“Jing” Jane Hallander’s Bird. She now lives with Rick and Patti in Kanab.

A while back I wrote a post (original post here) about how to simulate having a bird before you actually got one in order to prepare yourself and your household for what was in store for you. Apparently people seemed to like it because it went everywhere; chat groups, bird boards, parrot forums of all kinds reposted the link and I couldn’t be happier. While it pleases me people enjoyed the post, I also got an email as a result of it that stated, “We really want to get a bird! We aren’t ready!” Now that made me happy. It’s not that I don’t want this family to get a bird; I want them to get one when they’re good and ready for one and not a minute before.

So in view of the success of that post, I thought about it some more and came up with a few more exercises to do so people have an even clearer idea of what having a bird in your home is like. Good luck.

Find a pair of nail clippers. Apply them to your finger. Bear down on them hard enough to draw blood. Repeat until you scream. Do this exercise at least twice a day until you have learned the concepts of Positive Reinforcement Training.

Go out and spend at least a hundred dollars on a gorgeous pair of white pants that fit perfectly and would look great with everything. Now smear some parrot poop on them from a bird that just ate some spaghetti with tomato sauce.

If you have linoleum, get some pliers and a screwdriver. Use the screwdriver to pull up a corner of it. Now using the pliers, rip about for or five square inches of it completely off the floor. If you have carpeting, yank about an eight square-inch section from a corner and fray it with a pair of wire cutters.

Using some feathers you got from the bird supply store, brush a few into your hair and leave it there. Now go out on a date.

Stay home. And I mean stay home a lot. Escape now and then to pick up bird food, supplies from the local Bird Store, but then hurry home. Because that’s where you’ll be for the majority of your time.

Using your nail clippers, make some gouges in the leather strap of your watch- your expensive dress watch.

Rip some of the keys off of your laptop and hide them from yourself.

Get a banana. Peel it and slice about three inches of it off and hide the piece behind the sofa. Leave it there for a few months. 

Remove the shoe laces from your sneakers and cut off the plastic thingies on the ends. Fray the ends of the laces and attempt to re-lace your sneakers.

Using a scissors, fray the edges of your sofa arms. Attempt to cover it up with doilies. Finally give up because it looks so cheesy and use some old bed sheets to cover the damned sofa. Finally upgrade to a slipcover. At least you can launder it.

If you’re planning on getting a cockatoo, go to your toolbox and get your drill out. Drill some holes in your walls. Now try and rearrange your artwork to cover up the holes until you can get somebody to come over and do some patch work. Once you get the holes fixed, repeat the process in another room.

Acquire a half an almond and jam it in behind the thermostat cover. Pretend you don’t know why it’s 50 degrees outside and your living room feels like a sauna.

Call your Mother-in-law.While you’re chatting on the phone have a friend repeatedly make loud parrot noises such as screaming and chattering. If you really want to get the full effect, have your friend throw in the occasional swear word and fire alarm sound.

Get some mango. Cut it up in small pieces. Throw them above your head and let them fall. Let the pieces dry to a cement-like consistency. Using a scraper, attempt to get it off the tile. If it lands on any carpeting, try and pull as much as you can out without pulling the carpet fibers completely out of the nap. Eventually give up and rent a steam cleaner. Repeat every time mangos come into season.

Develop a hangnail. When it’s nice and sore get a fork and jab it into the hangnail without screaming. You have now learned when it’s time your birds need grooming.

Start a conversation with a human. When you get to the best part of the conversation, have another person interrupt by screaming very loudly or saying “What?” “What? “What?” repeatedly.

Turn on your favorite television show. While this is on, play that DVD you have of wild parrots in the jungle screaming and turn it up during all the best parts of the show.

Wind up a toy that walks and place on one end of a table. Go into the kitchen and attempt to make dinner. When the toy falls onto the floor, retrieve the toy and place it back on the table. Wind it up again and attempt to finish making dinner. Retrieve toy once again when it falls and return to the task in the kitchen. Do this until you can’t stand it any more. Then do it some more. This is practice for when your bird flies off his play gym.

 Take your best t-shirts and rip some nice, healthy holes in the shoulders. Don’t forget to fray the collar.

Get out your flip flops and with a wire cutters, snip little pieces of the flip flops and scatter them around on your closet floor. (This actually happened to me. I kept wondering what Pepper was doing in my closet. I found out when I found one flip-flop in a pile of tiny pieces next to the whole undamaged one.)

While this is just a light-hearted piece on the possible destructiveness of birds, if you have a bird already, you’ll recognize a kernel of truth in these exercises. Oh, and if you don’t have a bird already, you are welcome to come over and look at my dining room walls. 



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