Adaptation Is For The Birds

At the entrance of our local grocery, you will find an antiquated and all but abandoned contraption mounted to the wall.

It is not the cotton gin, or the Floridian voting machine.

Nor is it Ed McMahon.

It is a pay phone, wedged right there between the Beanie Baby Shoppe and the claw and skill crane machine.

I actually missed it on my first pass and had to ask an elderly gentleman in a red vest if there was, in fact, a public phone on the premises.

He gave me a skeptical look.

"I thought I was the only one without a cell phone," he said.

"No," I replied, "there are two of us."

There was a brief period when I actually did own a cell phone, but I rarely turned it on.  The idea of being accessible to all people at all times really ran against my grain.

Being a mother of four will do that for a person.

Then there was the issue of retrieving messages, remembering a password, negotiating the buttons.

I ended up snapping a distorted picture of a double chin.

To make matters worse, there's a possibility I messaged it to my gynecologist.

No, technology and I are not fast friends.  It's not that I haven't tried, but my understanding of gizmos pretty much ended with the microwave oven.

My gifts obviously lie elsewhere.

Still, there are times when I feel I'm not trying hard enough to get with the groove and go with the flow.

I was reading an article this week in E/The Environmental Magazine that describes the adaptation of wild parrots to new environments.

Reportedly, there are literally thousands of these colorful birds, originally from the jungles of South America and other subtropical habitats, that are living and thriving in the likes of Brooklyn and San Frandisco and even across Western Europe.

These feathery friends are threatened and endangered in their own stomping grounds, but will most likely be preserved elsewhere because they learned to cope with the changes.

Adaptation.  I hate it when a bird shows me up.

If a parrot can go from Fiji to Philly and live to tell about it, surely I could figure out how to record "American Idol" with my DVR and actually get "American Idol."

The last time I attempted such a feat, I ended up with two and a half episodes of "Gunsmoke" Spanish.

Deep down I know that I am not unlike the wild parrot.  I too am a survivor.

And, so, I am going to make a better effort to progress beyond microwave popcorn and public pay phones.

Salvador Dali is credited with saying, "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."

I'm ready to fly.

Now, where did I put those quarters?

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