Home Lifestyle COLUMN: Indiana Joe and the Great Parrot Faux Pas

COLUMN: Indiana Joe and the Great Parrot Faux Pas

For a week or so, I have been staring at this gorgeous blue bird that likes to visit my next door neighbor’s lawn. 

I had assumed it liked it there because it was there every day, pretty much in the same spot. I don’t know how to describe the shade of blue as it is such a brilliant blue with a faint green trace that I imagined that someone’s pet exotic bird had gotten loose and was on my neighbor’s lawn. 

We get the occasional Jehovah’s Witness, once in a great while we get a really pushy guy selling overpriced vacuum cleaners, and we once had a political candidate. A local one, from a few streets over, but a political candidate nonetheless. 

We have lived here for some time and I have seen cardinals and jays, doves and wrens, but a parrot was big news. There once was a lady in Columbia, Maryland, who saw a small monkey in a tree in her backyard, so she went out to meet the monkey and the monkey bit her pretty hard. That made the television news. I wasn’t about to be the guy who walked out onto his neighbor’s lawn only to get the Tippi Hedren treatment from a tropical bird that can’t find his way home. 

Yesterday morning, I woke my wife up so she could come outside and see this parrot that keeps sitting in the grass in front of my neighbor’s house. I didn’t bother telling the neighbor about the parrot, because that would have made too much sense and my wife and I had not been in our neighbor’s yard in our pajamas in, well, never. 

I walked across our driveway, across the little stretch of lawn, gesturing excitedly with my “I’m A Grandpa, What’s Your Super Power?” coffee mug, trying not to scare the parrot, all the while sloshing hot coffee over my hand. 

“Look,” I whispered, “it’s a parrot!”

“You think you are whispering, but you are just yelling quietly,” my wife said.

I put a finger to my lips.

“Ssh,” I said, “you’ll scare the parrot.”

“What parrot?” My wife said something between the “what” and the “parrot,” but this is a family paper, so you will have to use your imagination. “It’s 6:30 in the morning and you have me out of bed hunting for jungle animals.”

I pointed to the brilliant blue bird on the lawn. 

“That’s not a parrot,” my wife said, holding in a giggle.

“What is it then? A macaw? A toucan? No, it can’t be a toucan, they have multicolored beaks and are bigger. I’ve seen enough boxes of Froot Loops to know what a toucan looks like.”

“It’s not a bird at all, you big moron. It’s a kid’s toy from the next house over.”


It was that moment I realized this beautiful wayward bird that I had been worrying about for a week was, in fact, a plastic toy. Not only was it not anything remotely parrot-like, it was a big blue M&M candy riding a motorcycle. I don’t know if he was plain or peanut, but judging from his shape, I would lean more toward peanut. My beautiful avian vision was not a bird at all, but something that would melt in my mouth and not on my hands. 

“Wanna take a photo for the Audubon Society, Mister Magoo?” my wife said. 

“No, I don’t want to take a photo for the Audubon Society, you battle axe,” I said, “I want to go back in the house and wash the coffee off of my hand.” 


“I’m sorry it wasn’t a parrot.” 

My wife put her hand on my shoulder as we walked across the lawn.

“Me too,” I admitted, “I woke you up for an M&M on a motorcycle.”

“Let’s not say those words again. Let’s just forget this happened.” 

For those who have been patient enough to read this far, it would appear that I need to make an appointment with my eye doctor. A few months ago when I wrote the column about breaking my glasses and getting new ones, I did just that, but I skipped the exam and just had the nice glasses lady put my lenses into new frames. My wife said she would call and make the appointment for me. Even better, she said she would go with me in case they make my pupils all goofy and I have to wear those temporary sunglasses that make me look like Ray Charles. 

The best part is my wife brings snacks for the waiting room. She promised she would bring a bag of M&Ms for us to share.

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.



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