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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Mickey - The Love Sick Budgie

I have been asked to re-post this intriguing little story, since many of my blogging friends did not see it first time round.  I have added some more ‘rules’ for fun. He's a cute little fellow and melts a few hearts.

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By popular demand I am pleased to post the sequel to Mickey, the Celibate Budgie, since this little chap seems to have captured a fair number of hearts, mainly from the ladies – come on lads, where are your hearts? You've got them too you know!

I will not reiterate the sheer academic genius of this extraordinary little budgie, only to underline his vast repertoire and understanding of the English Language at the expense of great personal sacrifice, dealt with in detail in his first story.  He was classified as a 'budgie genius' because of his extremely high IQ - achieving 2 on the human scale, and that in budgie terms is massive.

Towards his autumn years we detected far less zeal in his behaviour. He became much quieter and far less eager to talk to us, and seemed to lose his enthusiasm to learn new words.

Yes, he still 'clouted' his plastic bird from time to time and sometimes attacked his cuttlefish and mirror like an out-of-control maniac, but generally he seemed far from happy.

Our concern grew regarding his depression so one day I attempted to cheer him up. I recalled a story of 'Whitey', my girl cousin and I visiting our local zoo while she was staying with us and Grandma. My grand mother called her Whitey because she could not remember her name but got the name from a white coat she was wearing. Whitey wore also an elaborate silver bracelet belonging to her mother.

We visited the bird house at Bristol Zoo and were attracted by a large former very naughty sea-faring red parrot, with a remarkable repertoire of extremely verbose and undesirable swear word adjectives. He was tethered with a chain around one leg and perched in the open so he had some free movement.  Suddenly, without warning and with utmost speed, whilst shrieking, "Silver! Silver, Silver!", he launched himself at Whitey's hand, grabbing her silver bracelet in his beak, ripping it off her wrist, laughing loudly, causing everyone to look round. He rolled the bracelet in his beak into a silver ball, completely ruining it, and would not let it go in spite of our serious attempts to retrieve it, triumphantly shouting, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”. Our battle was lost and so was the bracelet – lost for ever.

Alarmed and terrified of what her mother might do concerning the disappearance of the bracelet, Whitey decided her best option was simply to tell her mother she had mislaid it somewhere instead of telling her it being eaten by a parrot. A few weeks later, when she had returned home to the north of England, we sent her a photograph of that parrot, minus the silver ball of course, adding the caption, 'Telecarb Retae'. It sounds quite a plausible Latin type name for a parrot, doesn't it? However, reading backwards it reads 'Bracelet Eater'.  You see, Eddie's sense of humour was rife, even all those years ago.

Her mother never 'cottoned on' and neither did Whitey, without the 'enigma' machine to crack the code.

Mickey thought this story very funny and nodded his head violently whilst squawking for a couple of minutes before eventually reverting to his former sadness.

I decided to have it out with him once and for all. I called him over and he flew onto my outstretched finger. I asked him what was the matter and he became sheepish and a little embarrassed.

Perched on my finger he proceeded to tell me he was a love-sick bird. He was regretting his life of celibacy and wished he had experienced some female company, like normal birds. Further, he knew he was way past his prime and therefore would have a great problem attracting a hot hen even if he had the chance. He was 'sweet sixty five and never been kissed’ and he thought he might be a candidate for the Guinness Book of Records. He imagined what it would be like to 'bill and coo' like other normal budgies. Also he was worried he would be at a loss to know what to say and what to do to develop any meaningful relationship with a delightful member of the opposite sex.

After some thought I said I would have a word with our local pet shop owner and explain the situation. I must stress he was not the infamous pet shop owner from Bolton or Ipswich of Python Parrot Sketch notoriety. The man I knew was honest and perhaps he might agree for Mickey to visit some hens in a large cage in the shop for a while. It was quickly agreed and Mickey was so excited he recited all his favourite sayings at the top of his voice, with a new spring in his step.

A day before his little holiday he got really nervous about what he should say and do when actually meeting an attractive member of the opposite sex and how he could subtly get the message across of his honourable (or maybe dishonourable) intentions to her. After all he had missed so much of life's experiences he thought he deserved a little flutter.

