Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
Subject: Holiday Letter
Dear Friends of Parker, Pepper and Mattie:
Instead of the predictable holiday greeting, we’ve decided to send out one of those "Holiday Letters” one occasionally receives from relatives and friends. You know the ones. Stuffed with news that recount all the "Highlights and Achievements” of the family’s year. It’s usually from those overachieving families that have perfect kids with straight teeth. They are all on the Honor Roll, and their letter gives you an inferiority complex just reading it. Their 10-year-old just got into Harvard, and the entire family spent their vacation single-handedly building an orphanage in Guatemala.
While ours won’t exactly contain that level of achievement, we feel we have an interesting tale to tell of our previous year. And I promise you won’t get an inferiority complex:
Dear Friends of the Family,
Happy Holidays, and what a year it has been! Parker has been a good learner and recently discovered that it isn’t a good idea to pull the Tiffany Lamp over so it crashes to the floor. He has perfected his aim, nailing Mattie with pieces of broccoli and toy parts. Consequently, Mattie is spending more time under the bed. Parker also learned how to get off of his playstand by leaping to a cage and shimmying down. His destination is usually the bathroom, where he samples the molding and pulls the metal pitcher I use to bathe Mattie off of the bottom shelf of the towel stand. He then rolls it around the tile floor, which makes a terrible racket.
Mattie still sleeps feet in the air, and she managed to develop a sore on the base of her tail from doing her crazy antics. She tucks in her tail, sticks her back legs forward and rhythmically sways her head back and forth while squealing. All this drama just to scratch her keester.
Pepper has decided to take a stab at growing more feathers, and we’re all proud of her. Her chest is still bald as a billiard ball, but she’s managed to sprout all of the ones on her back up to her neck. Parker and Pepper get the fan mail around here, and Mattie has lost a couple of pounds so she no longer looks like a Nerf Football with fur. The greys are total pigs with their food and still whip beans at the wall.
We did a school presentation to a group of a hundred second-grade students. Parker pooped on one of the boys, which made him cry like he was being mugged. Their parting shot was vandalizing the teacher's desk, making it fit for a landfill. On the way back home, Parker managed to figure out how to get at the seat belt securing his carrier. Unnoticed by me, he spent the better part of the drive chewing through the seat belt.
Both of them have gnawed through eight of my T-shirts, three of Bill’s and Parker put a hole in my "World Parrot Trust” baseball cap. Pepper destroyed 4-square inches of vinyl floor tile and has taken to attempting to crawl under the china cabinet.
All in all, you might say that this family puts the "fun” in dysfunctional. We’re all happy and healthy, and the birds came back with great scores on their blood panels from Dr. Backos, their avian vet.
And me? Well, I write, I fly and I clean up parrot poop. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!
— Parker, Pepper, Mattie and Patricia