Ludiguer-Sick as a parrot-Who's sad?

Sick as a parrot - Who's sad? By Ludiguer

I remember the day I received an email from Adam, a close friend of mine, asking me to go to Benidorm. I was very optimistic because my friend has a heart of gold so instead of having my usual Saturday morning lie in, I decided to drive there, as I had been recommended by my doctor. She said it would really lift my mood relieving symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, as I was supposed to have developed SAD a few years ago, and although it is said that when summer shifts to autumn and on to winter, shorter days and longer nights may trigger feelings of depression which must not be brushed off as simply a case of the -winter blues- , I do really think that nothing would have happened if I had not bought that chatterbox.

It is true that I suffer from disturbed sleep and early morning wakening. My feeling of fatigue and inability to carry out normal routine can not be denied. Impossible to ignore my feelings of guilt and self-esteem. Let us not turn a blind eye to my desire to avoid social contact and all the above without forgetting my extremes of mood, but what would anybody else do if his or her brand new parrot woke him or her up in the beginning, middle and end of the night, day in day out, reminding him or her that things can always be made better but obviously not by him or her, and he or she is prevented from having any social life as the owner does not want friends to know about his or her talkative bird?

I would describe myself as conscientious, open-minded, easy-going, cheerful, ambitious, funny and optimistic. If someone asked me how my parrot is I would reply immature, bad-tempered, annoying, impulsive, arrogant, possessive and a pain in the neck. And optimistic as I am, if she were asked about her owner I know she would say that I am awkward, clumsy, cack-handed, bungling, inept and a few more things which make me wonder again why the day I entered that pet shop I did choose this loudmouth instead of that silent tortoise or the mild lizard.

So after shutting down my computer I told my feathered-friend about my plans, and without wasting a minute I took his big cage, put it in the backseat of my car and as soon as I started the engine a nasty noise came from behind.

- “It is good to spend a day out together”, said my multicolored-bird,

- “Yes, it is”, I replied reluctantly.

- “Which doesn’t happen very often”, he reproached me.

- “Doesn’t it?”

- “You know how I would enjoy a city sightseeing tour”

- “Would you?

- “And we never go shopping”

- “Should we?”

- “Of course we should. But now we’re just on our maiden voyage, aren’t we?

- “Yes, we are.”

- “The city’s skyline continues to develop as new apartment blocks and leisure facilities are built”.

- “Yes, it does”.

- “It is good to go out. You certainly can not be sitting around at home developing cabin fever although you must never forget that people are quite likely to get run over buy a bus”.

It was very like him. I did not know really what it could have to do with anything we had mention or seen before, but he had to tell it, and no later than a minute he asked, “where will you meet?”

- “At the post office”, I replied, which was a euphemism for our favorite pub.

- “Is Steve a postman now?”

- “Yes, he is“

- “I thought he was a teacher. And what about Adam. Is he a postman too?

- “Yes, he is”.

- “Aren’t they teachers anymore?

- “Postmen in the morning and teachers in the afternoon”, I replied in the hope of not being disturbed again. Which obviously did not happen.

- “Remember that old saying”.

“Old saying?, old saying?”, I did not want to ask, and I knew that if I did I would regret it, but a very tiny part of my brain needed to know what saying he was talking about, so once again I made the big mistake of asking, and of course, my question had an answer.

- “Yes, it is a very popular saying among birds… I think you know it…, er, it is er.. Postmen of one letter flock together”.

Great!, I wanted a saying, didn’t I?, so there it was. I did not say anything because I knew it would have encouraged him, but only twenty seconds have elapsed since his last word when he started speaking again.

- “You are fairly convinced that you will enjoy it”.

- “Yeah”.

- “It’s inevitable that you’ll meet at last a few new faces“.

- “Aha”.

- “This weekend is bound to be sunny”.

- “Is it?”

- “And there’s a fair chance that you’ll catch at least a little sunshine”.

- “Mm”.

- “You’ll probably try and adopt a positive outlook and see how long it lasts“.

