Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Funnies for Thought: "Polly Wanna Cracker?"

I let one of my Stalker Stan Fans read this yesterday, something I posted way back in 2008... She'd been dranking much water and almost peed her pants while reading it..

Don't you all do that... YOU go use the bathroom before you read this piece.

This is a repost. If you read it before, read it again. It's so nice, read it twice! lol

This is a companion piece to yesterday's post... sort of. One of the few "funnies-for-thoughts" I have here on blog. I realized a week ago, when I'm worried or stressed, I sing. And it chases the blues away... And this post was the beginning of that.


One of my favorite authors, That Original Oldgirl Chele, wrote a post back on August 13th on her Writers Blog entitled "Breathe... just Breathe" that simply stated the following:

"I was just handed an assignment to interview a parrot.**There are no words**"

LOL! Imagine that!

It made me laugh...

Because it made me think of my own interaction with a parrot back in 2001.

My car's odometer had hit the 60,000 mile mark. Well, it was reading around 62,000 miles. And you know what that means: time for that big service- replacement of time belt, water pump, transmission service and the like.

I was living in New Orle.ans at the time. A sista in my group, a wonderful mentor and a fellow Doc, a great microbiologist, Maureen, had a Mazda. She was a New Orleans native, and I went to her for advice on who to go to for this service.

"I take my car to Excellent Auto Service," she said.
I leaned against the doorjamb of her office and crossed my arms across my chest. "Uh, that's the actual name of a shop?"
"Yeah, been going there for years. The guy does a good job."
"Okay," I said.

I trusted her on that. Maureen was the woman. She was a BAD sista. She knew EVERYTHING.

So, I called and made an appointment. A week later, I dropped my car off at the shop.

The mechanic was nice. Looked like Tony Danza, lol. He told me to have a seat in the waiting room and he'd be back to take my information and give me an estimate.

I walked into the huge waiting room, and saw a LARGE cage that basically covered a whole wall. I mean, it was BIG! It had big tree limbs and all kinds of forest type stuff (probably all fake).

And in that cage was a big colorful parrot.

He was sitting on a branch, and looked my way when I'd walked into the room.

I walked over to the the cage and stared back at it. He flew to a branch closer to me and peered at me curiously.

"Polly wanna a cracker?" I asked in a high pitched voice.

The bird blinked. And continued staring.

I whistled at it a couple of times, made a few of the kissy noises one makes at dogs. And I asked the same question over and over again.

"Polly wanna cracker?"

Bird stared.

Then, the parrot threw back it's head and yelled "Ohhhhhhhhh!"

Oh Lord, I thought. I'd upset the bird. I turned to go sit down in one of the chairs, hoping that that the mechanic didn't run in the room and ask me what I did to upset his precious bird.

The bird yelled again. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh beautiful!"

I turned back to the cage. "You calling me beautiful, birdie? Thank you!"

A compliment from a bird! How nice, I thought.

The bird blinked. Stared at me for a moment. Then started yelling REAL Loud.

Or should I say singing real loud:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Beautiful!
For spaaaaaacious skies!
For amber waves of graaaaaaaaaaaaain!
For perfect mountains majesty!
Above the fruited plains!
Amerrrrrica! Amerrrrrrica!
God shed his grace on theeeeeeee!
And crown our good!
With brotherhood!
From sea to shining seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea!

*LadyLee looking around the room to see if she was on candid camera*

Dang! Tripped me out.

Parrot just stared at me.

I didn't know what to say. After a moment, I said "You're a patriotic parrot."

It flapped its wings and started up again.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Beautiful...

For some reason, I stood erect and placed my hand over my heart, and sang with it.

It gave me the *gas face* when I messed up the words (I still don't know the words), but I caught on...

And we sang America the Beautiful together a good four times. The bird swayed back and forth on his branch. I stood in the at the front of the cage, my hand on my heart, singing along.

I had NO idea where my mechanic was. But I was glad he was taking his time.

I spoke to him later. He'd ran up on me and that bird singing. (Of course, I tried to play it off, lol)
"You like my bird?"
"Yeah. He sure is patriotic."
"I taught him that song a few years ago. That's all he sings."
"Well, that's a good thing. He could be singing something derogatory."

We laughed. I got my estimate, and called a friend to pick me up.

I'm glad I ran into that bird. I was in a funk for the good part of that week. At the same time I was skipping around all happy because I'd just gotten offer for the job I have now, back in my hometown of Atlanta. I'd secured a nice condo to live in. Things were going WELL for ME. I was happy.

But there had been a couple of jacked up arguments with the hubby at home.

He was a manager at one of the local strip clubs, and he called one night to let me know that he was bringing one of his strippers home. She was drunk, was passed out, and he didn't want to leave her on the side of the club.

"Anything could happen to her, Lee. We're locking up, and I don't want to leave her here on the side of the road."
"Take her butt home," I suggested.
"That's all the way over on the West Bank," he said. "And you know that I don't have a car." [His had been repossessed.]

I was quiet. I had a car. And my car was off limits. He caught rides or walked wherever he needed to go. He use to chauffeur those broads around in his own car and would complain to ME about finding crack pipes and syringes in his ride. Can't use my car, bruh!

"I'm bringing her home."
"Where is everybody at?" I asked.
"They are gone. I didn't notice she was here until I did my final check for the night. She was passed out. I can't leave her here," he wailed.

I didn't say a word.

