Every morning I play “Fetch” with Parker. Sounds like a fun and interactive game, doesn’t it? Well, don’t let the name of the game deceive you because it’s not what you think. This has everything to do with me getting up in the morning and busily starting things up when it’s a day off. I wake up with so many ambitious thoughts!

“First I’m going to get a load of laundry going! And then I’ll get the Greys up and get them fed and tidy their cages. After that, I’m going to tackle that top shelf of my closet and get that all nice and neat. It really needs it! I’ll do a quick hot mop of the floor and then I’ll tackle that bookshelf. “

This fantasy goes on during my first cup of coffee, which I have in bed after having snuck out to the kitchen, quietly tiptoeing past Parker’s cage. The other two don’t give a damn, but if I’m not careful, any sound will tip him off that I’m up and all hell breaks loose. If he isn’t quite ready to get up, say if I get up at 6 or 6:30, he will simply comment on my coffee run with a definitive slurp sound.  I relish the last few minutes of quiet and peace before resigning myself to the fact that I need to get going.

So everything goes according to Hoyle: I set up their water and food bowls and get them up and their beaks go into the bowls. No big deal right? They got their Chop, some pomegranate seeds and some fresh chucks of melon. They love melon.

But about ten minutes into breakfast, Parker gets a hair up his keester and decides that now is the time to FLY! He needs to FLY! He doesn’t give a damn where, he just is hell bent and determined to fly: down the hall, over to his house, into the kitchen and most importantly he wants to get into the guest bathroom. He loves the guest bathroom.

Why? I have no earthly idea. He just wants in there in the worst way, 24/7. This is why I keep the door closed. This does not deter his yearning to get his butt in there. So he stands there in the hall and pops at the door with his beak. I suppose if he thought about it, he’d try to kick the damned door down.

So I get up from my coffee and reading the latest news about how to properly clean your Keurig coffee machine, (I don’t own one) and how a bunch of college students berated a college professor because he hurt their feelings. (I don’t even know where to go with that one.)

I have to get up. For two reasons, actually. 1. I need more coffee. 2. I have to get the little feathered flying machine back in his play stand so he can finish his breakfast. So, I get up, walk to the bathroom door where Parker is busily trying to jackhammer his way though it, scoop him up and put him back on his stand.

I get more coffee and return to the couch where I then peruse an article on 13 ingenious ways to use WD-40 and 9 factors that can make retirement really stink. Four minutes pass.

Once again, I hear a flutter. Once again, Parker is headed to his Haven. I don’t know if the guy thinks the bathroom is his office and he has a job to do in there, but Good God, Parker is relentless.

I walk to the bathroom, mentally noting that this is the second “pickup” and return him to his play stand. I rearrange some toys and go back to my reading, this time about how “Project Runway” Host, Tim Gunn thinks Kanye West recently shown line of clothes is a hoax and that all he did was design a line of “basic, dumb clothes” and that all the models were really wearing were “stretch undergarments.” I saw the line. Tim is right.

“Flap, flap, flapflapflapflap.”

“Wham! Wham!”

I get up. “Three,” I whisper to myself. I scoop him up and return him to his play stand. It has been three minutes since the last pickup.

This continues six more times before I am ready to rip my hair out. For a change of pace, I put him outside on a stand on the screen-in porch where he can holler at the neighbors for a while and wolf-whistle at the passing plumbing guy.

I check the weather because when you live in a coastal city that is prone to lots of rain and stuff like hurricanes this time of year, that’s what you do.

Parker them jumps to the window ledge and looks as though he is going to make dessert out of the window screen. Again I get up and haul him back inside. At this  point it is about 10:30 and I have done nothing but play “Fetch” with Parker.

I told you it wasn’t what you thought it would be. Well, maybe I’ll get my laundry done in the afternoon.

And people think writers don’t get any exercise.

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