The Fed Ex Parrot Smugglers Watch List

This is the true story (as posted on my friend Maeva Considine’s Facebook page) of how an ongoing gag between friends (specifically Colin and I and Maeva and her wife Aileen) may have landed Maeva on a government watch list for parrot smugglers:

A few years ago Aileen and I were gifted (or bought, I can’t remember) a cat toy that soon became the absolute worst thing we’ve ever allowed into our home. It was a crinkle bag,


Reunited and it feels so good: Liz Lemon (the cat) is wildly thrilled to be reunited with the noisy cat toy that has caused so much drama.

with a feather inside that also chirped, so, like a living nightmare, right? At 3 am I would be jolted out of sleep by the sounds of a mocking bird being choked in a grocery bag.

But it was for awhile Bill’s favorite toy. And while I was momentarily torn over taking it from him, the loud chirping of a fake bird when I was home alone one night, in the dark, quickly quelled my feelings of regret. I packed it away but unfortunately, every once in awhile, it would chirp randomly in a closet or bin and Bill’s little heart would swell and he would run to look for it and I would feel terrible all over again.

Finally we moved to Seattle and as we were unpacking I accidentally dropped it on the floor and Lemon fell in love with it and would drag it in her mouth to whichever corner of the house was most peaceful and relaxed and just shake that mechanical bird until she passed out. I was sure it would drive me to the brink of insanity, so I offered it to our dear fellow Seattleite friends, Ashley Schwellenbach and Colin Rigley. They promptly laughed in my face and told us they too had once had a similar cat toy and would be, under no circumstances, taking it from us.

No problem, I just shoved it through their mail box into their new house and ran away, laughing the hysterical laugh of a free woman. Ashley said nothing. But a few months later, Ashley had us over and gave us a sweet Halloween care package. Inside was what I thought was an entire bag of mini Reese’s, which if you know me, Reese’s are my love language, so I only waited until I was a few feet outside of her front door before I began to assault the bag for its contents. But it started to chirp as soon as a grabbed it and I knew what that bastard had done. No problem, I just hid it in their backyard on Halloween night. I thought with that we had finally settled the score.

Fast forward to this week. Upon hearing about my recent run in with thyroid tumors, neuromuscular problems, and my need for abdominal surgery this month, Colin and Ashley (unbeknownst to me) told Aileen they wanted to send me a care package. I get a slip on our mailbox that a package is waiting at FedEx for me. I have no idea what it is or who it’s from.

Once I handed the FedEx lady the slip, I knew something was wrong. She started acting nervous and went to the back and came out with a box and her coworker who looked like a former FBI investigator. They started asking questions,

“Is this a gift?”
“Were you expecting something?”
“Are you from Seattle?”
“What kind of business are you in?”

I, of course, when faced with even the most minor of authority figures, crumbled into a nervous, and highly suspicious person. I finally mumbled something about being sick and MAYBE IT WAS MEDICINE, which, let me give you a tip: if the FedEx suspects you of smuggling, don’t develop a case of lying word vomit and say there are drugs in the box.

They make me sign a form and check my ID twice. They talk amongst themselves.

Finally the lady slams the package down on the counter and out comes this insanely loud bird chirp. FedEx thought I was dealing in illegal parrots. Telling them the story of the bird toy, did not dim these fears. I collected the bird toy from hell (and a rad sticker book and stuffed cat) and ran.

So, tonight, remember this: no matter what your life is like at this moment, if you have friends, or bird toys, or both … you’re not doing too terrible. And if you have none of those things, I can lend you all of mine for a bit.

Schwellenbach, Rigley …. this is war. And love. And war.

PS- how am I supposed to get rid of this now?!


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