“Ich bin ein jelly doughnut.”

I like the idea of having a manifesto:

manifesto |ˌmanəˈfestō|

noun ( pl. -tos)

a public declaration of policy and aims, esp. one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.

ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Italian, from manifestare, from Latin, ‘make public,’ from manifestus ‘obvious.’

It just rolls off the tongue and it’s one of those unusual words that isn’t overused like the phrase, “mission statement,” which as you can readily imagine, I hate. It’s another overused, ineffective phrase used by big corporate entities who seem too afraid to use a strong word such as “manifesto.” Manifesto has teeth!

So I took it upon myself to create a manifesto for the Parrot Nation. I don’t know what format a manifesto should take. So I’m just going to make a list of thoughts the Nation should keep in mind about belonging to this little culture we have going on here: The Culture of Keeping Birds.

1.) Having birds in your life and your family is supposed to be fun. Remember why you got them? They’re supposed to be enjoyable and add to your life.

2.) It’s going get messy in here. Lighten up about it. Do the best you can, but remember that your house isn’t going to look the way it did before you got them.  It never will again, so get over it.  There is a line however, between that lived-in look,  and an episode of How Clean is Your House?

3.) Forgive yourself.  You’re never going to be perfect all of the time with them.  You’re going to get mad. You’re going to get frustrated, and you’re not going to like them all of the time. They probably don’t like you all of the time either. So you’re even.

4.) Get in touch with the wackjob inside of you. It’s one way of coping with all of this.

5.) If any of your friends think you’re strange and call you a “Crazy Parrot Person,”  remind them that you’re not the one with the alligators in the basement.

6.) Try not to be too predictable. Mix things up once in a while for your birds. And for yourself.

A section of a giant toy I made for the Cincinnati Zoo keas.

7.)  A little salad dressing goes a long way.

8.) If you feed your birds a really good diet: “Chop,” a formulated pelleted diet, healthy human food, sprouts, nuts and the occasional appropriately-sized piece of protein, you can get away with some of the stuff they adore: The real crap food we eat all of the time and take for granted, but wouldn’t dream of giving our flock. Hey! Let them live a little!

9.) Remember that you are special.  And I don’t mean that in a predictable way. I’m saying that the small bus that took us all to this happy little place with parrots has plenty of room for those of us with birds.  As far as I’m concerned, I earned my impact helmet and toddler leash a long time ago.

I found this at: Bizarro Blogspot This guy is Great!

10.) Parrots may define your lifestyle but they shouldn’t define you. You are you, not your flock. Our birds don’t define themselves by having us around. They just go on being birds. Go on being a human and live your life. You’ll be happier. If I’m happy, my birds are happy.  And if they’re happy, so am I.