A Post for the Birds

Many people know them as parakeets, but in their native Australia, they are called budgerigars (or just budgies), and now I have one. To be more accurate, my wife and sons have one. They simply turned up with it in a cage the other day and dared me to do something about it. I was shocked, of course, and as I peered in at the little fellow on his perch, the thought crossed my mind that I should at least try to negotiate him down to a goldfish. But then I remembered the water would run out through the bars, so I gave up.


My sons spent much of that evening trying to decide on a name for him. The process would have been far quicker had they been willing to listen to any of my first-rate suggestions, such as Igor, Splotch or Beakula. They didn’t even like Budd G. Reegar—one I thought gave him a little class. In the end, they decided on Pochama, which is apparently the name of a Pokémon character. This is a bit of a mouthful for me to remember, however, so I’ve taken to just calling him Po. I’m hoping he doesn’t notice that in his native Australia, the word means “chamber pot.”


Regular readers may be a little surprised about the sudden arrival of our little feathered friend given that I’ve sometimes said on the blog that we’re not allowed to keep pets. In fact, this is only broadly true. The actual situation is that we are allowed to keep pets—just not anything interesting, like a cat, a dog or an aardvark. Small, boring pets, are completely acceptable as long as they don’t make too much noise. Fortunately, when my wife and children got Po’s cage and equipment, they showed tremendous foresight in not buying him an electric guitar or a drum set.


However, I’m still not entirely convinced we need a bird, especially with a family budget as tight as ours. I’ve been trying to remain philosophical about it, though. I tell myself that either he’ll eat only a little, in which case, we won’t have to spend much on millet, or he’ll eat a lot, in which case we won’t have to buy a Christmas turkey this year.


© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2017)

(All Rights Reserved)

The Height of Folly

My elder son is at home at the moment preparing for an important test. His arduous study schedule involves a rigorous program of lying in bed with his eyes shut, which he then has to meticulously coordinate with his periodic visits to the bathroom.


He did seem to come to briefly during breakfast time this morning. I base this on the fact that when my wife shouted through to ask whether he wanted one slice of toast or two, he grunted twice.


However, when I then popped my head into his bedroom to say good morning to him—or rather, to his feet, which were the only part of him I could actually see, my words were welcomed with nothing but silence. Perhaps he had merely fallen asleep again. Or perhaps since my greeting did not hold out the promise of additional food, his feet simply did not deem my utterance worthy of a reply.


Although I felt rather annoyed by the lack of any kind of acknowledgement at the time, looking back on it now, perhaps it was for the best. When my son does respond to anything I say these days, it is generally to either a) tell me why I’m entirely wrong about everything or b) ask me if I’ve got shorter.


This last is an annoying habit he has picked up in recent years. Now I admit, I have never been called a man mountain or been mistaken by astronauts for a continental landmass. On the other hand, I am of completely average height and average build. I’m not tall, but I’m not short either.


And yet, my son will regularly tell me how very teeny I look in comparison to virtually every being on the planet capable of standing upright—be it another parent, a penguin or a prairie dog. Well, it’s not funny and it’s not true. I am not, repeat not, short.


And the next time he uses my head as an armrest, I’m going to kick him in the shins.



© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2017)

(All Rights Reserved)