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         Mike must have left the faucet running. He got up from his

computer and proceeded toward the kitchen. But, no running



“Holy macaroni,” Mike heard. “Hi Bertha.”


Mike had a deadline to meet for this week’s current work

assignment. Clients had been promised a date of April 24. The

company always delivered what was promised. Now, Bertha was

here for a surprise visit. Mike walked into the living room to

receive her. But, no Bertha?


Greymour had gotten what he wanted. With someone in the

living room with him, he would be quiet and attentive. He would

behave. Like a sponge, much was being eagerly learned.

Processed, and learned.


Mike went back to his computer work. The phone rang.


“Hi Mike, this is Bertha. Is Rosa there?”


“Hello, hello.”


“Greymour, be quiet,” Mike yelled toward the living room.


“Hello, hello,” Greymour offered once again.


“Rosa went out to the supermarket about an hour ago. She

should be back soon. I’ll tell her you called.”


“Bring out the pizza.” Whistle. “Bring out the pizza,”

Greymour screamed.


“Mike, you’re supposed to be at home working,” Bertha said.


 Bertha knew Rosa and Mike well and felt comfortable in

offering her thoughts.


“I am, or I’m trying to, at least,” Mike replied patiently.


“Well, get to your pizza, while it’s hot. I’ll call Rosa later,”

Bertha suggested.


“No pizza!” Mike said.


“Holy macaroni, holy macaroni,” Greymour interjected. “Let’s

go Joe.” Whistle.


“Get back to your party, Mike,” Bertha insisted.


“Hi Mike,” Whistle. “Hi Mike.”


“Wait Bertha, I’m going to move to the living room. My mind is



The living room was so quiet.


“There, that’s better,” Mike said with relief.


Bertha pictured Mike out in the garage, away from all the

activities. However, Mike was in the living room with Greymour.

They glared at each other, both standing their ground.


“Bertha, I will tell Rosa that you called,” Mike said with

exhaustion and flipped the phone off.


“Greymour, you’re pushing your luck!”


No response.


Mike growled and walked toward the kitchen.


Greymour growled back. “Grrrr…”. Whistle. Grrrr,,, Ice cream”


Mike, now in the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and

selected an orange soda.


Greymour could see Mike in the kitchen. Mike reached for the

phone to call Rosa.


“Hello, hello.” Whistle. “Where you at? Hello.”


“Hi Rosa. Wanted to let you know that Bertha called. See you

pretty soon?”


“About an hour,” Rosa explained. I stopped at the liquor store

to pick up a bottle of brandy. I figured you might like it after your

first hard day of working at home.


“Anything from the liquor store would suit me just fine. Hurry,

honey. Hurry!”


“Hello, hello.” Whistle. “Popcorn. Gotta go. Oh, no!” Giggles.

“Gotta go, who knows?” Whistle.


Mike took a quick break in the living room. Greymour

watched him, looked, and patiently waited. Mike knew more

would come. Yes, he knew, but he just had to wait for it.


Greymour recognized the sound of the car motor arriving

into the driveway.


“Flip the coin, flip the coin.” Hinge squeaking.


Rosa came through the front door. Mike heard the door open.

So did Greymour.


“Hi honey,” Mike said with relief.


“Hi honey. Eat your lunch. Eat your lunch.” Whistle.


“Well, what all did you get at the grocery? Need help to bring

stuff in?


“Bring stuff in. Bring stuff in.” Whistle. Hinge squeaking.


“Oh, Mike,” Rosa announced. “I forgot to mention to you that

Mr. Poston should be here in about thirty minutes to check the

bottom space area just below the kitchen sink. That U-shaped

pipe has been dripping again. How’s your work progressing?” 


Mike didn’t reply.


An hour later. Mike is still working on his assignment back in

his office. Rosa is reading the newspaper in the living room while

she waits for Mr. Poston.


He finally arrived and went directly into the kitchen.


“Should have this done in a jiffy. Bet it’s the same thing as last

time,” Mr. Poston said from under the sink.


“Mr. Poston, I’m gonna walk across the street to a neighbor’s

house. I’ll only be about ten minutes. Rosa then left through the

garage so she could grab the weed whacker to loan to her



Thirty minutes passed.


“Found the problem,” Mr. Poston said from under the sink.

“How could it happen again so quickly after I replaced it just two

months ago?”


Greymour could see his legs on the floor, extended from

under the kitchen sink.


“Who knows, who knows?”


“Well, I sure don’t know!” Mr. Poston replied.


“Don’t know, who knows? Hi Bertha!”


“Get the pizza. Pizza time. Pizza time.”


“Sounds good to me. I’m hungry. Should be done in ten

minutes,” Mr. Poston said happily.


“Rosa came back into the house from the garage and walked

over to the kitchen.


“I sure hope it’s got pepperoni. I love pepperoni!”


“Pizza time. Pizza time.”


“I’m just about finished.”


“Mr. Poston. What is this about pepperoni?” Rosa asked.


“I’m ready for lunch. I’m done!”, Mr. Poston said hungrily.


“Mr. Poston, what are you talking about?” Rosa implored.


“Pizza for lunch. Did you bring it in or did Bertha?


“Mr. Poston, have you been talking during the last thirty

minutes?” Rosa asked with a smirk on her face.


“Wasn’t that you? Thought it was you. Must have been Bertha,

then,” Mr. Poston deduced.


