Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4 – NaBloPoMo

I have a cockatiel. Right now, her name is “goddammit bird.” She’s pretty amazing and we’ve discovered that she travels well. Ok, she travels well NOW, but our first trip together was a nightmare rolled up in neuroses, sprinkled liberally with psychoses, and tied up with hysteria. It was a very long three hours from home to the beach.

When a cockatiel is alarmed or frightened, or just wants to piss someone off, they will squawk or shriek loudly in a high-pitched manner that would make Helen Keller wince. This is un-fun in an enclosed space the size of my car. For three and a half hours. At night. In horrible weather. Weather that was stressing me out to the point my neck had all but disappeared under my shoulders. The only reason she survived is because she was in the backseat and I couldn’t risk reaching back there to choke her while I was driving.

Once we were at the cabin, she settled in nicely and while I spent most of the summer fretting and worrying about a repeat performance on the way home again, I was pleasantly surprised that she did really well. Sure, she’d get panicky at things outside the car, but hell, so do I.

Now she comes with me if I’m going to be gone for more than one night, or if the house is going to be too cold for her. I’ve shut off the furnace because the last time it came on, the accompanying BOOM rattled the windows and all my nerves. Until I can afford to repair it, we’re using the wood stove. Which, by the way is awesome and keeps the place roasty toasty because I have no idea how to keep it going over night and I hate trying to start a fire twice a day… Long story. I’ll save it for day five, ok?

Anyway, the only problem I have with the bird is one that is attached to my phone, that same phone engraved deeply into my shit list. The nice thing about the phone is that it has a great blue tooth system that allows me to speak into the air to make my calls. This is rather limiting, as I do not know the phone numbers of most of the people in my contacts, but I have forgotten how to enter them into the system so I can just press a button, say a name, and make my call. This means, I can only call people whose numbers I have memorized. They are few.

However, I do have Tam in the system, plus I know her number by heart. The problem is when I’m trying to talk to my car, there cannot be much background noise, or the car will say, “Pardon?” in her sexy lady-car voice and I’ll have to repeat myself. When I’m alone, it isn’t much of an issue, but when I have the bird? Oh, hell… it usually goes something like this:

Me (pushing talk button).
Car: Say a command.
Me: Dial by numSQUAWKber.
Car: Pardon?
Me: Shut up, bird.
Car: Pardon?
Me: Dial by numSHRIEKber.
Car: Pardon?
Me: Ok, dial by naSQUAWKme.
Car: Pardon?
Me: Goddammit bird, shut up.
Bird: SQUAWK!!
Car: Pardon?
Me: Ignore her. Dial by—
Car: Say a command.
Me: I’m trying, dammit.
Bird: SHRIEK!!!!
Car: Pardon?
Me: I’m going to kill you!

Car: Shut up, bird.

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