WONDERFUL DAY IN
by Gene Royer
July 14, 2003
My gay Filipino neighbors, Luis
and Whatshisname, have a very talented parrot named Parotika.
She is green, of course, but with a nice, red crown and a few
red feathers in her tail and wing tips. They've had her for
the six years I've known them, and Luis told me she is only
about ten. She eats a special bird food mixture, as well as
raw veggies such as carrots, lettuce and broccoli.
She stays in a large cage in their bathroom, and they wheel
her out onto their patio on warm days so she can enjoy the
out-of-doors and visit with the other birds that drop by.
She has a vast vocabulary of words and sounds, and I have
often heard her vocalizing in both Spanish and English--albeit
with a lisp.
Last year during Gay Pride Week the boys boarded Parotika
at a local veterinarian clinic that takes care of birds and
animals while their owners are on vacation, but this year
they asked me if I would mind keeping her while they were
gone. My wife and I thought it would be a hoot, so we cleared
a spot in the guest bathroom for the cage and told them to
bring her over.
Her first day with us was uneventful, as she sat in her cage
and sized up the situation of having a houseful of cats roaming
around giving her the eye. However, Day-Two began in the wee
hours with her calling out from the bathroom: "Hello-o.
I got up and went to see what was going on. "Hello-o",
she said as I walked in. I said hello back, and she said hello
again. I responded. It was not a productive conversation.
I got her some chunks of carrot and went back to bed.
About an hour later I was again awakened--this time by the
sound of water dripping. Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip. I got
up and went to check.
The sound was coming from the guest bathroom, but when I
went inside to check the faucets, I found nothing wrong. Drip,
drip, drip, drip, it continued. I looked around. Mygod! The
bird was making dripping noises. Apparently the bathroom in
which she was kept had a leaking faucet, and she had learned
to emulate the sound. "Drip, drip, drip," she said.
I told her to knock it off and back to bed.
That was when I heard the toilet flush.
Could it be, I asked myself? Yes, it could, and it was. Not
only did she do faucets, but she also did toilets. I closed
The parrot's powers of inanimate mimicry are amazing. Over
the next five days I answered the dead phone a dozen times,
responded to nonexistent visitors ringing the doorbell, was
constantly told "You have mail," and had to put
up with the replicated voices of Luis and Whatshisname singing
in the shower.
She also sang songs from the Mexican TV channel, whistled
the Andy Griffith theme and did a fair imitation of Paul Harvey.
By week's end she had been relegated to a closed storeroom
with towels stuffed under the door to muffle the sound. Even
my cats stayed away, and I began to wonder if Gay Pride Week
would ever end.
Finally, the two little guys returned--all chirpy from their
week's vacation. They were eager to see Parotika and immediately
reached in for her and uttered their "Coochie-coos".
Parotika flapped her wings and said, "Coochie-coo"
right back. It was a happy reunion.
I asked them why they had decided to leave her with me instead
of taking her to the vet clinic. They each made sour faces
and told me the last time they left her there the clinic people
taught her bad habits. And then, as if exactly on cue, Parotika
uttered the condemning evidence: "Polly want a blowjob?"
2003 Tocqevillian Magazine