October 3, 2008

The Faux Paw and the Kissing Parrot

On my lunch break today, I thought I’d slip out of my cubicle and do a little bargain book shopping. For the most part, the only bookstores in Edmonton are Chapters franchises (the Canadian equivalent of Barnes & Noble), and so I was excited to discover a little hole-in-the-wall used bookstore, just like the ones I used to frequent in Boston, and only a couple blocks away from my office!

The Wee Book Inn, it is called, and it was just the kind place I’d been looking for. As I walked up to the counter with my purchases – vintage children’s books, $1 a piece! – I noticed a sign alerting customers to the resident pussycat. Feeling chatty and more than a little smug about my finds, I said to the clerk, “So where’s your cat? This sign says you have a cat; it better not be false advertising.”

“Actually, Muffin passed away two weeks ago,” he said, choking up. “I’d had him for 18 years.”

I grabbed my bag and my change and left as quickly as I could. I figured I should get back to the office before I made anyone else cry.

I thought my day couldn’t get any weirder, but then, about a block from my office, I noticed the woman stopped at the crosswalk next to me had a grey parrot perched on her hand. He was sitting there just as calm as he could be, although cars were whizzing past, and quite a few passengers where craning their necks to get a better look at the spectacle. Then, without warning, the parrot opened his big hooked beak and bit down on the woman’s lips.

“Ohmygod!” I screamed, “Are you OK?”

She just looked at me in bewilderment, and then, wiggling her lips out of the bird’s beak, said, “What? He’s just giving me a kiss.” She gave me a look as if I were the one walking down a busy city street with a two-foot parrot stuck on my face and proceeded to walk off, kissing the bird all the way.

I walked back to the office as fast as I could, not even stopping to say “hi” to the receptionist, afraid that if I so much as opened my mouth I’d offend someone else or their pet. Thank goodness it’s Friday.


Jesse said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Sarah. This reminds me of Victor Hugo on Newbury Street. First the cats die, then so goeth the bookstores. Hope this one lingers awhile.

Rafa said...

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I am from Brazil and I am going to Munich in a few days to study german. I blog-googled the name of the school to see if that were anybody to share experiences there. And I found your blog. I read your old posts - "Deutsche Schule I, II and III" and they helped me to get a vision of how its going to be for me there. I am also going to have classes at DID Deutsch Institut. But, as you said, I should not feel insecure about learning deutsch. Well, I dont even know if you are going to read this, anyway thanks! Rafael - rafaelgmartins@gmail.com