"Oh Glenn, you're so impulsive!"
I remember that's exactly what Marla shouted when she opened her present. It was her 30th birthday and I'd wanted it to be something special, something fun.
It was a parrot. A beautiful, exotic, talking parrot with red and green feathers.
"Oh Glenn, you're so impulsive RARRRKK", the bird echoed.
Marla loved that parrot. I'd come home and she'd have taught the bird 10 new phrases. I'd gotten the perfect present to keep my wife occupied at home all day long.
Cooking, cleaning, entertaining: Marla did it all, and was even eager to kiss my cheek when I got back.
Even if I had decided on a whim to stay out late with the boys or go gambling without asking first.
It wasn't until one evening when I decided to come home early and surprise her that I discovered the truth. Marla was out to the store and I was alone with her precious bird.
"Harder baby, RARRRKK!", the parrot squawked out.
Amused, but concerned, I listened.
"Why can't my husband do it like that? RARRRKK!"
I cleaned off the fire poker and put it back in its holder. I've always been an all or nothing kind of guy, and Marla was my everything. If I couldn't have her, no one could.
I'll admit I acted harshly, but I saw no reason why a bird would lie. In fact, I owed that bird everything for exposing the truth.
In a way, the parrot took Marla's place. I'd come home and the bird would screech:
"Just in time for supper, RARRRKK!"
As time passed, I noticed the parrot became more articulate. It would chime new, loving things that I'd never heard Marla teach it.
"I could patch that up, dear"
"You look so handsome today, love."
It wasn't until this latest incident, however, that I realized the parrot had achieved sentience. I was eating breakfast and had let time slip away.
Realizing I was late, I ushered into my coat when suddenly I felt its beady yellow eyes upon me. And in a callous, demanding tone, it shrieked:
"DON'T FORGET TO FEED THE BIRD."
It cost me many nights sleep trying to extract the truth. I questioned the bird incessantly.
"Was Marla really cheating?", I paced, "What did you see?"
"I only have eyes for you", it cooed.
I knew it was toying with me. Making a fool of me.
"Did you lie? Twist my angel's words?", I prodded at it with the fire poker.
For the first time, the parrot had nothing to say.
I flew into a rage and shook its cage. Feathers silently fell to the floor in a pattern of crooked colors. They settled in an intricate mess.
The bird only cocked its head and clapped it's clipped wings with shriek of joy.
"Oh Glenn, you're so *impulsive*!", the bird laughed.