"I'm bringing her home."
"Do what you wanna do, man. I'm leaving Egypt anyway!"
"What's that suppose to mean?"

I didn't reply. Just hung up on him. It was 3 in the morning, and I needed to get some sleep. I looked out the window when he came home in a cab... with his drunk stripper.

My first thought was to grab one of the many shotguns, .38s, or .45s we had laying around the house and shoot negroes. But I would've gotten locked up behind that one.

Which meant I'd be stuck in Egypt, i.e. New Or.leans.

That wasn't going down.

You see, I'd been hollering HARD at work, to everyone's dismay:


I was LOUD with that ish. I mean, EVERY time I stepped in the breakroom, in the halls, anywhere. The director pulled me to the side one day and asked "Dr. LadyLee, are you alright?"


Anyway, I woke up the next morning and saw Tylenol on the counter. My hubby was sitting on the couch. He gave me a hard glare, as if he was daring me to say something.

"So you really brought her home, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I did. That's what I said I was doing, didn't I?"

He looked like he wanted to buck. He'd never hit me, but uh... he looked like he wanted to then.

I left it alone. I needed to get to work. I was packing up my office that day.

This whole thing did upset me. I would be lying if I said it didn't. For those who know me, I tend to hide my feelings (More often than not, I get verbally stomped if I express an opinion of any sort. I am getting better, though, I suppose).

For some strange reason I was REALLY popular among the employees on my job. There was a sign-up list in my office of whoever wanted to take me to lunch or dinner or spend some time with me before we left. (I spent the day with one Creole cutie that I had a slight crush on. Hung out in the Central Business District visiting his favorite places, even hung out at his grandma's house, met his kids...OH MY).

I mean, folks made going away videos, gave me HUGE going away parties.... DANG! It was overwhelming...

But that stripper mess was on my mind. It was like a storm cloud that had moved in over a sunny day at the beach.

During some of these "meetings" with a few lady friends, I discussed it with them. All of them basically said:

"Lee, you shoulda cussed him out."
"I wouldn't have allowed that sh**!"
"Lee, you shoulda bust him in the head!"
"You a much better woman than me, Lee! I woulda got locked up for murder that night."

"N'awl. We got too many weapons in the house," was my simple reply. "Somebody woulda got shot that night. And besides, my name is Moses, and I'm raising up outta Egypt."

I remember one of my homegirls down there pulling me to the side and saying "I've talked to some of my girls and they're prepared to go catch up with your boy over at the Su.gar Shack and beat his ass. You just give the word."

"N'awl. That's okay. Ya'll trying to have me locked up. And besides, My name is Moses, and I'm leaving Egypt."

I was still miffed by it all. Didn't speak to the hubby for a week. That type of thing messes with your "womaness". I mean, it really made me question my worth. And that ain't good.

And then... I took my car in, and met a parrot.
A caged parrot.
A parrot who, though caged, had a song in it's heart.
And I sang a song with a parrot.


You know how a song can get stuck in your head?

Well, after singing America the Beautiful with a parrot four times in a row, I was humming that song, singing it around the house...

While I packed dishes.
While I got together old clothes to take down to the local teen runaway center.
While I made plans to have my cable and lights turned off down there and turned on up in Atlanta.

The hubby came in one day.

"What's wrong with you? Why you keep singing America?"
"Just singing a song, man. And packing my stuff."

He milled around watching me pack. I paid him no mine.

"Lee, I'm sorry for bringing that stripper home. I just didn't know what to do."
"Don't apologize. You take care of them hos better than you take care of me. That's on you. All I know is that you better pack. This lease is in my name, and once I turn the keys in, you are homeless."

Well that started an argument. His voice was shaky like he was about to cry or something. He was blinking hard. Whatever.

He was staying in New Or.leans a bit longer. I was leaving.

I hummed my song. He stormed out the house.

I thought about the simple lesson I learned from a mere parrot.

Even though I was in a bad situation, I could still sing a song. And choose to be happy anyway.

So Chele...

Interview your parrot, Oldgirl. Yeah, I know, I know, it's silly.

But do it anyway.

No telling what lesson you may learn.


  1. I remember when you first posted this. I never did go see that blasted parrot. I love the message in this post. Have a great weekend!

  2. The message in this post is something we all can learn from.

  3. Great story, and greater lesson. What I've taken away from this is that I need to have a song in my heart on standby for those days, weeks, months, that try to beat me down.

    And, I love that you said choose to be happy...that's a mantra I live by..but adding a song will help make the choice easier :)

  4. You have the BEST stories! This is something I will carry with me and remember on those bad days. You always give such great tools for life through your stories. You definetely have a gift in and through your writing. So glad that you are using it. You didn't go through those experiences for nothing. You were meant to share them and help others. But the way you tell them is just so unique.
    Have a good weekend!

  5. Single Ma6:01:00 PM

    I'm glad I took heed and used the bathroom first. LOL @ you singing with a dang bird with your hand over your heart! But it's another great story, Doc. Thanks for sharing the lesson learned. Def something I need to remember and apply.

    By the way, I probably would have called the police and had them BOTH removed from MY house. Hmph! You have a kind and patient heart, Doc.

    Lesson LEARNED!

  7. This was hilariously beautifu! Girl, I woke my husband up laughing at you and that parrot!
    I agree with ginae, you are a gifted writer.


Slap the *crickets* out the way, kindly step up to the mike, and SAY something!!