Sunday, October 15, 2006

Birds of a Feather

**Warning** There is some colorful language in this post. I normally don't include such things in my blog, but hey-it's pretty funny. And it's not me talking actually, I'm quoting.

Blended families these days are pretty much the norm. Of course, back in the early 90s I didn't really know much about them, considering the sheltered life I had growing up. Little did I know, I was about to marry into one. To be honest, John and I barely dated because, three weeks into our relationship he proposed, and not long after that we were living together. Yep, it was quick. Too quick for some.

The four teenage foster kids that were living with him at the time looked at me as the ultimate intruder into their time with their parent figure, because he wanted to spend time with me. Suddenly, there was a female permenantly in a house of five guys, not just the girl that was employed to hold the fort on the weekends so John could have a break. By the way, she was pissed off too. Later on we got the feeling that there was a little crush happening there and I twarted her plans. Oops.

Then of course there was my step daughter, who, having been the only female in her Dad's life for 17 years, obviously was not too happy at the prospect of having to share. Totally understandable.

However, the most flack that we got was from someone that I didn't expect. Someone who very plainly staked out their territory in the house and let me know that under no circumstances was I to cross the line. Someone who hated me with a passion.

It was John's bird.

Birds like my husband. I have no idea why. He'll go into a pet store and some cage will be plastered with dire warnings, "Don't touch the bird, it bites!" and within minutes John will have that bird sitting on his hand, happily chirping away. It's a little weird. Bo was no exception, and was known to sit on John's shoulder and nibble on his hair, his glasses, and happily nuzzle his ears. Of course he also loved to squawk loudly at 3 am. Who needs an alarm clock? Just get a cockatoo.

The first time I met Bo, he looked at me, and hissed. If I got close to John, he'd hiss louder and begin jumping up and down in his cage. Any displays of affection were met with a white jumble of feathers jumping all over the cage and swearing like a trucker. Have you ever seen a bird rattle it's cage like a prisoner in a cell and yell, "Fuck!" over and over? It's a little unnerving.
"Hey sweetie, how was your day?" (hug)
bang, bang, rattle, "shit!" hiss...
"Great." (kiss kiss)
Clang, rattle, feathers begin flying..."shit, shit, shit, SHIT!"...more hissing...
"Especially now that you're home." (snuggle)
Water dish goes flying, droppings are being kicked from the cage..."FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!
After one particularly colorful display I leaned over to the cage and looked that hellion in the eye.
"Better watch out, Bo. See that chicken over there? That's a relative of yours. I have no problem doing the same thing to you."
"Right back at'cha, you freak."

Don't worry, I didn't BBQ the bird. I hear cockatoo tastes terrible anyway. John became severely allergic to feathers (aww...shucks) and we had to give Bo away. I can't say I was sad to see him go, really. Apparently in his new home he developed a taste for wallpaper and completely cleaned off an entire wall, along with the nice expensive moulding.

Some years later we were in a pet store, and John began eyeing the birds wistfully, recalling the "good old days." I let him know right then and there that if he got a bird, I was personally going to buy some cats.
It's been 13 years and he's never brought up getting a bird again. I can't imagine why!

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