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“This Guy is Worse Than Costanza!”

July 13th, 2010

Time for a Nap Behind the Sacks of Sweet Feed

The other day Maynard and I shared one of those moments you only experience when you have pets that are insane.

We were having a frozen Hershey bar with almonds, and I said this: “I can’t give you too much because it’ll make you hallucinate. Not that it matters when you’re a bird.”

I’m glad no one records our talks.

Mike just called. His pal George Steinbrenner is dead. Mike and Steinbrenner go way back. Mike managed his race horses for a while. He only got fired twice.

Mike says he could write a book about the private Steinbrenner no one knows about. He told me a few horrifying things before I indicated that I was not a big fan of gossip. Also, I wanted to keep breakfast down.

He said Steinbrenner took him to lunch with Red Grange. Seriously. And Steinbrenner and Red Grange started picking on Mike to toughen him up and make a man out of him. I said he should have taken a swing at Red Grange and said, “Yeah, you were a great football player, but now you’re old, so don’t get smart.” But I didn’t really mean it. Besides, Grange probably would have clotheslined him right at the table.

Life is fairly odd.

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16 Responses to ““This Guy is Worse Than Costanza!””

  1. pbird Says:

    Life is real odd.

  2. Steve In Tulsa Says:

    This actually concerns me; I have always been told that chocolate is toxic to parrots. So I ahve faithfully kept it from my two birds. Are you saying it is okay to feed parrots chocolate? If so then how about Avocado which I have also heard is toxic to parrots?

    Have I simply been misled?

  3. Steve H. Says:

    A lot of people have stupid, hysterical ideas about what pets can eat safely, and they promulgate those ideas irresponsibly. Avocados are extremely poisonous to parrots, but Marv and Maynard (and many other parrots) have no problems with tiny amounts of chocolate. I think what I told Maynard is probably fairly accurate.
    .
    The big problem with the hysteria is that people will get the idea that if one food hazard is a myth, the rest must be myths, too. A person who finds out chocolate isn’t a deadly bird poison might think it was okay to share guacamole with his parrot.
    .
    I’ve seen bird hobbyists mindlessly repeat (I won’t say “parrot”) all sorts of stupid myths. They say caffeine and alcohol will kill birds. What a load. Maynard and Marvin stick their beaks in nearly everything I eat or drink, and they have never suffered any ill effects whatsoever. They eat ribs, pizza, various types of candy, raw lemon slices, French fries…you name it. They’ve stolen sips of beer and even martinis. They love Coca-Cola.
    .
    You have to remember something. A lot of people who own parrots are into idiot food fads, such as veganism. They project their moronic fringe beliefs onto their pets. They even campaign against bird seed, which is funny, since the staple food of African greys is the fatty seed of a palm tree.
    .
    I won’t have an avocado in the house, and I won’t let them go in a room where guacamole is served, but other than that, I apply common sense and let them live a little. Neither of them has ever had a health problem of any kind, and they have never picked their feathers.

  4. virgil Says:

    Glad to see you back posting again…I was getting a little worried.

  5. Peg Says:

    I thought the same about chocolate and parrots. And, as avocado is one of the few foods I really cannot stand (ugh; that slimy, green pulp…) – no worries about THAT getting into our household.

    Mr. Mollo loves all things salty and carbohydrate-y: popcorn, eggs, bagels, chips, steak, chicken, etc. Oddly, he isn’t much of a fan of anything sweet. You’d think he’d want to chow down fresh fruit, but he turns up his beak to it in favor of a nice french fry instead.

    Glad to hear that the boys are doing well, Steve!

  6. Steve In Tulsa Says:

    Thank you, that is helpful. I won’t be as fearful of chocolate around the birds. My birds also eat just about everything I do. So I carefully keep avocado away from them and I also have been leery of chocolate. They say dogs can’t eat chocolate either so it kind of made sense that other critters might have trouble with it too.

    Anyway, thanks… Experience is a great teacher.

  7. Rick C Says:

    Steve, how much time a day do you let them out of their cages? I mean ideally, not necessarily “well, for the last month I’ve been too busy to give them more than a few minutes a day” or “last night i forgot to close the door and they spent the entire night eating the mantle over the fireplace.”