“Mr. Poston, I have to tell you that you’ve been conversing

with a bird. An African gray parrot. You’ve been conversing with



“Let’s go Joe. Let’s go Joe.” Whistle.


“I’m Paul. Paul Poston.”


Mr. Poston smiled weakly. He was obviously embarrassed. As

he walked toward the door, he nodded at Rosa.


“Goodbye. Goodbye.” Telephone ringing . . .


“Oh, shut up Greymour,” Mr. Poston muttered as he exited

the house.


“Popcorn, popcorn. Holy macaroni”


“I didn’t bring popcorn, Greymour,” Rosa said.


“Popcorn, pizza, no go.” Whistle. “Yuck, yuck, yuck. Meow.”


“Rosa,” Mike said in desperation. “We never even had a cat!”


“Meow. Popcorn.”


“I don’t know, hon. Maybe in his previous home?” African

Grey parrots are the smartest. They pick up stuff very quickly, and

they say it in the same voice as the person they learned it from.

“So, must have been a cat!”


“I don’t know, hon.” When he says ice cream, could it be ‘I



“When he says popcorn, it sounds like you, Mike.”


“Popcorn. Stop and go.” Whistle . . .


“Have you got much done today, work-wise?”


“What, are you kidding?”, Mike said with frustration.


“Oh my. Oh my. Popcorn.”


Rosa sensed a level of irritation rising fast in Mike. Mike was

about to scream!


“Do they make valium for birds?” Mike asked hopefully.


“Let’s go sit in the living room,” Rosa soothed.


They talked. Just they talked. It was wonderful. No pizza or

popcorn. No third party.


But, another strange sound could be heard.


“That’s the UPS truck sound driving up and down the street,”

Rosa explained.


“Let’s hold off as long as we can on the dishwasher. We have

been spared the ‘Finished’ jingle so far today.”


“He did other strange sounds earlier this morning,” Mike said



“Probably the mockingbirds outside. They get loud some

mornings,” Rosa smiled. “As far as other sounds I have heard, I am

clueless as to what they were.”


“Holy macaroni. Hi Bertha. Take a break.”


“Hi Mike.” Whistle. Whistle. Water faucet running.


“Mike, let’s stay here in the living room. Tell me all about your

first home day.”


“My deadline is Friday. Haven’t achieved much,” Mike



The phone rang.


“Hello, hello. Hi Bertha,” Greymour screeched.


Mike picked up his own phone.


“Hello, hello.”


“I’m going out for a breath of air,” Mike explained. “Anything

to bring in?”


“Say, get us a pizza. No fuss, no muss,” Rosa suggested.


“Pizza, popcorn, no muss . . .”




“Mike, you left the water running again.”


“Rosa, I haven’t been into the kitchen lately!”


“Oh my, oh my, work, go to work.” Whistle. Water running.


Rosa opened the refrigerator.


“Get the eggs. Get the eggs.”


The phone rang.


“Hello, hello.”


It was Bertha.


“Rosa, Bertha on the phone.”


“Hi Bertha, Rosa answered. “How you been doing?”


“Good here. You? Sounds like Mike didn’t waste any time with

his working at home.”


“He’s been trying hard at it.”


“I bet he has!,” Bertha said.


“Go to town, go to town, popcorn.”


“Honey, I’m leaving to go get ‘you know what.’ Be back soon,”

Mike said.


Mike was back within the hour. Greymour knew well the

sound of the car’s engine.


“Hello, hello.”


The door opened.


“Holy macaroni. Chow Mein, Pizza.” Screech. “Pizza.”


“How does he know? Rosa, how?”


“He recognized the box.”


“There’s no escape, is there, Rosa?”


“Pizza.” Whistle. “Hurry, let’s go!”


“Let’s go! Chow Mein. Meow.”


“We better eat in the living room, Mike,” Rosa insisted.


They retreated to the quiet living room, relishing the solitude.


Mike then turned the television on.


“Roadshow. Roadshow. Fortune wheel.” Whistle. “Popcorn.”


The phone rang.


“Hello, hello.”


Then, the phone rang. Again.


No one on the other end!


Water running in the sink. Birds chirping.


“Holy macaroni. Hi Bertha. Meow.”


“Mike,” Rosa said seriously. “Patricia and Dennis, my good

friends from the Northeast, are planning to come to visit in just

three months. I’m concerned about Dennis and his mouth. With

Greymour, I’m not so sure . . .”


“Hi, Patricia,” Rosa said by phone. “When you come to visit,

can you assure me that Dennis will clean up his mouth act?”


“Rosa, get real, no way. Impossible.”


“Then, I cancel my invitation. I will not take the chance of

Greymour learning any off-color vocabulary.”


“Pizza. Which way they go? Which way they go?” Whistle.

Water running.


“Alright, Greymour, let’s all watch television,” Rosa invited.


Bedtime arrived and none too soon. The blanket cover was

placed over the large cage.


“Here we go. Here we go.” Whistle. “Night, night.” Whistle.

“Night, night.”


Time to rest, especially for Mike and Rosa, and yes, for their

beloved, chatty Greymour.


Day two of this work week would begin in just ten short hours!


Sweet dreams, Greymour!
















April 24, 2020 20:48

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1 comment

Alexis Klein
17:24 Apr 30, 2020

This story was good! It was a little hard to follow the dialogue and there were spots where the quotation marks were missing. It was a very enjoyable story. Keep writing!


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