The Captain's Corner: Joe the parrot
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another edition of The Captain's Corner, where Capt. Larry Gross, who used to own Captain Larry's, tells colorful stories from years past. If you missed last week's column about the bullet holes in the ceiling, you can read it here.
Like any proper Captain, Capt. Larry had a pet parrot. This particular parrot's name was Joe, and Joe had a taste for alcohol. I'll let the Captain take it from here. The helm is yours, Captain!
Joe was an African Grey. The deal with Joe was, he loved women and hated men. Women could come in the bar, put their finger in his cage, scratch his head, and he'd coo.
When I would take Joe out of the cage and put him on the bar, he would walk down the bar. He would only drink Budweiser or black rum. That's it. ...
I know he couldn't sip the black rum out of the straw, but he put his mouth on it, and everybody thought that was cool.
My wife at the time went berserk. She said, 'You killed the (bleeping) bird.'
I said, 'Oh my God.' I thought he was dead.
So I went to pick him up and he's moving a little bit. I put him on his perch, and the son of a (bleep) spun upside down, holding by his feet, and then fell down inside the cage.
I said, 'Christ.'
So he climbed back up and got on the perch. The next two days after that, he was the nastiest bird you ever wanted to see. He must have had a hangover!
Now, the deal about loving the girls and hating the guys is, the guys couldn't fool with him. I would get all these young kids and yuppies coming in and they would want to do karaoke.
One night, this college kid's in there, and he's got his finger in the cage, scratching Joe's head. He said, 'Hey Captain, look at this. I thought he only liked girls. I'm scratching his head.'
I said, 'Yeah, I see it.'
He said, 'Well what do you think about that?'
I said, 'Well, that's how we tell who homosexuals are.'
He went, 'Oh my God,' like we'd broken his heart.
(Photo of Capt. Larry outside his bar circa 2000)