Dear Neighbor,

When I moved over here to Apartment 7, I had high hopes for our relationship. My last neighbor and I… We had some disagreements. You see, my last neighbor had two giant, horrible dobermans who loved to greet me every day like two hell hounds screaming for my soul.  In addition to being driven to blind rage by my very presence, they also had a very nasty habit of leaving bear-sized stool next to the section of the fence that bordered my back door. This made my “welcome home” a combination of pant-piss inducing velociraptor roars and upchuck-inspiring Jabba the Hutt dumps. By the time I got inside my house after work, I badly needed a change of pants, some mouthwash, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling.

Then I moved here, to Apartment 7. You’re over there in Apartment 8. On the other side is Apartment 6. I thought to myself, “Man, this is just a cozy, bitchless community, isn’t it?” My eyes shone brightly, then. That light is gone, and let me tell you why. You have a dog, but that’s not the reason.  Don’t get me wrong here, I love dogs. I just think having a dog in an apartment or a small, cramped back yard forces that poor animal to get its jollies off by making me scream expletives and drop food items I just f’ing purchased. That is a crime, but that is not the crime with which we should concern ourselves now. No, the other one is far more confounding.

Let me begin with a little story. One day – a Saturday, I believe – I was sleeping soundly, likely dreaming of frolicking merrily through warm ocean waves with Jennifer Love Hewitt shortly after our wedding, when I started suddenly out of paradise by a chirping noise. I disregarded it and went back to sleep, but not back to Jennifer. I continued to hear the chirping noise at random times and throughout my apartment during the next days, weeks, and months to follow. Therein lies your crime, Neighbor: You have a pet bird.

I have some questions for you, and for that matter, for all bird owners.

Why the hell do you own a pet bird? It sits in a cage on a perch. It eats bird seed. It craps on the floor of the bird cage, which you have to clean. It chirps annoyingly and ruins my relationship with Jennifer Love Hewitt, and likely your dreams of being Captain Hook (who is the only person who could justify bird ownership). If it had a brain larger than the nail on my little finger, it would hate you entirely for keeping it imprisoned. You literally keep a bird in a prison for your amusement. Your apartment is that bird’s GITMO, except without the waterboarding. Or maybe with the waterboarding, who knows what you’re into. At least you can walk your dog. Please, go fly your bird. Really. Try it. Let me know how it goes.

you're going down, bird owner

you’re going down, bird owner

What made you think buying a bird was a good idea? So you waltz into Petsmart or Exotic Pet Land or wherever the hell morons buy useless pets, and there it is. A bird. In a cage. What was your thought process? “Oh, oh! Look at that bird in that cage! It’s just sitting there, being a bird and chirping erratically. I want to pay to move that bird in that cage to my house, so I can watch it sit there and be a bird always and forever!” None of that makes sense. You can’t even pet a damn bird. They bite, they flap all around trying to fly (because remember, that’s what they’re meant to do!)  and they scratch you with their claws. This pet is entirely useless. No, less than useless – it’s actually detrimental to your quality of life and more importantly, MINE.

Please, Neighbor, in the name of good fences and good neighborly things and Mr. Rogers, set your bird free. Or kill it. Whatever works, I won’t ask questions.