Here is Bongo, the smart-alecky parrot I was telling you about. We sort of inherited him from my husband's uncle. At first I found him amusing . . . All the singing and talking, the mad swinging and manic laughing (it is a little frightening, to be honest) whenever we'd spritz him with water in the heat of the summer. Then he started calling "MOM" over and over and over. It was NOT amusing when I started having neighbors come over to ask if everything was OK with my kids. I would look blankly at the neighbor, not thinking it was Bongo they heard. You see, I was in the habit of tuning him out the way you do a train if you live near one of those. Anyway, after it would register what they were saying to me I would smile and nod and explain to them about Bongo. I would usher them out to the backyard where he lives in his cage in the summer and introduce them. Of course, he would just stare at them, swinging slowly, hypnotically, waiting until they left to break out into his casual discourse. My husband and I have talked about selling him, but then I feel sorry for Bongo. Who would put up with this behavior, I say? So we do. Day in and day out.