It is not an easy matter, reading books and running for president at the same time. Nor is it a simple thing to read a book and, at the same time, be president. Nor, for that matter, is it a trivial affair, the act of reading books. This is not to say that running for president is a romp through the park, though the degree of difficulty differs from case to case, and I am thinking here of the difference between the candidacy of a robust woman of 60 and that of a dead man who is urn-bound, supported only by a robotic apparatus and provided with audio equipment and a pair of ocular implants and nourished by an occasional teaspoon of rotgot spiced with anise oil.
[Editor’s note: Mr. Ennis neglects to mention that his “robotic apparatus” is clothed with a shirt, a tie, a suit, and shoes and socks, all of which were donated to his campaign by a local used-clothing store from their holdings in the Children’s Clothing Department. The American flag he displays on his lapel was donated by the Veterans of Long-ago Wars in preparation for a speech he presented before them at their recent national convention while standing behind an impressive lectern festooned with a red, white, and blue banner.]
All this is by way of explaining that I will diverge from my common practice of writing fancy drivel. Instead, I will review an oldie but shorty from BBC News, “Parrot’s oratory stuns scientists.”
This article, by the BBC News Online environment correspondent, bears the startling news that a captive African grey parrot named N’kisi possessed a vocabulary of 950 words, had a sense of humor, invented his own words and phrases, was able to keep his tenses straight, and could even read the mind of his keeper, whose name was never mentioned but on further investigation turned out to be somebody sporting the upmarket moniker of Ms. Aimee Morgana. That same investigation reveals that the African grey has the life expectancy of an average American.
Examples of this four-year-old prodigy’s sayings:
To Dr. Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee expert: “Got a chimp?”
On seeing a fellow parrot hanging upside down: “You got to put this bird on the camera.”
On seeing a picture of a man with a telephone: “What ya doing on the phone?”
On seeing a picture of a couple embracing: “Can I give you a hug?”
This astounding work on the verbal SAT scores of parrots raises, of course, the question of animal rights. Taken to its logical end, it leads us to conclude that parrots should be granted the right to vote. Or, to put the matter more carefully, it leads this candidate for President of the United States to promise that if elected, he will do everything in his power to see that a Constitutional Amendment be passed to enable American parrots over the age of 18 to exercise their rights to charge the ballot box and peck out a preference for president.