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.



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