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Subject: Every 5 Minutes

Management sends a memo to African greys, Parker and Pepper, about the new rule she is initiating: the "Stay Put" rule.

Patricia Sund

Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
From: Management
Subject: Every 5 Minutes

According to my doctor, there should be more of me. And I suppose there would be more of me if I didn’t have to get up every five minutes.

I take you two out of your rooms in the morning, have you "bombs away” in the trash can and settle you on your stands for a warm, nutritious breakfast. Peace reigns for about five minutes until you, Parker, decide to leap on to Pepper’s cage. Pepper, thankfully you ignore Parker because you’re too busy heaving gobs of warm bean and quinoa mix onto the wall. Thank you so much for that. At this rate, I’ll have the Picasso-like mural on the dining room wall I’ve always wanted.

Parker, again I pop up from my coffee and laptop to get you and place you back on your stand and once again return to my writing and coffee. That is until I hear the pots and pans on the kitchen wall rack rattling. You have pulled your "Parrot Ninja” act and managed to climb off your stand, side-step Mattie’s water bowl, and climb up the pot rack by shimmying up a set of low-hanging tongs. Of course, your final touch was pooping in Mattie’s water bowl.

Every Five Minutes, Memos to Parker & Pepper Up once again, I retrieve you from the pot rack, put you back on the playstand, wash and refill Mattie’s water bowl, and return to my coffee, which is now lukewarm. So I get up to reheat my coffee in the microwave, return to my laptop and sit down only to realize that Pepper has now gone missing. Pepper, I find you behind the toilet. So I retrieve you, place you on Parker’s stand, and put Parker on your stand in hopes that you’ll both take an interest in being the little thieves that you are and start swiping each other’s breakfast. All is well. For five minutes.

I sit back down to my coffee when I hear, "Bark?” Silence. "Bark?” Mattie went out on the porch and the door blew shut. Getting up to let Mattie in, I realize that the beans I slaved over for your meals are now sliding down the wall where Pepper threw them and are splatting to the floor. Hoping to clean up the beans before Mattie eats too many of them and gets a case of gas that drives us all out of the house, I get a wet cloth, some spray cleaner and grab the dirty dish from my morning toast out of the kitchen sink. While I’m on my knees scraping up the beans, I hear a flutter. Parker, must you land on my back while I’m cleaning?

I rearrange you onto my shoulder, dump the cloth into the hamper, dump the beans, wash the dish and return to my coffee. It’s cold again. And it’s only 8:30 in the morning.

People ask me if I belong to a gym because I’m thin. I just tell them I have my own home workout routine. I call it "Aviary Aerobics.”

We now have a new rule in this house. This rule goes into effect immediately so management doesn’t end up losing her mind or any more poundage. It’s called "Stay Put.” 

Please bear this in mind before you start wandering all over the place again. Because any more of this and my knees are going to give out.

— Management 

Previous: Seed Spitter

Read more "Memos to Parker & Pepper" here.


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Posted: April 10, 2014, 1:30 p.m. PDT

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