When Mom came home from the swap meet with a trio of parrots, I was stoked. They were big birds covered in splashes of dynamic color, and possessed an exotic appeal that drew me in like a feathery Shakira. But it didn’t take long for me to realize one thing: parrots are assholes.

Three colorful parrots on a limb

Parrots are filthy beasts, exhibiting the cleanliness of a cesspool, while fooling you with their majestic beauty, eating like pigs with a slipshod disregard for their surroundings. Mom and I fed our parrots a daily diet of fruit, peanuts, and love, which they tossed about all over the place. This array of food would be processed in their parrot bellies and exit as an endless stream of stinky poop. This poop would plaster itself on the walls, the floor, and whatever unfortunate things lay below their indiscriminating butts. This poop would harden in a heartbeat and be nothing less of a bitch to remove.

The parrots laughed at my request for peace and attacked me in unison. I was in the hospital for weeks.As these parrots pooped, they’d chew on anything and everything that was nearby. The chewing was endless. They’d chew on the toys we bought for them. They’d chew on the walls. They’d chew on most kinds of plastics, and their efforts would result in a Pollock-like patchwork of debris that I had to sweep up every damn day.

Also, parrots have the manners of a drunk Burt Reynolds and act equally as haughty. Our parrots, Azul, Princess, and Yamin, would unleash a horrific symphony of caw caws that shook up our house every morning—CAW CAW CAW. They’d purposely caw at 6:00 am on the dot to maximize their annoyingness. I nearly lost my mind for lack of sleep.

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As I fed these psycho-birds, half-asleep, I learned that our parrots were also sadist. They would bite my fingers daily with a strength of 350 PSI, while clearly smiling as I screamed in agony and begged for mercy. I couldn’t tolerate this daily dose of morning violence, so I used my superior communication skills and tried to negotiate a peace treaty with them.

It was futile. The parrots laughed at my request for peace and attacked me in unison. I was in the hospital for weeks.

I vowed revenge, and as time passed by, I lost it a little. I lost sleep. I rarely bathed, and I spoke to myself like that dude from Apocalypse Now.

My parrot war raged on for years, and then, out of the blue, the parrots were let go.

Mom said she got rid of them for pragmatic reasons, i.e. parrots cost mad cash. The yearly cost of keeping one parrot is $3,000. That’s $10,000 spent on parrots per year that could’ve been spent on friends, family, or dope. But Mom also had other reasons too.

Azul and Princess were setting off my gay-dar. Seriously, parrots go gay—Google that shit. I saw Azul and Princess in love, and I saw my chance for revenge. Mom, being the typical religious type, didn’t dig the gay thing. So I told her, and the woman…became…hysterical. (As a note: I love the gays. I wish I was gay myself, but I was in a vendetta mindset.) "This be sin," she lamented. She did her best to let it go, but bigots be bigots.

Azul and Princess were hasta la vista. I was too happy, relishing in that high you only get from destroying true love.

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Once Azul and Princess got going, Yamin got needy. If left alone, parrots get super attached to their owners. So Yamin got super attached to Mom. He never left her side. If anyone got close to Mom, he’d caw up a storm and bite. The bird was getting all Mike Tyson on us, but Mom didn’t care.

Yamin acted with impunity. But dogs don’t give a hoot about a bird’s impunity. After Yamin bit a random dog’s tail, he got his ass kicked. Mom saw that Yamin was too much trouble, and after a tearful goodbye, finally gave him away.

Years of parrot occupation had suddenly ended. I was free.

I look back at this time in my life, and feel grateful for making it through in one piece, but I have to admit I kind of miss the birds. Today I’m sort of like America after the fall of the USSR: a hero without a villain, a cowboy without a horse. I still stand by my sentiment that parrots are assholes, but life needs assholes. I guess things look rosier in hindsight.

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