Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Gift Wrapping With Parrot Companions

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Orpheus.

Male Hawk-headed (red fan) parrot, Deroptyus a. accipitrinus, April 2008.

Image: GrrlScientist 2008 [larger view].

I thought you might find this little essay amusing about wrapping gifts when there is a parrot in the house.


How to Wrap Gifts with a Parrot in the House:

  1. Clear large space on table for wrapping your special gifts.
  2. Go to cupboard and collect bag in which gifts are contained, and shut the door.
  3. Open the door and remove bird from cupboard.
  4. Go to closet and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
  5. Go back and remove bird from closet.
  6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors,
    labels, etc. . .
  7. Lay out gifts and wrapping materials on the table to enable wrapping strategy to be developed.
  8. Go back to the drawer to get string and remove bird that has been in the drawer since last visit to collect string.
  9. Remove gifts from bag.
  10. Remove bird from bag.
  11. Open box to check gift, remove bird from box, replace gift.
  12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.
  13. Try to smooth out paper, realize bird is underneath and remove bird.
  14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.
  15. Throw away first sheet as bird chased the scissors, and tore the paper.
  16. Cut second sheet of paper to size — by putting bird in the bag the gift came in.
  17. Place gift on paper.
  18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don’t reach.
    Realize bird is between present and paper. Remove bird.
  19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.
  20. Spend ten minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from bird with pair of small nail scissors.
  21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
  22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase bird down hall to retrieve ribbon.
  23. Try to wrap gift with ribbon in a two directional turn.
  24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to bird’s enthusiastic ribbon chase.
  25. Repeat steps 12-21 until you reach last sheet of wrapping paper.
  26. Decide to skip steps 13-17 to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of wrapping paper.
  27. Put gift in box, and tie down with string.
  28. Remove string, open box and remove bird.
  29. Put all packing materials in bag with gift and head for room with a lock on the door.
  30. Once inside lockable room, lock the door and start over by laying out wrapping paper and materials.
  31. Remove bird from box, unlock door, put bird outside door, close and lock again.
  32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear bird outside door).
  33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best).
  34. Discover bird has already chewed the paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year’s paper. Remember that you haven’t got any left because bird helped you wrap gifts last year, too.
  35. Return to lockable room, lock door, sit on toilet lid and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.
  36. Seal box, wrap with wrapping paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.
  37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.
  38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to pour yourself a drink and feed bird.
  39. Spend 15 minutes looking for bird before reaching obvious conclusion.
  40. Unwrap present, untie box and remove bird.
  41. Go to store and buy a gift bag.

Happy Holidaze!

Comments

  1. #1 John
    December 16, 2009

    Hm. It seems that step 3 might be best left for the end.

  2. #2 Tziporah
    December 16, 2009

    The story leaves out any mention of bird poop!

    Grrl, is this beautiful picture an image of one of your birds? How are they adapting to the move?

  3. #3 Cath@VWXYNot?
    December 16, 2009

    hee hee! And I thought my two cats made it difficult…

  4. #4 travelgirl
    December 16, 2009

    this story leaves out the alcohol or other mind-altering substances required for the human until it’s too late… :)

  5. #5 Adrian
    December 16, 2009

    Are these your birds Grrl? They certainly are superb. Will you post pic’s of all of them for us to admire?

  6. #6 Shannon
    December 16, 2009

    Oh, too good and too true! You have described the process accurately and without whitewashing. I laughed very hard.

  7. #7 MadScientist
    December 17, 2009

    When I had birds they went into their special reinforced cage where they could squawk all they want and not get in the way; that way there’s no bird damage to any of the items either.

  8. #8 "GrrlScientist"
    December 17, 2009

    yes, indeed, i’ve been showing you some of my parrots with these essays. i can try to get more images, but the birds are quite savvy to the camera and rarely cooperate after i pull it out and try to photograph them.

  9. #9 Kyrie88
    December 18, 2009

    I did an illustrated version of these instructions. Send me your e-mail and I will send you a copy.

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