Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
Subject: Uninvited Guests
We had a lovely late lunch at the Kings Head Pub the other day. Since it was rather hot, we sat inside at the bar. Miss Tamara the manager welcomed you warmly and supplied you both with your customary shredded carrots. I admit, this time you were fairly tidy; you weren’t the usual pigs like you are with me at home. Normally if anyone gives you shredded carrots, they fly around like popping corn in a pan with the lid off. They end up everywhere, and how they get into my underwear is beyond me. But that day you both ate them rather than flung them around at the other patrons.
Our friend Bill had a bowl of broccoli-cheese soup. I had a delicious salad that Richard the owner made especially for me. I even shared some of the greens with you and you seemed to relish them.
However, I’d like to take a moment and explain a few manners we need to observe in public. If I neglected to review "pub etiquette” before, I’m sorry.
Many people go to the pub because the food is wonderful and they have a vast selection of imported beers, hard cider and ale. Leashed dogs are warmly welcomed. Dogs are regular customers and patronized the pub for years. They are offered complimentary dog biscuits and are free to use the large water bowl placed on a mat in the corner of the bar area. Occasionally people bring birds in, but you two are by far the most popular parrots at the pub. It is also a nonsmoking, pet-friendly establishment.
Pet-friendly means you are welcome. This does not mean that you two are welcome to leap off of Bill’s hand and my shoulder, race down the length of the bar knocking over everything in your path and dive into someone else’s plate of fish and chips. This just isn’t done! You hadn’t even been invited to join that gentleman, let alone hijack his lunch. Let’s be thankful he was kind enough to offer each of you a French fry and kept you entertained while Bill and I helped Sandra the bartender clean up spilled beer, an overturned napkin dispenser, an acrylic vase full of fresh roses, two table tents listing the beers and a small container full of drinking straws. I didn’t know what to do about the beer that spilled into that woman’s purse, but she never mentioned it, and I pretended not to notice.
We are fortunate that everyone is tolerant of your occasional rambunctious behavior. This time we were lucky; we didn’t have a major disaster and a large tab to pick up from flying plates and overturned drinks. I must admit that people were laughing so hard at you I thought they were going to spit out their lunch, but this is not an excuse to pull a caper like that again. I realize when people laugh at things you do, it encourages you and you look at this as a reinforcement. But I simply cannot have you think that it is acceptable to start a food fight in the middle of lunch, no matter how much people seem to enjoy your antics. We have reputations to maintain and behaving like John Belushi in the film "Animal House” is not the dignified image we prefer to project.
In the future, please refrain from this behavior and keep your beaks to yourselves. Your cooperation is appreciated.