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June 21
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Pet Profile: Sam

Sam is a carrot face!
Sam
Male Poicephalus Parrot (Senegal var.)
Age 15 (Birthday of September 14, 2002)
 
Origin of Name:
Sam's name was originally an acronym for "Such A Monkey" in honor of his monkey-like upside-down swinging behavior.
 
Theme Song:
"It's Not Easy Being Green" by Kermit the Frog
 
Little-Known Fact:
Sam has made appearances on television and in the magazine Bird Talk and hopes one day to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
 
Interests / Hobbies:
Music (particularly retro classics), dancing and singing, architectural demolition, beatnik poetry, and African studies

Sam's Story: Trading Tenure for Margaritaville

Sam quit his full-time tenured professorship at Dartmouth College teaching African Studies and threw away this well-respected, secure, posh teaching position to move to the Keys and open a Tiki Bar. It was not that Sam didn't enjoy his intellectual pursuits or find fulfillment in teaching and academic research, but he wanted more balance in his life, which wasn't possible with the rigamarole of academia. He wanted to take off his bowtie, don a snazzy Hawaiian shirt and have some fun in the sun! So he packed his plethora of books into the back seat of his vintage convertible yellow VW Bug and hit the road to Florida, blasting Willie Nelson music in the 8-track player. As he neared the Florida state line, he switched to Jimmy Buffet... after all, Sam IS a Parrot Head at heart! Sam still operates his Tiki Bar today, but only part-time. During the summer months he escapes the heat of south Florida and migrates to Alaska where he teaches a special program on African Studies to Alaska Natives, most of whom have never even seen a parrot of color like himself. You can't take the teacher out of him, but now he's a teacher who has a good time.

A meeting of the Society of the Greyheads

Sam's time in the tropics brought him together with Neptune, who was in the Keys looking to replenish his stash of Jamaica's finest. The two struck it off quite well over several of pitchers of beer, lapsing into discussions based around bohemian artwork, and have formed a secret fraternal "Society of the Grey-Heads." So far, Sam seems unaware or intentionally blind to Neptune's "habit."


Factual Sam

Such a monkey!

After reading about parrots, particularly Senegals, for about 4 years prior to meeting Sam, Beth felt intellectually ready to bring a bird into her life but wasn't sure how her dogs would react. When petsitting for Mindy and John Sajdak's kitties one weekend, she and John stopped by the pet store on the way to buy some food for his birds. That was where Beth met Sam. She spent the entire weekend at that store observing Sam, at least during the store's working hours, and really wanted to bring him home but was still waivering until John's aunt Marian said, "Beth, you know you'll regret it if you don't." So she did, calling her mom on the way home from the pet store to tell of her new "life-partner" (Senegal Parrots can live up to 50 years after all!) She named him Sam, for Such A Monkey, after observing his penchant for hanging upside down like a monkey from the top bars of his cage.

Sam is a very well-adjusted and colorful parrot, both physically and personality-wise. He has a brilliant green and orange body and a grey head. He loves dancing and singing with Beth, especially to '80s music, Frank Sinatra and gospel Elvis. When not out on his playgym or monkeying around with Beth, Sam plays independently with the many enriching toys in his luxury townhouse (aka: cage). He is fully flighted and enjoys flying a few laps around the living room, after which he celebrates his successful landing by making the "raise-the-roof" sound. He says his name a lot and speaks a few words in context, such as "ah oh" when he drops a treat through the grate at the bottom of his townhouse. He says, "Step up" and "Step down" as he does so on Beth's hand, he says, "Excuse me," after Beth sneezes, he howls like Beth's dogs, and John says he imitates the cockatiels to get them in trouble. He prefers making fun sounds to saying words, and often says "wheeee!" as he slides down the cage bars, and meows like a cat, and says "toy" with Beth's mom's southern accent - pronounced "tow-wee," as well as laughing just like Beth does and doing the wolf-call to her when he's feeling sweet, as a way to say, "I love you."

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