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Wolf Whistling

Management requests that African greys Parker and Pepper stop wolf whistling at the nice senior citizens below.

Patricia Sund

Illustration by Krystyl Cullins/I-5 Studio Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
From: Management
Subject: Wolf Whistling

You two were on the enclosed porch yesterday sitting in the sun when I happened to hear some wolf whistling going on. I realize the wolf whistle is a part of your repertoire of vocalizations. Parker, I am so happy you learned it, and it was very generous of you to teach it to Pepper when she arrived here two years ago. It is a wonderful trick, and you are very consistent about doing your wolf whistle if I ask you, "Is she pretty?” People go crazy over that, and because of the high compliment you give them, everyone thinks you are quite the clever bird!

However, do you think you could refrain from whistling when the Senior Citizen Ladies are down at the pool? They are out there for the sun and water; maybe get in a quick game of Poker, Gin or Canasta. Not to get whistled at.

I think they could do without you two whistling like a couple of street hoodlums standing on the corner making comments on the passing citizens. These are very respectable ladies, and we needn’t make comments regarding their appearance when they are sunbathing.

While I realize we are five floors up overlooking the pool, they can still hear you. Actually, I’m quite sure the entire neighborhood can hear you.

They are all very nice people, and I don’t know what sets you off. Parker, every time Miss Barbara is down there, you go crazy. Is it her sun hat with the sunflowers on it that gets your attention? Does her leopard-print wrap-around with the matching sandals, Hawaiian sunset beach towel and Jackie Onassis sunglasses bother you? Or is it the "Viva Las Vegas!” beach bag and boom box that plays Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis and Tony Bennett non-stop?

What I have noticed is that you commence with the wolf whistles whenever they are down at the pool. They aren’t complaining, mind you. Miss Mary stated that it was the first time she’d been whistled at in 30 years. This is understandable, as Miss Mary is 85. They seem to love the attention, but then arguments begin as to who you were actually whistling at. They have begun buying new outfits to wear to see if it gets your attention. The outfits are getting wilder, the squabbling louder and the competition is getting fierce. Good-natured bickering is fine, but you are starting a civil war down there, and we can’t have that. All they used to argue about before was who had the best recipe for preparing meatballs, which grocery store had the lowest price on green beans that week and which restaurant has the greatest "Early Bird Special.” Getting them all riled up about your favorite choice of attire is causing arguments, and the ladies at the pool don’t need to be concerned about what a parrot thinks is "fashionable.” What do you know? You don’t even wear clothes.

Do you think perhaps you might reconsider all that loud whistling and keep the volume at a respectable level? While they seem to enjoy the attention, I am concerned that you will gain reputations as the neighborhood philanderers. We are a respectable, if odd family: there are more tails than lips in this house.

I trust you will lower the volume and refrain from all that wolf-whistling, at least until the canasta game is over and it’s time for the evening news.

Your cooperation is appreciated.     

— Management 

Read more Memos to Parker & Pepper here.

 


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Posted: December 5, 2013, 1:00 p.m. PDT

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