Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Love You

My grandmother owned a mynah bird for 21 years. His name was Blackie (now you see where I got my mad naming skills) and he said a few dozen things in a voice that sounded like my grandmother speaking into a Dixie cup.

Blackie was a vicious bird. He would say, "I love you," lure you closer to his cage, and bite your finger with a beak-twisting, white-hot fury. Then he'd laugh like a bird possessed.

Love followed by pain. Good relationship training.

My grandmother lived on a narrow street in a dying steel town. Blackie learned how to honk like a car, sneeze, cough, imitate the Italian produce man's call of "fresh vege-tab," whistle La Vie En Rose, and ask "Do you want out?" which confused the hell out of the family dog. My grandmother loved that bird like he was her little baby.

By now, you're wondering why in the hell I'm telling you this. It's because we watched The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill last night. This is a gentle little doc about a man who befriends a flock of wild red-headed parrots. He feeds them, cares for them when they're sick, and patiently fields questions from tourists, even a guy who's a flaming asshole. I recommend this movie for the story, the birds, and the beautiful shots of San Francisco.

And remember, I love you.

Now come closer to the cage.

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