Friday night, in a condition of extreme intoxication, my roommate Rob agreed--come to think of it, "agreed" isn't so accurate a word as "eagerly volunteered"--to bring an animal into our house. Not just any animal, but a bird. Not just any bird, but my parrot from back home.
Her name is Kahili. She's a Conure, a smallish green South American bird. She's happy to be petted and fed and talked to. She'll mimic laughter, drinking, eating and other noises. She can't talk, which is very disappointing. She knows how I feel about it, and we've moved on. It's cool. She'll ride around on your shoulder and be cute for hours with a modest amount of pooping. You can't get around the pooping. These sound like great things, don't they? It sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea to bring this animal into an apartment, doesn't it? Particularly when, as mobile young people, conventional pets like cats and dogs are difficult for us to keep? This all sounds like a great idea!
Except that it is emphatically not. This bird will not enter our home, as I insisted on Friday. Despite my own sub-optimal condition, I maintained discipline because I am a sensible person with the interests of the house at heart. Rob knew not what he asked for, and I did the right thing by holding the line. I'm actually quite fond of Kahili and would like to have her around, but I have lived with her before and I know things about parrots that most people (who've never owned one) don't. Allow me to enlighten.
The first thing to know about parrots is what they're not: birds. Cockatiels are birds. Budgies and finches are birds. Parrots are minor demons. They simply can't be thought of as a normal pet. Their combination of physical attributes, speaking/mimicking ability and intelligence elevate them above even dogs and cats on the pet pecking order. If a dog or cat started speaking, you'd assume it was possessed and kill it. Well...you'd try to kill it. Whether you'd succeed is another thing entirely, and depends in large part on your current Skill Level in Exorcism. If you haven't been investing your Experience Points into this worthwhile ability, I recommend it. The kinds of behavior you get from parrots sets them apart. How many creatures of the natural Earth can fly AND speak AND live for fifty years? None. There's no fucking animal alive that can do those things, and that's more evidence on my side.
Still not convinced? Well, among the many delights of parrot ownership is the following fact: they live up to 80 years. Not all of them; mine is a short-lived species that averages about 30. "But isn't that great? I wish my dog would live 30 years!" I bet you do. Your dog is a pet. My parrot is basically a person; an occasionally sweet but often very spiteful person who hates (among other things) shoelaces, pillows, human women and towels. She hates them so much that she wants to just rush at them and attack them with the sharpest parts of her face. Some of these things are more socially acceptable to attack than others. Which brings me to another point: parrots, like most asshole animals (defined in biological terms as animals who are assholes), fucking bite you. What else bites you? Demons. Q.E.Dizzle.
I've aggregated this information, along with some other important facts, into an eye-pleasing chart. Click the image below for an expanded version that can actually be read with human eyes. No, I will not stop making these with MS Paint.
If you've played the excellent video game Dragon Age: Origins, you're familiar with their loose classifications for nether beasts: Rage Demon, Lust Demon, Pride Demon and so on. Parrots are Noise Demons, and Kahili is no exception. What does this mean? I tried to explain this to Rob, but I'll try it again here: it means that the bird will, many times each day at unpredictable intervals, just start screaming. Rob lives in an open loft directly above the location for a hypothetical parrot cage, by the way. He will experience it as a waking nightmare. It will begin without warning or explanation, and the noise will come at the most silent of moments, when the beast perceives that your defenses are down. Another characteristic of malevolent spirits: striking suddenly when its prey is most vulnerable. I know you're thinking, "Parrots don't prey on shit. They eat seeds and plants." That's what you see them eating. Their true sustenance comes from feeding on the minds of their "owners." If you've never owned one of these things, their shrill cries blast through your cranium like a storm and leave only blackness in their wake. With sufficient volume and frequency, parrot screams can utterly incapacitate a human being in a matter of seconds. This is unlikely to happen in practice, because the parrot prefers to drain its subjects slowly and over time. If these creatures grow too gluttonous, they risk drawing the attention and subsequent wrath of the local priesthood. We're talking gun-slinging demon hunters like Keanu Reeves in Constantine. Did you see Constantine? Don't see Constantine.
So there you have it. Robin Jerome Walker did, under the influence of the demon alcohol, openly and explicitly advocate the introduction of an unholy demon from the gates of hell into an otherwise happy and functional home. Shame upon his family for five generations. And five generations of blessings upon my line, because I was the voice of reason and sanity and--as always--temperance and moderation. You don't really want a parrot. No decent person really does, which should (correctly) brand avian enthusiasts as witches; consorting with their vile pets day in and day out, and in the tongues of men! Right under our noses!
I knew Barack Obama would ruin this country.