Pete the Parrot

I mentioned the other day on Facebook, with a certain measure of despair, that the boys had discovered Pete and Repeat jokes. This has not turned out to be as bad as I thought – they wore out quickly – but it did remind me of another story about my friend Tricia. (You remember Pinky, right?)

Tricia’s lived with or near her grandpa most of her life, and still lives just one street over. Grandpa’s getting up there, and cleaning has never really been his deal anyway, so at one point she was over regularly to clean his house for him. Grandpa is, and I say this with all the love and aggravation conveyed by a loving grandchild, a teensy bit of a packrat. He really likes stuff. He really likes stuff that makes his great-grands laugh. A singing bass on the wall is a source of hours of entertainment.

Enter Pete the Repeat Parrot.


Pete can be obtained on Amazon for less than twenty bucks* and does exactly what you think he does. He repeats the very last thing he’s heard, every time, until his batteries run out or someone throws him out the window. Both of my children have gone through a parrot stage, and I can’t quite imagine why anyone would pay for this privilege, but hey, it’s a free country.

So Pete hung out and annoyed Tricia whenever she was there to clean. Mostly, though, she was up there by herself and wasn’t talking, and when she did have to say something and Pete hopped into the conversation, she would remember that she is a grownup and she loves her grandpa, and she would take a very deep breath and go hit the off switch. Which fixed the problem until next time.

Everything was fine until she attempted to leave the bathroom one day, having closed the door to clean behind it. The door was locked. (I think she tried to explain once how there is a bathroom door that locks from the outside in her grandpa’s house because that really seems like a plot point from some horrifying Law & Order:SVU episode, but I don’t remember the explanation.)

But this is no problem in this modern age, right? You pull out your cell phone and you call the house phone, and grandpa lets you out. This works best, though, if your phone isn’t downstairs on the kitchen table. Still, grandpa’s downstairs. It’s fine.

“HEY! GRANDPA!” she hollered.
“Hey! Grandpa!” said Pete. From the hall. On the other side of the locked door.

Oh, great.
Oh, great.


Shut up, you stupid bird!
Shut up, you…

<deep breath unheard and unacknowledged by Pete>


Did I mention Grandpa doesn’t hear so well these days? Well. He doesn’t. This went on for some time. He eventually came upstairs – just by chance, not because he heard anything – and released a somewhat agitated woman from the bathroom. In a supreme act of self-control, Tricia flipped the off switch on Pete instead of tearing every feather from his little plastic body.

I got a report on this shortly after she was reunited with her cell phone. Because I am not a very nice person, I laughed. A lot. I think there’s a way to make things up to her, though. Her birthday is in a few days. Prime shipping from Amazon can get her very own Pete here by Thursday!



* This is not an affiliate link. I will not make one red cent if you purchase Pete, though I will absolutely question your sanity.

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