Thursday, July 9, 2009

In praise of the parakeet

Disclaimer: I did not invent the metaphor.
Confession: I wish I had.

The 4th of July has came and went. For our family, it's adult Christmas. My wife's family reunion is at the family farm. The pre-reunion get together with the Tennessee contingent is at our house. It's a 4-5 day bender, with explosives.

No one wants a 5 day hangover. That's where the parakeet comes into play. It's based on the old practice of carrying a parakeet into the mines. They succumb to the toxic affects of gas before a human. You are starting to get the idea. When the parakeet is in trouble, it's time to call it a night.

Here's the trick, the parakeet cannot be a lite-weight. Look for a good drinker who just lost weight. 3 years ago, I was the unofficial parakeet. That year, we sampled my entire top shelf, and "cousin hollow leg" grabbed a couple of Goose Island longnecks to wash it all down. This year, he's slimmed down.

Signs that your parakeet is in trouble

  1. Slurring
  2. Has to climb up the stairs on all fours.
  3. Gets spaced out. (That's me)
  4. Brings up politics. (I don't bring it up, but when challenged, I fight back. I do the same thing when I'm sober. The big difference is, when I'm drunk. All of my points are punctuated with "Yeah, that's what I thought!")

God bless you parakeet! You know who you are.


  1. Well, we found a new use for the old fellow. He'll never live this one down. But you have given wonderful advice to the drinking public with this concept. In this age of "drink responsibly", the world needs a catchy method for knowing when it's time to quit. Jim, by this one act you have probably prevented tens of thousands of hangovers. Better that one parakeet get a hangover than the whole crowd he's with!

  2. Well, someone had to take the arrow for the team. Glad I could do it.

  3. I'm just the messenger. Though, seeing him in this weakened condition, it makes me sad. He can only drink 12 beers in one day, 8 if he doesn't take a nap. I have to go, I'm getting all weepy just thinking about it.