I thought it time to lay it on the line for him to get a firm grasp of the 'art of flirting' so natural and essential in our complex world where it is essential to at least try to understand the sometimes unfathomable workings of the female mind.

I found my little book entitled, "How to tell if a girl fancies you" which I thought would do nicely to explain both acceptable and unacceptable approaches to young ladies. Yes, it would have to be modified somewhat for the 'birds of the air' but I thought perhaps it might help him.

"OK! Mickey, rule number one - Smarten up, have a good preen and when you see a hen you like keep your mouth firmly shut. At this stage it's not about what you say, it's all about body language and chemistry. You have to create attraction and then escalate it into something really meaningful.  If you can do that successfully you will always be surrounded by a bevy of beautiful chicks wherever you go and all the other guys will wonder what you've got and they haven't and why they can't ‘pull’ birds like you can.

It's all about 90% generating unspoken attraction, and just 10% what you say.  If she likes the 90% it does not matter at this stage what you say, within reason, for the remaining 10%. If she does not find you attractive you can say what you like for as long as you like and you will be banging your head against a brick wall.  Nothing will work so, remember, you have to create attraction first. If she is not attracted to you then there is nothing you can do about it and nothing she can do about it, except invite you into her 'just be friends' box as Mr Nice Guy. You see if she is attracted to someone then there is nothing she can do about that either - even if he is the biggest jerk in the universe! In fact the more arrogant a guy is and the bigger the jerk, it seems the more attracted some hens are to him, even though the chick may moan like crazy to the nice guys, in their just friends box , and complain how awful this guy is and how badly he is treating her. And when the nice guys say she should show him the door, they NEVER do so and his car remains on her drive for weeks, for months and sometimes for years.  I know, this is all highly illogical but that's the way most chicks' minds work. But remember also, you will never win them all - even George Clooney and Brad Pitt will be rejected by some - so if it happens, take it on the chin and move on to the next – it might just be that it is destined that way and you might find someone even nicer.

Also, she has to be unattached and actually in the market for a suitor - if not she will reject your advances as unwanted.  So recognize her signals and don't make a nuisance of yourself.

Rule number two - At your age, even if you like the look of a young bird don't waste your time unless you can discern they want an older, more experienced guy.  And remember they don't want a decrepit clapped out old man, or someone with no experience.  Usually, they want the fast talking, handsome and virile young male birds who think they’re God's gift to every budgie on the planet, and therefore you do not stand a chance. So pick someone slightly older who might be a divorcee or a widow or maybe a spinster. They are rarer and harder to find but you might still find a good looking hen out there who might actually be looking for a suitor. You may be just what she wants. You never know.

Rule number three - Make eye contact first, but careful, do not stare too conspicuously - it might put her off. Remember our eyes are the windows of our soul and are very important for romantic communication - she can see right into your soul and you can see into hers, so use this natural window effectively.  When your eyes meet smile at her confidently, not meekly or she'll hate it and think you a wimp. If she smiles back you should be encouraged. If she looks away and then looks back and smiles again, you have ruffled her feathers and she likes you.

Smile back at her with a cheeky half grin to signal you like her and to create some sexual tension. If she does the equivalent in budgie of flicking her hair and grooming herself to look smart and looks a little flustered, then she is keen – definitely!  If you are a bit thick and cannot recognize ANY of her positive signals and she likes you then she will take the initiative. She will walk past you and maybe graze your wing or fly or walk close to you for any reason she can invent so she can just catch your attention. She will occasionally look you in the eye and smile at you and maybe sigh. (I’m not sure how to recognize a smile in the budgie world, or how you detect a sigh for that matter).

Rule number four - If when you are quite close you notice her feet pointing towards you then she definitely fancies you. If they are pointing elsewhere and she has this vacant look on her face and her eyes are pointing skywards, she doesn't find you attractive in the least and is prepared for a quick get away as soon as she musters the courage to tell you to get lost.

Rule number five - Assuming she likes you it is time for you to pluck up courage to walk up to her. Maintain eye contact, again without staring too obviously, look from one eye to the other and introduce yourself, something in a confident low slow voice like, "Hello, I'm Mickey".  If she likes you she will tell you her name . . . . .  remember it and pay attention otherwise if you forget it she'll think you are a bit thick.

