deadparrot1308_468x333To mark the 40th anniversary of the formation of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and 20th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s (physical) exit from the White House, our poor players strut and fret and proudly present this topical sketch.

Scene: A conservative pet shop. Present day.

A customer enters the shop with a motionless bird in a cage.

Customer: Hello, I want to register a complaint.

Shop-owner: We’re closing for teatime. Like a tea bag?

Customer: Never mind that. I would like to complain about this bird You sold it to me saying it would parrot a bold fresh slice of the new ideas of the Republican Party and the conservative wave of the future.

Shop-owner: Ah yes, the Limbaugh Lemon. Lovely yellow color, don’t you think? That’s our most conservative model. What’s wrong with it?

Customer: This parrot is dead. It hasn’t had a new idea in decades. It doesn’t move. I don’t think it’s twitched since Barry Goldwater swept the South in 1964.

Shop-owner: No, no, its conservatism is merely resting, waiting for a second breath.

Customer: But it’s not breathing in the least. Look my lad, I know a deceased ideology when I see one, and this one’s dead (takes parrot out of the cage and bangs it stiffly on the counter.) It’s a Whig, a Mugwump, a Free Soiler, a Prohibitionist. Time has passed it by. This parrot is obsolete on this plane of existence.

_19-6-06-parrot.pngShop-owner: No, no no, it’s not dead at all. Conservatism and Republicans in general and this parrot in particular remain vibrant. The recent contest with the old warhorse and the moose woman just took a lot out of it, that’s all. It’s knackered. See this lovely yellow head and red state plumage?

Customer: The plumage doesn’t explain why this conservative parrot is stone cold dead. It has no ideas, no concepts, no threads of contemporary thought, nothing! I expected this bird to do something, but it hasn’t come up with a single decent idea since Ayn Rand did the Shag Nasty with Alan Greenspan! It doesn’t even sing!

Shop-owner: I tell you it’s just resting. I’ll wake it up. Wakey wakey wakey! Time for a town hall meeting on health care! (pause) Tea bagging! (pause) Illegal immigration! (pause) Tax the rich! (pause) Floride in the water supply! (shop owner hits the cage) There! You see? It moved! Conservatism is still alive, and so is your parrot!

Customer: No it isn’t. You banged the cage. It simply fell off the perch. This is rhetorical trickery aided and abetted by Newton’s Third Law of Motion. This is not life.

Shop-owner: (strikes the cage again) Hello, parrot! Glenn Beck! Dittoheads! Weekly Standard! Don’t Tread On Me! Neo-cons! Coultergeist! Another war against the little brown people! (shop owner now bangs the cage violently on the counter).

Customer: That is a dead conservative parrot, my friend.

Shop-owner: No, no, he’s simply stunned!

Customer: Stunned?

Shop-owner: Yes, stunned by recent events.

Customer: You mean Americans rejecting lockstep conservative Republican Party ideology in election after election?

Shop-owner: No, you must have stunned the parrot just before he was about to take wing and elect a Republican majority in Congress in the midterms. The Limbaugh Lemon stuns very easily. Don’t you follow the news?

Customer: Now look here, this feathery ideological tart is definitely deceased. You assured me he was just shagged out following a prolonged squawk over That Man’s election. But this parrot is no more.

Shop-owner: He’s probably pining.

Customer: Pining? For what?

Shop-owner: He’s pining for the Fords of Gerald, and Henry. Remarkable bird isn’t it? Lovely plumage.

Customer: This Republican fowl hasn’t moved an inch in generations. Plumage or no, it has contributed nothing for ages. Look (points to bird’s feet) It’s been nailed in this exact same position and couldn’t move even if were alive.

Shop-owner: It’s pining, I tell you.

Customer: It is not pining! Nor is it opining! Conservatism, the Republican Party and this bloody yellow parrot have passed on! This parrot is no more. Its belief system has ceased to be. It has expired and gone to meet its maker. It is bereft of life. This parrot is stiff. Its metabolic process is now history. Conservatism has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil and has joined the bloody choir invisible! The Republicans are in wholesale rigor mort! This parrot is an ex-ideology.

Shop-owner: So let’s replace it then.

Customer: (mollified): Now you’re talking sense.

Shop-owner: How about a nice blue dog?

Customer: Does it talk?

Shop-owner: No, but I’ve got a lovely Newt that won’t shut up.


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Boyd Lewis

Boyd Lewis

New Orleans family. War baby. Family moved a lot. Secondary and college education in Memphis, TN. Just before 1967 graduation, commissioning and tour of leafy, lovely Vietnam, banged up in auto accident. Decided to go into journalism. Tennessee mountain weekly, small Mississippi daily and nearly three decades in Atlanta. Black and alternative newspapers, freelance photojournalist, public radio news and documentary producer, news writer for CNN. Married Deborah James, followed her to Los Angeles for job. Quit the dismal trade and became middle school English teacher in LA barrio school. Quite happy.