I’m skyping with Rita, getting unusually weird sounds. “Sounds like you have a parrot in your house,” I say.
“I do. I’m birdsitting for some friends until next week. He’s a very good mimic. He says ‘how are you’ just like his owners but when he says ‘drink some water’ he sounds just like me. The first time I heard it I said, whaaaaatttt? Hallelujah is one of his favorite words. It’s a perfect parrot word with its ls. Did you just hear him? ‘How are you’.”
“How are you?” I respond. On a whim, I whistle, midrange and rising. My lips are stiff and the whistle is so faint I wonder if her computer is picking up any of it, but then I hear a responding whistle, same pitch, louder. I whistle again, the parrot whistles back. We do this a dozen times or so. The parrot gets tired of the game before I do.
What, I ask you, could be more wonderful than exchanging air kisses with a parrot in Nigeria on New Year’s Eve? Nothing I can think of.
Happy 2014. Do a rain dance. Shout hallelujah. Tighten up.