Pickles The Parrot

Clemens On The Twain

My name is Georgi (Clemens) Abbott and I am the author of 4 humorous books (paper and ebook) about my parrot - Pickles The Parrot, Pickles The Parrot Returns, Pickles The Parrot Speaks and Fifty Shades of African Grey. This is where I will blog about anything that comes to mind. It may be about Pickles but it might be about our yard and pond, the environment, wild birds, our small town, nature, fictional stories - who knows? I don't profess to have inherited my great, great, great uncle's writing talent but I certainly inherited the call. The uncle I'm speaking of is Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) - I was born a Clemens.

Dreaming of a Country Life

Ahhh, country life. Running barefoot in a cheesecloth dress through the meadows, chasing butterflies, laying on my back in an ocean of wildflowers, chewing on a blade of grass as i gaze at the sky. Baking wild blueberry pies and setting them on the windowsill to cool - those big kitchen windows with shutters that open outward, where the neighbors pop their heads in to say howdy - or maybe a horse.

Sitting in rockers on the wrap-around porch, overlooking the gravel road and the odd battered old pick-up truck kicking up dust, fans in hand as the warm summer night closes in with just the slightest of breezes. The sound of fiddles, way of yonder, finding it’s way from a neighboring barn dance where unbeknownst to us, one of the McCoy boys has just received the bad end of a broken bottle. It’s been a long time coming though, he’s a bad seed.

The crick babbles in the background amid the droning of the crickets and the horny frogs (not toads). Soon, the only light that cuts through the black dark of night are the multitude of stars and the glow from the window of the shack on the little hill where Ol’ Tom Tomb lives with his teenage daughter. We try not to think about them though, because Ol’ Tom kicks her around like an old dog. Their dog gets better treatment actually - at least Ol’ Tom doesn’t climb into bed with him. The girl’s damaged beyond repair. She walks around town in her own filth, looking for hand-outs - which don’t come without a price. Popped out 3 babies by the age of 17. Nobody’s ever laid eyes on those chilrn’, they say she borns ‘em in the swamp where they just slide out and slip silently into the mire before they can draw their first breath. Some say Ol’ Tom’s wife is there to keep them company, but that’s just rumours.

Early to bed, early to rise. The rooster insists. Gotta feed the chickens, if there’s any left over from the foxes. They dig under the chicken wire fence and kill everything in sight. Bloody carnage, but nothing compared to a Saturday night at Baba’s Tavern. We only go there on Sundays, tippy toeing through the broken glass and passed-out bodies to our favorite little wooden table next to the juke box.

The bar is long and wide, made of maple. The mirror runs the same length and reflects the whole bar, making it appear twice it’s size. The mirror is cloudy, as are the vast pane glass windows, from decades of cigarette smoke. Sometimes we play pool, if nobody’s passed out on the pool table. Most of the pool cues are busted anyway, they’re the weapon of choice. Beer’s cheap, but flat and bitter. Flies often land in it, having fallen from one of the dozens of sticky fly strips strewn along the ceiling.

The odd local stops in after church. They pause between the swinging saloon doors, nothing but a siloutte in the glaring sun. But, they just do that for effect. We try not to look 'em in the eye for fear they’ll come over and preach the word of God. We just keep to ourselves, playing poker, drinking our warm beer and punching the odd quarter into the juke box.

The bar tender’s an odd sort. Long and lanky, dark hair and beard to mid-chest. Eyes that don’t quite focus, but that’s okay because you don’t wanna be caught staring at the ugly scar across his cheek. Once, i sat on an old stool at the bar and listened while he told me the story behind the scar. Twas a racoon. How disappointing, i was expecting a knife fight - fighting for the honor of a bar maid whom he loved from afar, or something to that effect. He’s okay actually, but he has a disgusting habit of picking his nose behind the bar. He tries to hide it by turning his back but he forgets about the mirrors. I’d advise you to never run your hands along the underneath of that bar.

At the end of the night, we stagger out to our horses, tied to a rail in front of the water trough. We always take our horses to the tavern, they don’t charge for impaired horseback riding 'roundhere. Sometimes we just walk 'em back because we’re too drunk to sit a horse and the swaying makes us want to puke. Ever try to get dried puke out of a horses mane the next day? Not pleasant.

