Meet Zeppo!

Meet Zeppo!

A few weeks ago, I briefly introduced Zeppo in Clearly, I Have a Cockatoo. (An aside—At the time of this writing, neither I nor the Adultish-Male Child have suffered any consequences from the crime-ish/lesser offense-ish/possible felony-ish activities we may or may not have undertaken in Vegas back in January.)

After allowing Zeppo time to settle in, he’s ready for his official intro. He got so excited that he consumed one too many peach Jolly Ranchers. As I type this up, he’s skidding all over the bookcase perch, bobbing his crest to Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Add in Little Miss Muse spinning in her tutu, Trudi’s attempt to wiggle her concrete webbed toes on her wooden scooter, and the trio of Jiggle Dragons, and the office is hopping.

Oh, to harness that energy!

Anyway, I found Zeppo at The Writer’s Block in Las Vegas. Super cool store. Visit those folks if you’re in the area… maybe find a fowl to adopt for yourself.

I didn’t pen Zeppo’s bio or the adoption promise. If someone from The Writer’s Block should come across the blog, shoot me a message, and I’ll happily give credit. (When I visit you guys in July, I’ll try to get the deets on this…)

Zeppo lives in unincorporated Los Gatos where he lives with both of his grandmothers and two pet unicorns. His long-term dream is to buy a boat and host Disney Cruises for half the rate with a full gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free buffet consisting of only desserts. He has an incredible sweet tooth, which can be seen by his whipped cream and Biscoff butter-smothered mashed potatoes that he devours every dinner.

On the day of his adoption, I raised both hands, recited the following creed, inserted my and Zeppo’s names in front of several witnesses—and the deal was done.

Officious Declaration of Artificial Bird Adoption

PLEASE raise your hands and repeat the following:
TODAY, I (say your name) DECLARE that I am adopting (Say your bird’s name). I PLEDGE to keep (say your bird’s name) cage-free, to PET (say your bird’s name) beak, to SAY nice things about (say your bird's name) feathers even when they are ruffled, and to very, Very, VERY lovingly take care of (say your bird’s name) the rest of (his, her or their) artificial life).

I needed this particular cockatoo… I mean, he’s pink and matches the cat tree, and, well, unicorns! Full disclosure: I did not read the entire bio until we got back to our room at The Luxor. The sweet tooth thing is doable. I mean, Little Miss requires grape soda and bubblegum in bulk, so why not add Biscoff to the grocery bill? And I have this thing with Godiva and Lindor, and the Hubs has two random desserts each evening. It’s a match.

But the bit about his dream? Perhaps he’d have been better off with a different family because I’m not planning on buying a boat. I do have a limit or two…

Zeppo chose his perch in the office, next to a framed UFO art declaring, “Let’s Go!” He’s completely fascinated with outer space and swears his two unicorns beamed down from a UFO into his grandmothers’ backyard in Los Gatos, California. The grandmothers allowed Zeppo to keep the creatures because, evidently, mountain lions aren’t too fond of unicorns.

Upon his arrival, Little Miss Muse began working straightaway on reorienting Zeppo’s dream. “He didn’t take much convincing to give up the boat thing. So long as you keep him in Biscoff. And alien artifacts. And give him time to think about what duties he’d like to perform for B.A. Paul.” She paused for a moment. “Oh, and Trudi’s gonna need a trunk.”

Alien artifacts? And, of course, Trudi needs a trunk. The chick’s a fashionista with an ever-growing wardrobe. But, as the head of marketing, she’s entitled to a wardrobe appropriate for the job.

Zeppo, who will require no wardrobe, is quite proud of his hometown and speaks of it often. About an hour south of San Francisco, Los Gatos has a population of 33,000 humans, give or take, and was named for the mountain lions howling in the distance. The town’s seal even sports two of these big cats. 

When questioned about his arrival to The Writer’s Block, he hung his little crest low and a tiny tear fell onto his plumage, fearing I wouldn’t believe his story.

I assured him, after retying Trudi’s head scarf, tossing Little Miss an extra Zippo lighter, and reorienting the Jiggle Dragons, that I would, indeed, believe his story.

He shook out his wings and took a deep breath. As great as Los Gatos was to him and his family, his grandmothers decided it was time to return the unicorns from whence they came, lest they be discovered and the townspeople freak out. Like all the way out. Like with what happened to the Sasquatch family up in Washington State when the cryptozoologists got involved and it was a whole THING.

The unicorns granted the grandmothers immortality for their hospitality—and three free tickets aboard the next UFO. So the women accompanied the unicorns to From Wence They Came.

The offer was also on the table for Zeppo, but he chose to remain a United States Citizen and pursue a different dream.

“You’re sure he’s not upset about the boat and the buffet?” I ask Little Miss after Zeppo spills more of his story.

“Nah. He’s good to be office staff. Besides, his grandmas will be back to visit from time to time.”

I pause here. This is news. Like, as of today news.

“You mean…”

Little Miss grins. “Yeah. We’re gonna need to move that CIRCUS tent. Gotta have space for a landing site!” She flicks her Zippo lighter a little too close to the curtains.

There’s a pause in word count as I smother flames and consider the implications of this adoption. “More Than You Bargained For” should be an Olympic event. Me, myself, and I would sweep the medals.

Zeppo’s looking at me with a little of that fear. A quiver spreads through his plumage.

Do I believe him?

Do I regret my choice?

Is my office staff too big?

What will his role be?

I take him down and smooth his ruffled feathers. I hand him a Biscoff smothered in Biscoff butter. Now I, too, am smothered in Biscoff butter.

Of course, I believe him. Who wouldn’t?

I absolutely don’t regret my choice.

My office staff will never be complete, so come one slightly-more-than-imaginary friend, come all.

And his role is simple:

To be alien-obsessed, rock-n-roll loving, sweet-toothed Zeppo with a heart of pure pink.

Now, excuse me while I set Bob Segar & The Silver Bullet Band to repeat so Zeppo can burn off his Biscoff.

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