If she is a smoking 9 or 10 chick remember she will be 'hit on' all night by guys wanting her telephone number and you won't get anywhere if you act just like them - you have to be different and stand out from the crowd and above all don't be a wimp - she wants a real man, not a wussie – so convey it and be confident - she wants to be swept off her feet by someone different to all those boring guys approaching her all night long. At this stage don't overdo the compliments or else she will think you are needy – they hate that and it is a huge turn off for them.  Be a bit cheeky and tease her a bit – that's what they really like and none of this, I must do this and that for her to please her and then she might like me – all the nice guys do that and get no-where!

Now stop right there!  If she is an older bird or even a younger hot 9 or 10 she will be very familiar with all those corny and over-used chat up lines young inexperienced birds who think they are God's gifts to budgies, use like, 'Where have I been all your life?' or 'Your place or mine baby?'

Horrible! You have to be a lot more refined for older ladies and very attractive ones, something like, 'Hello, I'm Mickey. I noticed you as soon as I came in and YOU are just the lady I am looking for.  I hope you don't think I'm being forward but I would love a bit of company. What flavour cuttlefish do you like, peppermint or marzipan?"

Now stop! Wait for a reply. If she likes you she will accept you and you can sit besides her – if not she will tell you to 'shove off'.  But remember, this is a woman you are talking to and she may not actually mean she wants you to shove off.  Women are very strange creatures because what they say and what they really want are often very different and YOU have to recognize that, even though it appears confusing.  Remember they do not function on logic - with them it is emotions.  If she smiles but does tell you to shove off,  she really does not mean it!  Remember she is just testing you and really wants you to overcome her rejection and convince her you are a confident male budgie who is strong and dominant and can handle her.  Just overcome her objection by laughing it off with a silly reply and you will pass the test and she will be fine.  But if she doesn't smile and tells you to shove off then she does mean it and its game over and move on to the next.

Rule number six - If she responds positively to your verbal overtures, keep it up, talk to her and listen to what she is saying and converse with her freely and naturally, all the time gazing into her eyes. Stroke her hair or budgie equivalent, and move in closer smiling with your voice gradually lowering and whisper something nice in her ear. If her pupils dilate she is beginning to really like you. You will be sending her the same unconscious signals during this time. If she looks at your eyes then looks down to your beak and then back to your eyes she wants you to kiss her. Don't disappoint her, do it and go for the kiss, but you must always be a gentleman and don't get too enthusiastic too soon.  And NEVER ask permission!! . . . or apologize!

Rule number seven - If the chick you really like and is giving you 'the eye' and is seated with other female friends then when you go over to speak with her, even if you have never seen her before say, "Hi, how have you been?"  That conveys to the others that you know her and therefore it is quite in order for you to introduce yourself to them also. Select the chattiest one and pay her a huge compliment and give her a hug whilst ignoring the one you really want and giving her the least attention of them all.  Females are strange creatures and behave very jealously because the one you like will know she is the best looking and will wonder why you are not making advances to her when you are to the others and she MUST do something about it. No-one EVER does this to her and it is a huge turn on for her and therefore she will start making advances to you, which is exactly what you wanted in the first place.  So you haven't had to do a thing and you now have an adorable chick drooling over you and she will do anything to hang on to you.

Rule number eight - You have to make it perfectly clear that you don't want to be just in her friend zone, even though a lot of chicks want you there.  Never get in it unless you want to be just friends because it takes a lot of effort to get out of it, although not impossible.  But it is also nice to have a lot of platonic female friends.

Rule number nine -  Get her mobile number!!  Just hand her your phone and ask her to key in her number then ring it, hand it to her and say, "There's an important call for you!" They ALL love fun! with a bit of cockiness, but not too much!!  It makes YOU irresistible to them!  But never be too enthusiastic to ring her like all the other guys do - make her wait a few days.  There is a good reason for this! You have to convey to her that you are a high value guy and not a needy wussie!  Believe me if you play hard to get then THEY will ring you!! . . . . .  if, and only if you have generated attraction.  If you haven't they will not! . . . .  and they won't respond to your calls either.

Now that's enough I think or you will get confused. The rest is up to you."

