Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Bird Flicker

Part 9 In A Series

All my life I've come up with nicknames for people — mostly for those who I don't know their real names. For instance, there was the object of my affection during the early 90's that I would always see at a certain bar. I referred to him as Piston's Boy — even though he was all man. The sad end of that story is that he never gave me the time of day despite a couple of attempts on my part to chat him up.

There are a number of characters at my mother's assisted care facility. Today I will tell you about my mother. After all, it wouldn’t be entirely fair to the residents mentioned up until now if I didn’t give my mother a nickname as well.

First, she will always be know as Mother Dear to me. However, I decided to step back and observe her and come up with a name by pretending that I was the guest of someone else.

In her later years, mother has become increasingly sensitive to noise. “What’s that racket?” she often says in a belligerent tone when people speak with raised voices, the staff is clanging pots and pans preparing dinner, or the parakeets are squawking in their cage.

One reason I selected her particular room was because there was a bird cage outside in the corridor. She has always loved pets, particularly cats, but we had dogs, birds, turtles, guinea pigs, and fish over the years. The birds have turned into an irritant rather than a pleasure.

As we sat in the lobby next to a different set of parakeets that have been together for eight years, Mom grew increasingly annoyed. Timmy, the larger green bird, was picking on Mimi, a yellow bird that is quite a bit smaller than her cage mate. There was quite a commotion when the weaker one decided she’d had enough of the bullying and began to fight back.

Mom placed her pointer finger on her thumb, gave it some pressure to load it with spring, and moved her hand toward the cage.

Me: What are you doing?

Mom: I’m going to flick that damn bird on the tail.

I convinced her that the birds were simply having a bad day and that flicking the bird, even on the tail, was not such a good idea.

And that’s when it hit me. Mom’s alter ego became The Bird Flicker.

Also see:
Part 1: The Klepto
Part 2: The Slapper
Part 3: The Baby Mama
Part 4: Socks
Part 5: The Jackrabbit
Part 6: Gidget
Part 7: Twinkle Toes
Part 8: Pittsburg and Tex
Part 10: The Imp, The Lesbian Haircut, and The Bitch
Part 11: The Bugaboo

1 comment:

karen said...

Good nickname for your mom. The past year my mom has gave me a nickname but I can't say it or you won't post my comment. Anyway I just found your blog and I like It. Good luck.
mom ,me and alzeimer's