Saturday, May 15, 2010

Have You Heard the One About...?

From time to time, during the months when I was a proper responsible, serious Blogger (unlike this hit-or-miss mess I have recently become), I would create a draft version of an idea for a future blog....this besides starting a notebook with scribbled notes plus littering the house with scraps of paper containing jottings of possible ideas.......Yes, I was that serious and devoted once.....I sank so low or rose so high as to write one reminder on the wall in the kitchen.......but never mind that.

What I am getting to is the fact that this week I was taken out to lunch by a dear old friend,Don,  from my Starving Artist- Beatnik- Hippie Days.......55 some years back.........the one who was then married to Annette, a wonderful  Artist and Silversmith who shared the grounds where I had my studio   (sadly she has since left us but current wife, Val has picked up the gauntlet) .....and it reminded me not only of the story languishing in Draft status, but of an even better one that I had not thought of in years.  After  we all wet our bloomers laughing  (and crying just a bit) I vowed to devote a blog to those grand old memories from my North Fairfax days.

To recreate the scene I must mention that at the time my studio occupied the middle of three shops which had been built onto the front of an old house.  On my right was the person we called the Dirty Record those days there was hardly any such thing as visible porn....these records hadn't a hope of being dirty....more like a bit bawdy but what did we know, especially since the police, who had no real porn to contend with kept periodically raiding the shop and taking away the poor Office manager, a nice middle aged Jewish lady named Roz.  On my left was a young Sandal-maker and his wife and it happened that this young couple had a rather unusual pet.  He was an amazing and somewhat rare bird from Africa, but actually "bird" is an insulting term to apply to Homer.  This creature was a bit bigger than a Turkey but built more like an ostrich with an excess of feathers.  Standing his head reached to my boobs or halfway to my shoulders, whichever measurement you prefer.  He had big soulful eyes, was very tame and adored having his head, chin and neck scratched.  He spent half his time in a fabulous fig tree we had in the back yard  (where the Silversmith's studio was) and the rest in the Sandal shop untying customers shoelaces and we all enjoyed him mightily.

But then came the dreadful day when Homer was nowhere to be found and we feared the worst.....birdnapping.  (we doubted that he would have just wandered off).  When no ransom note appeared we gave up hope and just mourned.  One day when we were still sitting  Shiva (Jewish mourning ceremony) I was out in front of my shop sweeping the walk when a Police car drew up to the curb and a real live Policeman got out of the passenger seat and approached me.  The following is an honest-to-God, verbatim record of what followed:

The cop, in  a rather gruff but strangled  voice, said, "Hey,  Um, does a bird named Homer live here?"

I, in an astonished voice replied, "Oh, yes....have you found him?"

Whereupon the cop gave a relieved sigh and said, "Thank God......... he is shitting up the whole back seat of the patrol car." ......

........and he heaved open the back door from whence, Homer, like a rock star or Royalty, thrust out one huge foot followed by the other and swaggered out of the car and across the pavement to have his head scratched.

(By the way he did have an ID tag on his leg with his name and address in case you were expecting a touch of the supernatural.)

We never knew who or how he was abducted, but apparently he escaped or was abandoned by his captors after shitting up their entire whatever.........but I will never forget that line...."Does a bird named Homer live here?"

What wondrous days those were........


  1. Sounds like you're truly back on form again, Lo!Great story. My only disapointment was the bit about the ID tag - I thought your punch line was that up to that point you didn't know he must have been crossed with a PARROT - and he'd been concealing this from all of you!

  2. Hi Lo, I agree with Willie you are truly back on form which is great! Really enjoyed this post :-)

  3. Hi Lo! Great story, I loved it..Homer sounds like he was one heck of a bird:)

  4. Anecdotes are a massively undervalued art form. The ability to so quickly take your reader to a time, to a place, to tell a good story, and to make dozens of people all over the world laugh is special indeed.

  5. Wonderful story...& storyteller. I love it. Just love it!

  6. Sorry, parrot crossbreeding there. Just the facts.......

    Far Side, Frog and T.B.....glad you enjoyed the tale.

    Alan.......Thanks for the lovely compliment.

  7. I recognized the scene from an older post. when I read that post, I thought there must be quite a few more stories from that time. And now I know there's a lot more up your sleeve.

    Little notes stuck here and there sounds familiar ... hmm. Are we related? LOL.

  8. GTC.......thanks for remembering earlier posts and for coming back for more. Related????? Perhaps....sometimes I feel like an orphan and other times like the world is my family.

  9. I came to say thank you for stopping by my blog and also thank my lucky stars (and yours!) that I did not use too much foul language!! Yikes!
    Also, your blog is lovely!! I'm looking forward to reading more :)

  10. More than funny..certainly Homer is a once in a lifetime hero!
    The things we've lived through..
    Stay well..stay funny!!

  11. Greetings Lo! Thanks so much for stopping by my place and leaving a comment. The young man you watched playing Grieg ALSO plays a pretty great jazz trumpet. I was just on your other blog reading about Pete Daily. I can't wait to tell Matt about this. :)

    LOVED the story about Homer and that's proof positive that the mess we sit in ain't always a bad thing! lol

    Nice to meet you and of COURSE I have to follow you!