemed to comment on the blue cheese sauce accompanying the vegetables. However, I do have several hints for both of you to keep in mind regarding dinnertime manners.

First of all, it is not polite to walk on the butter. May I remind you that a stick of butter is not a perch? The butter is to be cut with a knife and then spread onto the item requiring the butter. You might think it is more efficient to walk on the butter. You step on it, squish it with your toes, and stamp your little feet all over a piece of bread before someone consumes it. I am sure your intentions were good and you wanted to “help” by buttering people’s bread for them, but it leaves an unsightly mess for me to clean up on the table, not to mention the butter all over your feet.

When I attempt to wipe it off your feet, you give me a hard time for trying to clean you up. Such drama!

Why do you feel this need to leave little butter footprints all over the table? Are you intentionally doing this to make me crazy? In the future, please make every effort to abstain from performing the “butter rumba.” I realize you were only attempting to help serve, but can you leave the serving to those who possess hands?

Furthermore, swiping people’s food from their fork when it is on its way to their mouth is uncouth. We’ve had this discussion before, and I don’t know why I need to bring this up again. I really do not care if you felt you were shortchanged on the broccoli, this just isn’t done. You are to eat the food you were served on your own little plates. And I don’t want to see anymore stealing food off each other’s plates either.

Let’s review, shall we? You each have a special plate: Pepper’s has the cute little zebra finches and Parker has his favorite plate with the hooded vulture on it. (There is no accounting for taste, but I choose my battles.) Both of you are to keep your beaks to yourself, and you will not squabble about who got more herbed carrots.

Please do not dive after the serving dishes and hang from the rim of the plate by your beak as they are being passed to indicate your desire for a second helping. Do not wipe your beak on the guest’s sleeves or on each other when you have finished your meal. A towel is always provided underneath your plate; please use it accordingly. Do not attempt to drag an entire broccoli stem from the serving platter down the length of the table. If you want more steamed broccoli, simply ask. Do not throw food down to the dog and do not poop on the dog when you are at the table.

Finally, please make every effort to cease whipping peas at the guests. One just barely missed Leeann, and it stuck to the wall. Peas are food, not projectiles.

Eventually we will have another dinner party and I wanted to review a few items so that the next dinner party proceeds more smoothly. I refuse to spend an hour after the party laundering parrot footprints from the tablecloth and scraping peas off the wall again.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. I appreciate your compliance.

 Management


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