  8. Rick C Says:

    Steve in Tulsa: dogs and chocolate is an interesting one: some dogs can tolerate chocolate. In that regard it’s more like a peanut allergy in people. The problem is that there’s really only one way to see if your dog can handle it, and that’s to give him chocolate, and the stakes are rather high, because small amounts can be lethal if he can’t. If the dog got into the Halloween candy while you were at work and suffered no ill effects other than maybe throwing it up all over the carpet because he was a pig and ate too much of it (and no, of course I’m not speaking from experience here) then it’s probably safe to let him have it afterwards. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.

  9. Steve H. Says:

    One of the reasons I always tell people not to buy parrots is that it is nearly impossible to give them as much “out” time or companionship as they should have. I set aside an hour for my birds every day, as a minimum. Unfortunately, I can’t have them both out at once, because they would kill each other. In an ideal situation, they wouldn’t be caged at all.
    .
    They don’t tell you these things when you show up with your credit card. People who sell birds place greed above humanity.

  10. Peg Says:

    Between Ed and me, our birds get a tremendous amount of attention. I dunno if they are spoiled or not. I only know that they seem exceptionally happy and healthy – and we enjoy all our time with them.

    Of course, there can be a horrific downside to not keeping your birds caged. As Steve knows too well, we had a tragedy in our household a few months ago when our sweet Sunny the Budgie had perched on the top of a very tall door – and I was not aware of it. I unknowingly closed the door – and lost my little baby.

    Sadly, I know better than most. If your birdies are not in the cage, then be certain you know where they are and that they are safe and sound!!!

  11. Rick C Says:

    Steve, thanks. Parrots wouldn’t fit in with my lifestyle, as we have two large dogs and two cats. Otherwise I’d be strongly tempted to have a macaw or cockatoo–I know they do require a certain amount of out time, just wasn’t sure how much. I have a friend who owns several parrots; he tries to make sure they get a good amount of out time, and with his more well-behaved macaws he generally leaves their cage doors open all day long.

  12. Steve In Tulsa Says:

    Sorry for the delay… My brids go into their cages once in a blue moon. The Blue Front amazon flies around where ever she wants. The Congo is much younger and intimidated by the older Amazon. But Archy can say, I wanna go kitchen, or , I wanna go shower. And he gets a ride. The amazon can’t really talk. Mostly my fault as I have a deep voice. The amazon can’t go that deep. Neither can Archy but he refuses to admit to his limitations and won’t stop doing my voice anyway. Archy has a problem with wing feather chewing. He has all his feathers except his wings which he self destructs. Munchausen? I don’t know. He is very happy and seemingly otherwise well adjusted. He learns new stuff really fast. He loves attention. Lulu is a male Amazon Aestiva and Archy is a female African Congo. Now I am just rambling….

  13. pbird Says:

    I don’t actually get a parrot Steve because I know you are right and I wouldn’t be able to treat it as it should be treated. I travel too much and have too many kids and animals around.

  14. Steve H. Says:

    I suspect that the reason Marv and Maynard don’t pick their feathers is that I take them out and mash them and pummel them like dogs. Parrots crave contact, as all parrot owners know. I’m not sure this is why they don’t pick, but it ain’t broke, so I’m not fixing it.

  15. Steve In Tulsa Says:

    Peg; I have an airlock designed for birds. I am very careful. And I spoil them too much. I have to lock up the flying bird when company comes. But Archy, who cannot fly, is the hit of the party. Lulu swoops people and people don’t like that. Archy imitates them and they love it.

    You would be amazed how bird safe my home is.

  16. Peg Says:

    I’ve had pet birds since I was five years old (many, MANY moons ago) – and Sunny was my first ever bird loss to something other than illness or old age. I love having my birdies free to come and go … I only know that I went from being very careful to beyond careful now.

    And Steve – I know what you mean about manhandling the guys. I take Mr Mollo, put my mouth on his tummy and make loud noises, pretend like I’m going to eat him, etc. He always seems as if he’s enjoying himself!