Friday, July 29, 2011

The Scott and Janie Chronicles - Part 1 - Blue Boy (RIP X 2)

Tonight, I tuned into “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.”  The one where Shannon went back to her family home in her youth.  She was emotional - her mom raised seven children as a single mom, and life was most probably hard.
It made me think about my youth.  Though my parents were married, my dad was virtually non-existent.  He was always gone - to work, to the bar, or fishing - whatever.  So, in essence, our mom was our mom and our dad.
So, from time to time, I may go back and relive memories.  I don’t have a lot, or maybe I just need to be reminded. 
Here’s one, though.  The tale of the parakeet.  And the turtle.  And two very intelligent, crazy kids...
I asked my brother for his version of this story, and I’m going to intersperse his version.  I think you’ll enjoy it - he’s a very entertaining guy!
Scott:  I have spent the last 20 hours trying to recall the whole incident and some of it is very sketchy.
We got to go to TG&Y to pick our pets. I think Mom let us do it to teach us responsibility. Yeah, right.
Jane picked a turtle. With the little plastic aquarium with the island and little tree. Remember??

Janie: I remember when my brother Scott bought a parakeet.  That parakeet’s name was Blue Boy.  I bought a turtle. I can’t remember his name.
Scott: I thought that I had got the best deal with the parakeet. I was gonna teach him to talk and he was meant to hunt horny toads and locusts with me. 
Janie: (I thought Scott hated horny toads.  But maybe it was just crawdads.  I caught both, depending upon where I was - horny toads, West Texas.  Crawdads, East Texas.  Kept in a shoebox, as long as I could, to let them go before they died. But I digress.)
Scott: The cage was small but had the drawer in the bottom for easy cleaning.This was long before the internet so we had to buy the How to Care for the Parakeet book. My heart break was quick to come because page 3 was about where I found that teaching a parakeet to talk was only slightly possible. Ole Blue Boy was good at one thing....he could make one heck of a mess in his drawer.

Mom was quick to figure out the newspaper trick and the cleaning job kinda became hers. Terry Harris and his little sister Susan were a couple of family friends that really enjoyed Blue Boy. Terry actually liked it when the bird would bite the crap out of him as he stuck his finger in the cage between the bars. As a matter of fact Terry Don was blamed for old Blue Boy’s meanness and biting ability around our house but it wasn't really his fault.
Blue Boy's cage was on a shelf in our den where our first color tv was located. He had to endure a lot of Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin, Lost in Space, and the little 11 pm target and whistle (before tv was 24\7). He became proficient at opening his cage door latch, so we started adding clothespins to thwart his efforts. But even that could not stop the Houdini bird from escaping again and again.
Janie: Somehow, one night, Blue Boy kind of freaked on our mom.  I think she went to the cage, opened the door to check on the bird, and out he flew.  He flew through the den, into the kitchen, and into a square of light caused by the kitchen light shining on the living room wall.
Scott: The night of the "Blue Boy Incident" was a school night and I had already been sent to bed and was probably dreaming of our long awaited twin princess phones from AT&T (Ma Bell back then) when I was rudely awakened by a blood curdling scream. I never did know for sure if that scream came from Mom or from the bird. 
Janie:  And just like that, Blue Boy, the beloved parakeet, was dead.
Scott: Out of bed and around the corner I ran to see my mother giving Blue Boy mouth to mouth -  and this was before the Red Cross was teaching CPR as a class.
Jane and I cried from the shock of the event but none of my tears were really for the loss of Blue Boy. He was a mean little s*%t, and I was really envious of Jane and her little turtle. Yeah, every once in a while, the water would mold and she would have to clean the tray, but the turtle never bit anyone.
Janie: Scott and I were in shock.  Our mom was in shock.  I remember our mom trying to revive Blue Boy, Scott and I weeping by her side.  But there was no life in him at all.
And of course, being the faithful children that we were, we had to have a civilized burial.  Our mom helped us conduct the ceremony, and we prayed, and everything.  Blue Boy was placed in a bed of paper, in a shoe box, and laid to rest in a hole we dug in the back yard. Amen.
And there he lay, poor Blue Boy.    Ashes to ashes, bird to dust.
End of story.
Yeah, right.  Until, of course, as curious kids are wont to do, we dug him up.  
Scott: This was about the time of the advent of the commercially marketed toy that every child of the 60's and 70's would own........The OUIJI board!!! I remember Janie and I working the little plastic pendulum shaped board viewer around the board asking questions. I never did believe that she was not moving the device. During one session that weekend the mystic OUIJA board must have channeled one of the twilight zone episodes because we decided that we should exhume Blue Boy and revive him with our new found power.
Janie: Poor Blue Boy didn’t get to rest in peace for very long.
Scott: We had buried him in a shoe box wrapped in newspaper (hopefully not from the bottom of his cage) about 6 feet from the back door so we did not have far to travel.

If you have ever seen Janie with her determined face on then you know how Mom snapped off that we were up to something. She always wondered how Mom knew when she was up to something and leading me astray -  but I never let on that it was written all over her face. 
But I digress....
Janie: Stop it, Scott, that’s my line!  And I’m older!! Dibs!
Scott: Mom caught us, right as we opened the box and unwrapped the stiff not yet rotting corpse -  and was mortified by our action. 
Janie: Blue Boy was quickly re-committed to the ground, back in his shoebox casket, and back in his original burial ground. 
Scott: We quickly reinterred our beloved (not) pet and tried to explain our actions but it was all for naught. 
Janie: We were in deep poop with our Mamma, who was plenty horrified and couldn’t believe she had raised children that would do such.a.thing!
Scott: Mom never did let us forget her horror even if she did later admit that the OUIJI board and the Episcopalian education she worked so hard to provide were kinda counter productive.

Now if you thought that that was entertaining let me tell you the story of the Rabbit and the Duck. Yep the Duck named Bruce...... 
Janie: Oh, my God.  I’d forgotten all about Bruce the Duck, Scott.


  1. But, but, what happened to the TURTLE?!?!?

  2. Isn't recollection "interesting"? Yup.

  3. TG&Y? Oh lordy that brings back some memories from the time machine.

  4. What a totally fascinating, unbelievably entertaining story ... thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing!!! (You probably shouldn't tell Scott that when I was a kid we had a parakeet named Lily that could talk somewhat.)

    What DID happen to the turtle?

  5. Turtle. . . hello? No really! I loved this story!

    It is funny what we did as children. Since my dad was a preacher, and we were always around funerals, praying for sick people and church, my sister and I once tried to revive a pet by speaking him from the "grave" we laid him to rest in. It was the "Lazarus affect" we were working on. Of course, it must have been lack of faith or something. That pet never "came forth".

  6. That was so well written that I thought I was listening to both of you. I keep saying "NEVER go toward the light!" Just one more example of me being right.

  7. T G & Y. What the heck did that stand for anyway? We used to buy our candy there after school. Awesome store.

    We couldn't have a turtle because they carried disease, according to my mom. And so did birds. And fish, and... I see a pattern here.

    Funny, funny post. You two should take your act on the road. :)

  8. Turtles, tireless, and yo-yos


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