Quite often when I'm writing blogs I throw in the line "my life is not like other people's..." which is a very silly thing to say, because everybody's life is different, and at least mine is good. I really have nothing to complain about (and yet I still do, which just goes to show how daft people are). It's just that mine always feels like it it is being created by an out-of-work sit-com writer, whose every submission is rejected because it's too far-fetched.
Everyone in my family is funny. All of them. All ages, the in-laws, everyone. A happy bunch, it's all laughter and jokes. This is good. I look around and see how serious some other families are and I wonder how they cope with it. They probably think we're all mad. It's all a matter of what you are used to.
But it's not that we make any effort to be funny. It just happens. We think we're talking normally, but we're not. We can't. We're all on auto-funny. We tend to attract others who are like this, so any social stuff is a blast. We have all completely lost the ability to interact effectively with serious people.
Michael texted me from school.
"Can I have a parrot?"
No lead-up to this. No explanation. What would the normal parent say?
I'm going to give you five minutes to ponder this. If you were writing a story, in which a teenager asks this, by text message, there could be a deliberately humorous response, or a very stuffy parenty sort of response ("don't be silly dear, we don't have anywhere to put a parrot").
What I actually said was "Is it green?"
So, assuming a third party was reading this, they might wonder what sort of relevance that had to it. But as I said, we aren't normal people.
"Yes it's green it's a baby it's tame it's a rescue please can I have it Mom I'll do all the work" . Now THAT is a fairly typical sort of begging scenario when a kid wants a pet.
Oh yes. Nobody just gives away parrots. Not even rescues. There's always a price.
"I'll find out."
So after an hour or so he told me:
"It's a Hahn's Macaw, they want $50 for it."
I said I'd have to check with Dad. This was my way of stalling him. I have never heard of a Hahn's Macaw and I needed to look it up. When I did, I discovered it's a sort of miniature parrot, which seemed perfect, and I was ready to say yes, when I got another text.
"She says in fact they aren't selling the Hahn's but they have a green parakeet for the same price."
This changes everything, but Michael can't see it. He's in bird la-la land.
"A parakeet is a bloody budgie."
"Well is it or isn't it?"
"How well do you know this person?"
"It's a friend of a friend."
"This reminds me of the really dodgy salesmen who used to put classified ads in newspapers, got you all excited on the phone, then when you got there, oh dear, the thing you were interested in had JUST gone, but they have this really similar piece of shit for the same price. Mikey, it's the oldest game in the book. No, I do not want a parakeet for $50, thank you."
".....OK" Clearly disappointed. But on reflection, he acknowledged I had a bit more life experience.
And myself, on reflection, said "What just happened there? I was minding my own business and I almost bought a parrot."
And I wouldn't mind, but something that random happens to me every day of my life. Sometimes several times. The dice-players that run everything have a really surreal sense of humour. But I'll keep it this way. It's all good, and I am just expecting it now.