By Scott Sullivan
Brazilian police took a parrot into custody last month for yelling Mamãe, polícia! (Mama, police!) when cops came to bust its crack-dealing owners.
The bird’s warning, The Washington Post reports, didn’t work. Raid footage showed cops cataloguing small bags of crack while the parrot sat on a countertop near a glass bottle and racecar helmet.
This begs many questions. Did cops put the parrot in talon cuffs? Read it its rights? Lodge it in the hoosegow? Did owners who trained it to be a lookout smoke crack, drink alcohol, then drive racecars? NASCAR’s always looking to spike ratings. Picture cars crashing before the race even starts.
The parrot, The Post reports, was no stoolpigeon. It has stayed mum since then. Not animal rights activists, who demanded police “play Free Bird” and saw it released to a local zoo.
This is not the first time a parrot got pinched for aiding drug-dealers. In 2010 one named Lorenzo made headlines after cops caught it warning its owners “Run! Run!” while guarding guns and pot.
Colombian authorities claimed Lorenzo was one of 1,700 birds they had recently seized, believing all had been trained to warn their owners police were coming. With that many jailbirds, no wonder no room is left for drug lords.
Exotic animals, The Post reports, have long been used by drug cartels as accomplices in trafficking.
Dealers are known to tuck drugs into hidden compartments in crates holding venomous snakes marked “Don’t open!” so customs workers will be too scared to look inside them.
Mexican Zetas gang members fed enemies to backyard tigers. Brazilian police in 2008 confiscated two alligators from traffickers who had fed the reptiles corpses rival gang members’ corpses. PETA partisans have to love their own species getting our just desserts as dessert.
My wife’s gone through a ton of parrots. Most hated and bit me, but none learned to talk till Soda. He recited his name, “Night, night,” “Give me a kiss (smooch-smooch),” “Feel me dog,” “S’cuse me,” “Step up” and “Ah-ah!” (or “Let me out of this cage!”). A bird even I could love.
My wife took showers with Soda and ate meals with him on her shoulder till he tested his wings one day and flew within range of our dog, who we kept tethered even inside the house after learning the “non-killer” we were told we’d adopted had a hunting instinct. So much for Soda.
We found that dog a new home and my wife got another parrot. She needs someone to say what she trains them to; our daughter and I have been disappointments.
The new bird tweets and makes random sounds not unlike the President. Since obnoxious is the new endearing, I’m warming up to him.
Same for the new puppy, Pilot, who was supposed to be part-German shepherd, part-Rottweiler and grow into a majestic dog we could train to be gentle. Wrong.
He’s a long-bodied, short-legged mutt who’s insanely enthused, happy and keeps chewing furry toys till he gets out their squeak boxes. Like a heart transplant surgeon who forgets to complete the job.
After he’d chewed the heads off two mallards, I nailed them facing each other over Flannery’s bedroom door, flanking other “Hall of Shame” small toys salvaged from Happy Meals long ago on the sill.
When she got home she was as horrified as I’d hoped, pulled them down and returned them to my writing den, where with the other junk that’s accruing inspires me to new depths daily.
The Trashmen’s 1963 hit song “Surfin’ Bird” puts it best:
A-well-a everybody’s heard about the bird! Bird bird bird, b-bird’s the word. A-well-a bird bird bird, bird is the word …
This repeats till its subtlety sinks in, then resolves:
Pa pa oom mow m-mow! Pa pa oom m-mow mow ..
… repeating till studios pulled the plug on the band. We’ve gone downhill ever since.