Saturday, February 14, 2015
When we lived in Brooklyn in the mid 90s, we had two parakeets: Guido and Rudy. Unusual for a parakeet, Rudy could talk and it was pretty hilarious. He'd say things like "Lemme out, goddamit!" and "Beam me up, Scotty!". If one of us had a bad cold we'd suddenly hear Rudy "coughing".
One fateful morning we approached the cage and Rudy was puffed up like a big snowball (this isn't the snow-part of the story. Bear with me.) Below him lay Guido, dead as a doornail. Emma, age 9, was devastated (but at least she didn't have to spend the night with the corpse like Rudy had). She put Guido in a little box, took him out to the backyard of our brownstone and buried him. Then she sent him a postcard, addressed to "Quido, Heaven." (She could never pronounce "Guido". Some Italian SHE is!)
A few months later, Rudy was acting strangely. My husband Tony took him out of the cage and instead of flying around, he walked on the kitchen table like someone failing a sobriety test. Seeing his distress, Tony cradled him and the bird died in his hand. Very sad. Emma wanted to bury Rudy right next to Guido, but this was the winter of 1994 (storm after storm) and about 3 feet of snow covered the backyard. What to do...what to do...
Tony got some plastic wrap and wound it around the stiff little body of Rudy, and put him in the freezer to keep him preserved until he could get his proper burial. Every time the snow was about to melt, we got slammed with another storm. We knew that Rudy's internment would have to be postponed until Spring.
A few months passed and I got pregnant, so we made plans to move from Brooklyn to Greenwich, Connecticut during the summer so I'd be closer to my job.
A few weeks after the move in July, I bolted upright in bed one night and yelled: "RUDY!!!!" Yep...we had moved out of the house in Brooklyn leaving a Rudy-sicle in the freezer for the new tenants. After absorbing the horror of our mistake, we could not stop laughing. (And I'm pretty sure that "we found a dead frozen parakeet in the freezer" made a good story for those people as well, after the vomiting stopped.)