I have risen to a challenge. My friend Irena Schulz, Founder of “Bird Lovers Only Rescue” and Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo’s Caregiver made a comment a while back about how she thought that I could write about phone books and she would still be entertained. Irena posted the following as a response to one my posts:

“Your topic of discussion could be phone books and I’d STILL be entertained! There! I used TWO exclamation points…fun article. :D

In another response, she wrote: “You are so determined to make me wear my morning coffee!”

To me, this was a challenge. and it’s the type of challenge I love because I was handed a topic and  I had to think about it and come up with a post. Thanks to Irena, I did. Great idea. (We’ll see how far she spews out her coffee this morning.)

For a Parrot Lover, phone books are one of the most wonderful inventions in the world. But I’m not so sure AT&T would be too happy if they knew how they were used among Parrot Families. Hung from a chain, tossed on the top of the cage or weaved through cage bars, they are absolutely wonderful chew toys for birds. They can chew on them, tear up the pages, claw them and generally turn them to pulp. And if they get pooped on, simply rip off the pooped-on pages and discard, leaving the rest of the book.

This sounds like a rather undignified end for the phone book. However, this pales in comparison to the fate of the Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Ward Catalogues during the depression. Yes, toilet paper was a luxury and the Sears and Roebuck And Montgomery Ward catalogues was used as a cheap, handy and plentiful substitute in your average outhouse. And they were indeed a step up from corncobs.

At least the catalogs were interesting to look at and you always had something to read during the completion of the task at hand, so to speak. In a way, it was a timesaver because you could always plan your Christmas Shopping list while “enthroned.”  I like to think that this was one of the original “multi-tasking” endeavors ever accomplished.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a step up in the nature of use from the depression era outhouse use. So  don’t throw out the phone book when you receive it, and be sure to ask your neighbors and friends for theirs. Recycling at its finest, offering your birds a phone book to mess around with is enriching and fun. And who knows? They might even learn a few numbers.