With those ground rules in play and a game plan in his mind, Mickey was taken to the pet shop and introduced into the cage with hens. Nothing obvious happened for a while but Mickey seemed to pluck up courage and concentrate on one of the ladies. I did not want to embarrass him so I left him alone and went home. Next day I had a call from the pet shop owner to say Mickey was causing such a commotion that he thought I should collect him and take him home.

When I got to the pet shop I noticed feathers all over the floor and poor Mickey was sitting alone on one side of the cage while the hens were nattering away to each other.

When we got home my crest fallen Mickey was sulking in the corner of his cage. He said, "Women! why did I want to bother with them? They all ganged up against me and really clipped my wings - did you see all my feathers in the cage?"

Later Mickey told me what had occurred. Trust him to choose a young lady who from his description of her behaviour I can liken only to Miss Elizabeth Bennet from that marvellous book, Pride and Prejudice. Lady Catherine de Burg was quite correct in her description of Miss Bennet being a 'head strong young lady'. This bird promptly rejected all 'Mr Darcy's' advances, remarking that Mickey reminded her of a much older and uglier version of Mr Collins, whom she had rejected outright in the book. Mickey quickly tired of Miss Bennet's insistence of embarking on an intellectual sparring match to Elizabethan music, without even the sexual overtones of the original book, particularly after she informed him in no uncertain terms that ’nothing on this earth would induce her to marry him even if he was the last budgie on earth’.

With that bombshell in his pipe, which was smoking profusely he turned his attention to a nice yellow hen, an older bird, who seemed at first to respond nicely to his initial courtship overtures – his eye contact and body language seemed to work well up to a point, but he floundered dramatically when he opened his mouth, thus ruining all his hard preparatory work. He boldly approached her to strike up conversation and it all seemed to go wrong.

"What did you say to her?", I enquired.

Mickey replied, "I went up to her boldly and said, "Who's a pretty, pretty, pretty boy then?"

"Oh Mickey you might have known that saying things like that would not exactly 'ring her chimes'. She wanted to hear something much more romantic like, 'What a lovely smile you have, I noticed you straight away when I entered the cage', or 'Now we are alone together I must say you have such lovely eyes; I am sorry if I appear to be staring a little too much but I find you so attractive I cannot help it'.

That's what all women like to hear - they want to be flattered and not have some idiot coming over to them and flouting himself as God's gift to every budgie hen walking planet Earth. Did you talk to her in English or Budgie?"

"Budgie!" was the reply, "I took great care as well to do a literal translation."

"What did she say?"

"She said I was a self opinionated old fart who was old enough to be her grandfather and she thought me an extremely arrogant male chauvinist pig!" Further she went on to say I was no Brad Pitt of the budgie world either. My word, didn't she slap my face?"

"The next one I liked was even older but still quite nice but I messed that one up as well."

"What did you say to her, then?"

"I recited, "Georgie Porgy, kissed the girls and made them cry!"

She looked at me very surprised and said, "Are you alright? You must be bonkers if you think that will 'turn my lights on'. I've heard better chat up lines in a mortuary! You certainly could not charm me out of a burning cage!"

The next hen Mickey tried he messed up as well. He asked her if she preferred Bach or Mozart to which she turned to him chewing a face full of millet, saying, "What mate! What a square!  Who let you in, granddad? I'm into 'punk' myself not all that Beethoven muck. Sling yer hook!"

His final attempt was with an ageing hen who had seen his miserable attempts at wooing the ladies. She said, chuckling to herself, "It's no good looking at me with those Mooney eyes, ducky. My candle went out years ago - never to be rekindled! You'd have to be superbird to relight them and you're not - sorry! You can give me a peck if you want, but it won't do anything to get my fire lit!"

Mickey realised he had blown it completely with all the hens and decided never to repeat the experience again. He resolved himself to bachelorhood, a state in which he accepted he would stay for the remainder of his life. He lived a couple of years more, no doubt often wondering how things might have been had he made a conquest, yet he became quite philosophical about the matter.

He became depressed again just before he died - one day he fell off his perch and was lost to the world for ever. Did he fall or did he jump, we often wonder?

I am honoured to receive Post Of The Week award from Hilary at The Smitten Image.  Thank you so much and I really enjoyed writing this one.  Poor little Mickey - don't you all feel sorry for him?

Thursday 27 March 2014