Cute and Unafraid


I am having trouble with the Beautiful AP and this has been going on for the past 32 years, 25 of which we’ve been married.

I am not ashamed to admit it. I cannot handle her. I cannot get her to be obedient. Even at the first of our weddings (we married each other three times, one wedding of which we were our own ministers) I wanted her to say, “Love, honor and obey.” She wouldn’t. Instead she changed “obey” to “cherish.”

When she heads for work she says things like, “Now, Scobe, I want you to put the laundry in the dryer and when it is dry I want you to put it in the basket and bring it to the bedroom. Make sure you do the dishes in the dishwasher and put them away. Also, bring in the recycling bins. Make sure your spot in the living room is neat and clean. And…”

“You know I am writing all day,” I whine.

“You can take a few minutes off to do a few little things,” she says and heads out to her beloved library job.

But she is not in charge of everything in our house. We have two parrots, Augustus and Mr. Squeaky. They control her. From the moment we all wake up at 5 AM to the moment they go to sleep (Augustus at 4 PM, Mr. Squeaky at 8 PM), the Beautiful AP is the servant of those damn birds—and the master of me!

How is that possible? She cleans their cages every single day; feeds them in the morning; hugs and coos to them when we all watch television together; kisses them; sings to them and puts up with all sorts of crap (literally) every day.

For decades I have pondered one of life’s fundamental questions: how do I make her my servant? Then I had a brilliant idea; I’d ask the birds for the secret of their success. Obviously, they must be doing something right.

“Guys,” I said to them. “Please give me your secret for becoming the master of the Beautiful AP.”

Of course, I know my parrots cannot talk but I can read their faces. All parrot owners will attest that while the bird’s face doesn’t change, it expresses so, so much. Yes, parrot owners know what the bird is saying. I know what Augustus and Mr. Squeaky are saying to me.

I posed my burning question to the birds. Augustus tilted his head. He is so cute when he does that. You see. I am cute when I do this, right? I can melt people’s hearts when I tilt my head and look at them with my head to the side. So AP sees this and she is in love with me.

I jumped in: “Cute? Got it. But how is it you can control her?

Augustus again titled his beautiful head. It’s simple. I let her know that I am in charge. You know that I am called the “stealth pooper” in our home. But there is nothing stealth about it. I poop wherever I want; on furniture, draperies, that nice 65-inch television where I aim it so the poop drips right down the screen. I poop on AP’s shoulder and even on her head. This lets her know I am the boss. I am cute but I am unafraid to stake my ground. That is my power.

Cute, but unafraid. Hmmm.

I have to say, there might have been a time in my life when I was cute but those days are long, long gone. Now I look in a mirror; a horrifying sight looks back at me.

I turned to Mr. Squeaky, but before I could ask him his secret, he tilted his head and said, Cute, but unafraid. What more do you need?

I mulled this over. Cuteness allows you control. I thought of infants, with diapers full of stinking poop and urine, and the mother changing the kid. “Oogie, oogie, baby is so cute!” As she wipes the kid’s awfully smelling butt clean. “Ooohhh, you smell so bad, you beautiful child.” The child giggles. Mom is in paroxysms of love.

Sometime during the day the infant will vomit on the mother. “Is my little oogie, oogie, throwing up on me? Oh, let it all out my pretty little one.”

Squeaky tilted his head, Now think of humans who are not so cute as a baby doing the exact same thing. They are not in control; they are despised.

So, I thought of really, really old people; those who poop and pee in their pants or in their adult diapers and how their health aids feel about cleaning them up.

The old person’s wrinkled and sagging face is not cute like the baby’s face. Lack of cuteness forces them to pay the aid to take care of them. My parrots pay no one. We treat them to everything!

Finally, I asked Squeaky, “What do you do to show superiority?”

Mr. Squeaky tilted his head (he is so cute!). Do you see that sharp point at the end of my beak? Everyone sees that point. I can hurt you if I want to. I am cute and dangerous. Being unafraid is important; it means you have power. Fear is weakness. Unafraid is power.

I learned my lesson.

I am not cute. If I tilt my head the only thing that happens is my jowls fall down in the tilted direction. I certainly cannot poop on my wife’s head as she comes back from work. I can’t bite her. Unfortunately, I am not unafraid.

