Last night, my brother reminded me that I’d failed to write about the rescue of his escaped parrot earlier this month after a night in the wild. Having heard of a similar episode in Georgia this week, now seems as good a time as any to cure the omission.
As previously mentioned, my sister-in-law’s nephew inadvertently let parrot Bob out of the house on the evening of December 1. Bob spent the night in parts unknown. When daylight came, Frank and Ellen found him perched high in a tree behind their house, stubbornly refusing to fly down.
Concerned the parrot would succumb to the cold or eventually starve to death, if not extricated from his makeshift aerie, Frank contacted his local fire department. The chief informed him, however, that the rescuing of treed birds did not fall within the department’s purview.
Given the absence of any lumberjacks in his area, Frank stretched his brain to its limit and thought to telephone an arborist. After three attempts, he located one willing to attempt a rescue. The tree crew propped an enormous ladder close to the branch where Bob roosted. Armed with a juicy Clementine, the arborist tried to entice Bob to leave his perch. But the nervous parrot skittered about and kept avoiding the man’s reach.
If it hadn’t been for one of the trusty phrases he’d learned from my brother while watching football, Bob might never have been saved. I’ve mentioned before how Frank inadvertently taught his pet a number of choice terms while yelling at his beloved New York Giants through the TV set. For years, in Bob’s presence, Frank expressed his displeasure when the Giants’ quarterback, Eli Manning, held onto the football too long and got sacked. Frank typically shouted: “Throw the ball! Stop scrambling and throw it, you asshole!!!” And before long, Bob joined in too.
After fifteen minutes watching the arborist maneuvering atop the ladder, Frank called up and asked how things were going. The man replied: “Not so good. Every time I try to give him the fruit, he scrambles around on the branch.”
Upon hearing the word “scramble,” Bob’s training kicked in. Out of nowhere, he spoke for the first time, screeching: “Throw it, you asshole!”
No one likes being called an “asshole,” least of all a guy fifty-feet up a tree, freezing his nuts off while risking his neck trying to save his verbal abuser. In no mood to accept such insult, the arborist tersely informed Bob: “You want me to throw it; I’ll throw it alright!” Then he pelted the bird’s chest with half a Clementine.
The assault nearly propelled Bob off his perch. Stunned, he failed to attempt evasive maneuvers when the arborist followed his fruit toss with a sudden grab. Before the parrot knew what hit him, he’d been snatched off his branch and carted down the ladder to safety.
Thanks to the arborist’s heroic efforts, Bob was reunited with his family, and my brother once more has a partner to curse out the Giants on Sundays.