Thursday, December 31, 2009
David Cassidy is dead.
Denise and I were setting up the above-ground, heated swimming pool for my seven new pet swans1 when we saw him clutch at the branches of the pear tree to keep himself from falling. We ran over and helped him out of the tree and to the ground. He was struggling to breathe, but he managed to whisper two words to me before his heart gave out: “swan allergy.” I have no idea what he was talking about, but perhaps his family or the media will will be able to explain those words’ significance.
Frankly, I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did, sitting in those freezing temperatures for a week without a bite to eat. Although, he must have known death was a possibility when he accepted the gig, since when I rifled through his pockets2 the only thing I found was a phone number for the “undertaker to the stars.” Two hours later, a hearse from the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel pulled up in front of the house, and we bade a final farewell to David Cassidy.
It took us a few hours to get the heated pool up and running, and I’m certainly not looking forward to our next electric bill, but I have to say: Those swans are mighty impressive. Backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly, they can do it all. I’m unsure if there’s a market for this sort of thing, but I’d bet people would pay to see Michael Phelps race against a relay team of swans.3
To make room for the pool, we moved the bricklaying geese to the basement – they were doing a piss-poor job on the patio, anyway – giving Sonya full reign of the yard once more. Not to worry: the swans are safe. Sonya is afraid of water and won’t go in the pool. She puts her feet up on the railing and dances around it on her hind legs trying to catch them, but all they have to do is stay out of reach.
Then, about an hour ago, a couple policemen stopped by and said we couldn’t keep the parrots on the porch any longer, something about county noise ordinances and a rash of complaints from the neighbors. They were going to let me off with a slap on the wrist, but one of them overheard the parrot mafia don say some rather unkind things about cops, and I got stuck with an unnecessarily large fine instead. I made sure to rattle some cages when I pulled the parrots from their perch on the porch and banished them to the far reaches of the garage.4
Anyway, the bricklaying geese are now in the basement building us some new stairs for the hatch. Two others are working on the plumbing, and I threw the last one down there as well after it wouldn’t let Marcelle come out from under our bed for a couple hours. It’ll probably start creating an uneven tile floor, just like it was doing in the upstairs bathroom.
I don’t have high hopes for any of the geese’s projects. I expect I’ll have to rip out everything they’ve done once Christmas is over and everybody leaves, and start fresh. Wait, they are all going to leave after the last day of Christmas, right?
1 Just what I needed: more birds! Yay!
2 As is the custom with any dead celebrity.
3 Or, failing that, smoke up with a relay team of swans.
4 I also put the song 867-5309/Jenny on a loop at high volume, to interfere with their Bluetooth conversations. So what if they’re only birds? I can still be spiteful.