A Bird in the Hand..

ParrotWhen a joke backfires. Oh dear.

My new neighbours, Vanessa and Craig, with their two delightful off-spring, Reuben and Cicily, had a house-warming party three days ago; we had some lucky heather to give to them and since recently we had been talking a lot about palm reading and doing it in an Irish accent, I decided to combine the two activities and marry it all with a bit of a saucy joke.

My ‘ex’, John, used to relish finding a suitable suspect to play this practical joke on, but the recipient had to be particularly broad-minded. The joke went as follows; you take the hand of the person and hum and ha a bit and ask…’Have you had a parrot in this hand?’ The answer is always ‘No’!!

So, you ask for the other hand and say, ’Ah, but I see you’ve had a cockatoo in this hand!’ There follows some hilarity and coy looks. I’ve witnessed many a culprit but never delivered it myself.

On Tuesday I decided to try my luck at this ploy, but seeing the company at the gathering I thought better of it. So the following morning I gave Vanessa her lucky heather and asked her if she knew about my prowess as a fortune teller, proclaiming I’d often been pretty accurate in my predictions. She didn’t look too surprised, so I took her left hand, asked if she was right-handed, and proceeded. I deliberated and stroked her hand, then pointed at a line from her wrist to her index and asked ‘Funny question, but have you ever had a parrot in this hand’? ‘Parrot’ she repeated. ‘Parrot’?

‘Yes’, I said ‘a parrot’.

‘Umm’, she looks puzzled, ’why do you ask that?

This wasn’t going the way I wanted, so I said ‘Right’, and pushed to get to the punch line before she suspected there was a rabbit away, ‘you’re right-handed aren’t you’?

‘Yes’ says the suspicious victim.

‘Then let me see here. Ahah!’ But you’ve had a cockatoo in this hand I can see’!

She giggled a bit and walked into her new home, coming back with her husband with a grin from ear to ear.

‘How did you do that?’ She was absolutely beaming.

‘Well it’s a knack I have,’ I lied.

‘My mother wouldn’t have a dog in the house, so my father took me to Leeds market and got me a parrot and a cockatoo’ she explained.

Talk about taking the wind out of your sails. Can you Adam and Eve it?