Pet Psychic meet Maniac #1, Maniac #1 Meet Pet Psychic


I have a rather unusual problem I am hoping you can help me with. I came across your website by chance so I am thinking this maybe fate! I have an African Grey parrot named Ivan. He is three years old. I have raised him since he was a young chick and he has always been a very good pet.

Here is the situation. I had to leave town on business for a few weeks and had to leave him in the sole care of my wife. As the story goes, by accident she left a Richard Simmons: Sweating to the Oldies workout video playing while she went out with her friends one night. She ended up staying at her friends overnight and then going out on the lake the next day. Apparently the DVD has an auto-start feature. Poor Ivan must have watched the same video for nearly 32 hours!!

To make a long story short, he is no longer the quiet, shy bird that I once knew. He is a talking machine! It took me 2 years to teach him “Polly wants a cracker.” Now he sounds just like Richard Simmons. This is quite embarrassing because I have been doing quite a bit of work with the clergy and spiritual advisers. My parrot yelling at me to “work those buns” while I’m on the phone is hard to explain to a man of the cloth. To make matters worse my wife thinks it’s funny so she put him in a tiny, hand designed Richard Simmons outfit.

My brother Carlos does not share her viewpoint. Just so you know how desperate the situation is, he says he wants to put Ivan in the oven. They have been getting into shouting matches since he has learned to speak and it reached a boiling point yesterday. I had to restrain Carlos as he was trying to attack poor Ivan. I know he was serious because later I found an open recipe book on the counter. He was going to make Ivan into a tikka masala!!!!

Please help!!! Is there any way to teach him not to speak? At this point I am desperate. Money is no object!!

Brad Fith


From: Nicole

Hi Brad,

Where are you located? First of all, if the bird is not safe, which is sounds like he’s not, you need to rehome him or find a safe place immediately. If you are anywhere I can help, I will, I know a lot of people.

I can tell Ivan not to talk but he is not going to understand why this is bad and so it’s unlikely to stop. I also feel horrible telling him not to talk or his life is in danger, that’s no way to live. African grey’s are notorious talkers and this is what makes then beloved among people. The more people react to his talking the more he will do it because he thinks you are playing with him. It honestly is not fair to the bird to have him in this situation and if you can’t control Carlos, you should get Ivan somewhere that he can be free and happy.

Grey’s are very intelligent and I can tell him to stop, but he is just playing and having fun and trying to have a life.

My bird says all sorts of things and I also have religious people around, but no one should take to heart what a parrot is saying. They are like children and they don’t know what they’re doing.

Where are you located? At least I can try to help you find somewhere for Ivan to go until everyone settles down. You could also try playing him some children’s DVDs in the meantime & maybe he will pick up words you are more comfortable with.

Keep me updated & I will do what I can. :-(





A Letter From ******** Pet Products
Subject: Ivan - Parrot, Unusual Conditioning

Hi Brad,

Wow, you got quite a story and situation here.

Here are my suggestions for your challenges:


To change an undesirable conditioning, in this case certain phrases, you are required to re-condition with desirable conditioning at "equivalent intensity".

So select a video or tape, filled with phrases that you do want your parrot to know/say, and run that video/tape for 48 hours non stop. See if Ivan picks up the nicer language and replace his vocabulary. Make sure the phrases you WANT him to learn are pleasant to listen to and repetitive.

If you cannot find a video/tape that fits your need, you can always record a tape or video yourself. This way, it is customized to your liking. Add pleasant music in the background to make it a positive reinforcement for Ivan.

You can explain your story to the man of the cloth. If he cannot understand it, he is not worth the cloth.

Have a sense of humor about it, though DO do something about it. Perhaps this is the lesson Ivan is offering you all. The divine teaches in mysterous ways, through life experiences.

Not sure what is the deal with your brother, as in why he is so angry. If murder is on his mind, then perhaps his problem is much bigger than an innocent bird with saucy language.

Perhaps before you recondition your parrot, record Ivan and his new language in a video, tell the back story, and send it to "America's Funnest Video" and you may win some money! Or you tube.

Best of luck! Pearl.

Gentlecare Natural Pet Products
Healing Without Toxins: Advanced Holistic Pet Health Solutions

Animal Wellness Consultant
Email: info@********
Tel: *********
Port *********, Canada
Office hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm (PST)
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+ comments + 3 comments

July 8, 2011 at 12:14 AM

Nicole contradicts herself. She says that African Greys are very intelligent, then she insists that African Greys don't know what they're saying. I'm totally confused.

I would go with Pearl.

By the way, have you read Letters From a Nut?

July 8, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Ha! Yeah, I could probably write a 100 page doctoral thesis just on dissecting the psychology of this email. Both mine and theirs!!

I have not read that one but I did read More Letters from a Nut. I'd like to think of my writings as a mix between that, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in America and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Not that they're anywhere near as good as any of those.

Dear Mr Fith,
I want you to know that I'm on to you young man! I've sniffed all over your letter and come to the startling conclusion that you are not quite telling the truth! What "man of the cloth" would be offended by a parrot reciting an exercise video? Most men of such inclination are as worried about the size of their butts as any long suffering wife.
I believe there's another story here that you are unwilling to reveal and for good reason. You were watching porn WEREN'T YOU? Watching the same video non stop FOR 32 HOURS while a poor parrot stood witness.
I know your kind! It wouldn't surprise me if you used that poor bird in pursuit of your nefarious purposes. Is it insertable perhaps? And where's your poor wife? Buried in the yard I suspect. Hang your head, son, while we pray for your soul

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