Country roads take us home, to the place where we belong. The screen door slaps behind us and we head up to our nice soft beds of inner springs and horse hair - sans the puke. I brush my hair 100 times in front of the vanity mirror while Neil changes into his nightgown and cap. We set the rooster for dawn, climb into bed, turn out the kerosene lanterns, sigh in contentment and anticipation of a new day as we drift off to sleep.

At some point, we’re awakened by creaking sounds from the attic. Neil whispers to me that it’s okay, it’s just our restless ghost stirring in the night and we drift off once again to the sounds of the sweet night songs.

Posted 584 weeks ago

Clemens On The Twain

My name is Georgi (Clemens) Abbott and I am the author of 4 humorous books (paper and ebook) about my parrot - Pickles The Parrot, Pickles The Parrot Returns, Pickles The Parrot Speaks and Fifty Shades of African Grey. This is where I will blog about anything that comes to mind. It may be about Pickles but it might be about our yard and pond, the environment, wild birds, our small town, nature, fictional stories - who knows? I don't profess to have inherited my great, great, great uncle's writing talent but I certainly inherited the call. The uncle I'm speaking of is Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) - I was born a Clemens.

I Ain’t Got No Class

 

My husband, Neil, served two terms on our Town Council.  He was good at it, very knowledgeable and well liked.  Unfortunately, he had an opinionated, loud-mouthed wife who never seemed to know when to keep her mouth shut.

A month after being elected for the first time, all of Council and all of the Public Works Department, and all their wives were invited for a nice Christmas dinner at a local hotel.  Dinner included a comedian act in the bar afterwards.  It was a fairly large room of long rectangular shape.  The comedian was situated on a stage at one end and one entire wall consisted of windows with the exit door right in front of the stage.

Neil and I had had a few drinks so when we were saddled with a very UNfunny comedian who didn’t even have the decency to take a break, and droned on for an excruciating one hour and 45 minutes, our eyes were rolling back in our heads and we were suffering buzz kill.  I’d had enough and suggested to Neil that we leave.  Neil agreed but was concerned that we had a long walk of shame through the long bar and had to exit immediately in front of the comedian.  He felt this was rude.  I agreed, but the comedian was starting to sober us up so we decided to risk it.

We grabbed our coats, weaved through all the tables, got to the front and just as we thought we were safe and reaching for the door handle, the comedian boomed through the microphone “WHERE YA GOIN’?!” then jumped off the stage, ran over to me, grabbed my coat off my arm, held it up in a gallant display of chivalry and asked, “Don’t you think I’m funny???”  This was the first laugh he’d received all night but somehow, I felt the laugh was on me.

As I reached my arms into my sleeves I was facing the crowd as I answered, “Sorry.  You’re funny, but I’m hornier”.  As I stared into a room full of drop-jawed, wide-eyed faces, I caught the Mayor’s eye and prayed to God that I hadn’t just said that out loud.  I saw Neil’s short political career flash before my eyes and I started to blame him for dressing me up and taking me out when all of a sudden, the entire place exploded in laughter, applause and cheering.  Get out on a high note, I thought – then I grabbed Neil’s arm and dragged him in one quick flourish out the door.

Once out the door I realized, with horror, that we still had to walk the sidewalk, the length of the windows, still a spectacle.  The comedian, too thick to understand that he was really the butt of the joke, decided to prolong the laughter by running along side the window, banging the glass and yelling, “Where ya going?  Come back!” as the crowd roared and I just walked gracefully onward, blessing them with the Queen’s wave and a big smile.

Well, I managed to get myself out of that one – good thing they had all been drinking – and I was the talk of the town for weeks.  People approached me on the street asking, “Did you really SAY that?” while I answered, “Yes” with a grin.  It didn’t feel right, being proud to admit something like that but who was I to argue with comedy.

Neil and I laughed about it for many years, still do, and it didn’t affect his popularity (what does that say about our town?) so my big mouth never harmed anything … this time.

Posted 662 weeks ago

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