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Subject: Wired

Management sends a memo to African grey Parker to leave the phone jack alone. It's not for chewing on, Parker. Stop it.

Patricia Sund

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

Parker, I try very hard to change things up and make life interesting for you. This includes switching your playstand with Pepper’s now and again.

When you receive your meals, Pepper gets to use your stand by the hall and you use hers by the kitchen. I like to make things equitable and fair; this way you can watch me in the kitchen occasionally while you are dining.

However, we seem to have a recurring issue I need to discuss with you.

We have an older home. It is semi-lovely and it has gotten more semi-lovely since my friend Nan and I ripped up the old carpeting and heaved it into the dumpster. Of course, we all had to live with paint-spattered cement for a while until I could find someone to install the slate tile I selected, but once that was done, it became a very nice abode. We also had it painted and the popcorn removed from the ceiling. Voilà! Three months later, it became a rather pretty place to live.

Subject: Wired, Memos to Parker & PepperHowever, it is an older building and it has its quirks. One of them is the telephone jack. Our phone jack lives high up on a wall by the kitchen. Initially designed to hold a wall phone, a cord snakes out of it that winds around the doorway a few inches to where the phone sits in its base on the kitchen counter.

This cord is for receiving calls. It is to remain unsullied and intact. It is not for chewing, yanking or pulling; and it certainly is not to be used as a "Tarzan Swing.”

I spent three days not ever receiving a call, which isn’t unusual except that the phone would ring and no one would be on the other end of the line. When I inspected the handset, the base, the cord and finally the jack, I realized that you had mauled the cord leading from the jack to the base. Smooth move, Chain Saw ...

It’s not like you haven’t done this before. We have replaced that cord four times now; I’ve been buying phone cords in packs of three. I assume the store clerks think I’m eating them. I mean, how am I supposed to explain my bulk buys of phone cords? By saying, "My parrot eats them.” That’s as bad as, "My dog ate my homework.”

You’d think I’d learn. Perhaps I’m naive. I had forgotten that one of the reasons that I had Pepper on that stand and not you was because you consistently went after the cord. Pepper doesn’t have the taste for demolition that you do. Of course the reason I moved the playstand there was because you totally destroyed the lampshade you had access to. Remember that?

So I repositioned your stand yet again. However, being a bad judge of distance and the length of your neck, I lost another cord. Short of purchasing a cord of stainless steel I’ve had no choice but to resign myself to moving your stand yet again.

Parker? I’m getting tired of moving the furniture. But I guess it beats taking you in to see Dr. Sam for an X-ray searching for little bits of phone cord. Sam would give me one of his looks, and I’d be sick with worry. So fear not little man! You are now chowing down next to the oak grandfather clock. It’ll probably take you years to chew through that.
— Management

Previous Memo: Every 5 Minutes

Read more "Memos to Parker & Pepper" here.

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Posted: April 10, 2014, 4:15 p.m. PDT

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Subject: Wired

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