Thursday, March 10, 2011

the parrot, the hoarder, and the disrespectful mother

The other night Iris, Lola and I were all hanging out at the dining room table with Pigwidgeon, the African grey parrot. Lola asked my permission to give Piggle a pencil she'd found on the table. I hesitated. Recently I'd gotten into a mild dust-up with the Sober Husband over that exact same scenario, giving a perfectly good pencil to a parrot to destroy. I love pencils, and I want to keep a lot of them around the house, handy for my Sudoku puzzle or for writing down lists of ingredients. But as the Sober Husband pointed out, I also pay top dollar for parrot toys, and it would be cheaper to let the parrots chew on pencils (and they do want to gnaw on pencils; they find them irresistible).

Remembering that debate, I said it was okay for Lola to give Piggle the pencil. Pig immediately began destroying the pencil with great gusto, and Lola just as quickly became distraught. "Can we take it back?" she pleaded. "There's no point in taking it back now," I said.

I went into my stash in the kitchen and found a pencil covered with hearts. "Here, Lola," I said. "Have this one to cheer you up!" Lola took the pencil and curled up on the kitchen floor in a fetal position, cradling the second pencil and crying hysterically over the death of the first pencil.

"Lola! I just don't get this," I said. "It was YOUR IDEA to give the pencil to the parrot in the first place!"

Sobbing Lola said, "I just didn't realize how much I would love him."

"Him? Him?" murmured Iris in a low voice to me in the next room after I returned. "She is such a hoarder, Momdude. She is going to be a hoarder when she grows up." We both took a moment to remember "the Cupy family", a large group of used slushee cups Lola had insisted upon keeping in the dining room for years, which mysteriously vanished while I was in the hospital. Lola's wails continued as she mourned the fallen pencil, which by then was just a memory, a memory and a mess of tiny shards on the floor which I instructed Iris to sweep up. "Momdude! That is so unfair!" said Iris.

"Iris, I can't ask Lola to do it; it would be too upsetting," I explained.

Iris began a lengthy set of demands and negotiations aimed at requiring a huge amount of disgusting work to be performed by Lola in exchange for her cleaning up the pencil mess. Lola sobbed in the next room. Finding this situation so ridiculous, I found it hard to keep a straight face, and Iris was incensed. "Momdude! You are making this harder than it has to be! You are not very respectful!"

1 comment:

hughman said...

RIP pencil. We hardly chew ya.