- “Yes, I will. And I will be such a positive guy that I am sure you will save your excellent communication skills for a rainy day“, I replied as I turned the car radio on and kept on driving.

We arrived about fifty minutes later, parked and went to the “post office” to meet my friends. How wonderful it was, Adam, Steve, Mike, Epi, who was there too, and me sitting around the same table. Epi having a coffee, I was drinking mi coke and our three pasty, nose-peeling mates had one pint in front of each. We chatted and laughed until Mike stood up, stepped up to the stage, picked up his saxophone and played a couple of lovely tunes as he only can perform, and before he sat down with us again, the TV set was on as the football game was about to begin . We watched it as my parrot listened to what we said, and when the game was over, and knowing that Adam was from Leeds and Mike from Birmingham, my winged-friend told an inappropriate remark about how wonderful teams Leeds United and Aston Vila are and how bad Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal were, mainly if we bear in mind that Adam supports Liverpool and Mike supports Arsenal. So I had to think quickly what was bad and what was worse. In other words, my reputation would be really damaged, but I had to choose either pretend that it was my voice and that those were my embarrassing remarks, which was bad, or convince my friends that those unfortunate comments had been told by my parrot, which was worse, and suddenly the solution came across mi mind, and I shouted, “let’s get in and drink whiskey”. I hardly ever drink whiskey but after my fifth one I became a really skilled boozer. And between the sixth and the seventh one somebody slapped me on the back and said, “nice to see you again”. I turned around and saw Karla, my Scottish doctor, who probably thought that I had magnified her instructions, or maybe that I really suffered from SAD, but this time it stood for Saturday’s Alcoholic Drinking, instead of standing for Speaking-Animal Disadvantages, which was my real disease. The last time we saw each other we talked about bagpipes, Loch Ness, the thistle, the drich weather and I told her that I would rather wear a kilt than drink whisky, and I am sure she has no doubt about it now, as I looked as the perfect starring of a scene of debauchery and when it seemed that things could not get worse, something happened that made a seventh whisky required, and it was when Karla introduced to me her close friend Laura, who only a few days before had offered me a very nice job, I only had to have a word with her agent in Belfast, another girl called Martha, and the job would be mine. It is true that there was another applicant for this job, a girl called Elena, but unless I spoilt it all when I meet Martha, the job would be mine. Then, after exchanging greetings Laura grabbed somebody’s arm and told me, “here’s my friend Martha, She is from Belfast, do you remember I told you about her?”, as her right eye blinked. Martha and I shook hands, mainly to prevent her from smelling my bad breath, and then she said, “this is Elena, she is a close friend of mine who will probably come to Belfast to work with me”, and lowering her voice kept on saying, “as soon as Laura’s applicant make a mistake”. Wonderful, I was supposed to be Laura’s candidate, and those seven whiskeys were supposed to be my mistake, so once again they would notice I was suffering from SAD, namely, Stupid Applicant Discarded. So before becoming a beach tout, or getting sloshed on the sand or perhaps being engaged in a steamy romantic encounter beside a sandcastle built by some incontinent outdoor past-midnight alcohol-worshipper, I decided to leave the pub, pick up my parrot and drive back home, and I would have done it if not for the eighth whiskeys, because I had to drink another one before leaving, and the irrelevant fact that I could not remember where I had parked so Epi gave me a lift home. I was feeling sad, but this time just sad, it stood for nothing but the opposite of happy. No job, no car, nearly no friends, no money and no more good reputation. We got in the car and I remember sitting in the back sit, when he started his car and I started having a nap, until the moment when a voice let out a yell, “wake up, wake up!”, it was my parrot’s shrieking voice, so I woke up, looked at the time, got up and went to the living room to see what was happening. There was my parrot, and I asked her:

- “What’s going on now?”

- “What time is it?”, she asked.

- “It is a quarter past three in the morning”

- “Is it still Friday?”

- “No, it is Saturday now”

- “Are we going to meet your friends today?”

- “I don’t know. My wife and I will decide when we get up and let you know, but please, do not wake me up again. Good night”

- “I’d like to go. I have never been to Benidorm”, she said as I walked back to bed.

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