So, excuse me, I have to do the laundry now before she gets home.

Frank’s latest books are Confessions of a Wayward Catholic; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.


The Bird Needed Gift Boxes


“Ma’am, you ordered thirteen dollars’ worth of gift boxes,” said the representative.

“No, I didn’t,” said the woman.

“Yes, you did,” said the representative.

“No, I didn’t,” said the woman.

“No, I didn’t,” said her parrot in her voice.

As recently reported in the New York Post, in London a clever African Grey parrot spent $13 on gift boxes from That’s right; the parrot mimicked its owner’s voice, activated Alexa and placed the order. (Why? I have no idea! Maybe to send seed to its friends?)

Those in the know in the parrot world are fully aware of the intelligence of parrots and particularly of the African Grey whose greatest individual was the late Alex, the bird who could reason and accurately use basic vocabulary under the tutelage of animal psychologist, Irene Pepperberg.

My parrots—Augustus, a Quaker parrot of about 21 years, and Mr. Squeaky, a green-cheek conure, about five years old— are not as smart as the parrot mentioned above. They can’t order from like the parrot in London or have a vocabulary of over a hundred words, like the legendary Alex.

However, Augustus and Mr. Squeaky can pitch food and cutlery with the aim of Sandy Koufax to get our attention. They can strategically poop on us to convey disdain or give a mild bite to express annoyance.  Actually, only Augustus can regulate his bite. Mr. Squeaky will draw blood every time; but he’s a teenager.

There is a great documentary about the intelligence of parrots and crows titled Beak & Brain: Genius Parrots from Down Under. It can blow you away if you think a bird’s brain is merely a birdbrain.

And if a bunch of gift boxes arrive at your house? Who knows who ordered them?

Frank Scoblete’s latest books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.


The Four-Hour Erection

His name is Mr. Squeaky. No, that’s not the nickname for a man’s sex organ. It is the name for a Green-Cheeked Conure parrot; a parrot who is a sex fiend–a complete and utter sex fiend.

My wife the Beautiful AP and I have two parrots, Augustus, a Quaker Parrot, over 20 years old – a senior-citizen for his species – and the aforementioned Mr. Squeaky, about five years old, and horny as can be.

Augustus spends most of his day grooming, wrestling with a copper bell, eating, bathing and pooping. His nickname is the “stealth pooper.” Mr. Squeaky, on the other hand, spends a minimum of four hours a day screwing the top of his cage.

We assume that Mr. Squeaky (the name given by his first owners) is male since he has never laid any eggs. He has (to be blunt) laid his cage constantly. He is up and out in more ways than one, tirelessly humping a perch that definitely looks the worse for wear.

And loud! When he is going at it, you can hear him all over the house squeaking what we can only interpret as, “Whoopee! I am having fun! More! Give me more!”

One morning last week we parked the car in our garage and even before we could get out the Beautiful AP said, “Mr. Squeaky is having sex again!” (“Whoopee! I am having fun! More! Give me more!”)

Although we try to give him his privacy, when we do walk in on him, he will peek over at us and continue pumping away. He is not an exhibitionist but he is also not not an exhibitionist. I think he is more of an “I-don’t-care-ist.”

The Beautiful AP thinks that Mr. Squeaky is young and plucky (drop the “pl” and replace with “f”). She believes he’ll calm down with age.

He usually takes his bath first thing in the morning and then screws all day. This order of events would take him out of the running to star in a birdie Cialis commercial. For some incomprehensible reason, the Cialis couples take their baths after sex in separate tubs. Outdoors. Shouldn’t they clean before having sex?

Mr. Squeaky loves the perch atop his cage, but he is unfaithful. On some occasions he gets on top of Augustus’ cage while Augustus sits by his door pooping onto the floor. Mr. Squeaky pumps like a madbird on his neighbor’s perch.

Other times, he makes love to the inside of his own cage when he’s covered for the night. No, we don’t peek. We just listen. Eavesdropping, you might say.

If Green-Cheeked Conures were an endangered species, we could put Mr. Squeaky out to stud. But, alas, there is no dearth in that population.

Will time dim Mr. Squeaky’s ardor? Only Mr. Squeaky’s cage can tell.