Spending any amount of time in a video game store will cause you to brush up against some out-of-the-ordinary characters. And I'm not just talking about the protagonist in the latest version of your favorite game. I could do a roll call of the eccentrics that frequent the store, but today I'm just going to focus on the birdman.
I remember walking into a midday shift with a few customers already in the store and the owner behind the counter. I sit down and start going over things with the owner, casually glancing at the patrons from time to time to be sure they aren't causing any mischief (i.e. robbing us blind). I catch a side view of one guy behind a DVD rack, and swear I see something sitting on his shoulder. He was out of view quickly so I didn't think much of it. Then I hear it - a chirp and someone muttering a high pitched word. As this guy rounds the counter, I see in plain view two birds sitting on either of the man's shoulders. I turn to the owner:
"Hey - that guys got birds! Do we allow pets in here?"
"Oh, that's the birdman. He always come in with them on. They don't bother anyone."
"Are they pets or something? Most people don't take their birds shopping......"
"No, he works at the exitoc bird store down the street....."
"Well, what if they crap on something?"
"Don't sweat it, they'll hit him before they do anything else......he's used to it by now."
Now things start to make some sense. I recognize one animal as an African Grey, becuase my ex-girlfriend used to own one. They're a really cool animal (if your particular one is friendly), and can learn to talk up quite a storm. The other was a large white Cockatoo, which I didn't bother with much. It's fun to watch the reatction of the kids when he's in the store, they either want to interact with the birds and talk to them, or are petrified of them. I haven't seen birdman in a long time, and I kinda miss our feathered friends.....