Phred's (Latest) Big Adventure

Phred in Florida
The Arizona Parrot Head Club has a long time mascot named Phred. Phred was liberated from a garage sale by club members Moose and Carol years ago. A peg-legged parrot pirate seemed to fit in with us very well. 

As time went by, Phred came to a lot of club events, travelled to locations far and near and accumulated enough of a wardrobe that he needed his own travel bag. He also freeloaded off of several members' households until he ended up at the Queen and Goat's house.

The Queen decided it was time for Phred to get back some actual mascot work instead of just hanging out in a closet so she started bringing him to events again. It was good to see him mingling with club members and posing for pictures with complete strangers who found him entertaining.

As we were getting ready to head for Meeting of The Minds in Key West, the Queen asked Crash to take Phred with her and get lots of pictures of him enjoying the convention. Now, this is where everyone who knows Crash is asking, "What the hell was the Queen thinking?" With good reason.

Crash and Phred stayed with Patti and Keith from Washington. Their drive down the Keys was punctuated with frequent Phred photo opps. To say Patti and Keith liked with Phred was an understatement. They were head over heels in love with the little guy.
Phred's mode of transportation

As the week went on, Phred had a grand old time. Crash carried him around in a bag on her back and he went on a sunset cruise on Wednesday and hit the bars with the gang and he was in on all of the action.

Until the fateful night of shark fishing. While under the influence of alcohol, some of our Iowa friends and Crash decided that Saturday night would be a good time to go shark fishing Of course, Phred had to go along despite Patti's instincts that it was a bad idea.

Crash had brought a bottle of Tequila on the boat to celebrate their shark catching success. When the sharks showed no sign of biting, the Tequila was broken out and consumed. (They did end up catching one small shark.) Somewhere during that time, a plan was hatched.

When we met up at the condo late that night, Dawnie confessed. "We stole Phred and we're taking him back to Iowa." I was like, "Oh, man, that's funny but Crash is going to freak!"

The next day, I hooked up with Crash and there was no mention of Phred being missing. I thought maybe she hadn't noticed. After we got home and time went by, there was still no mention. I then thought maybe they relented and gave him back or that she hadn't unpacked enough to know he was missing.

It had all really slipped my mind until I called Dawnie while they were all decorating a tree and she said they had a member of our club there with us. I told her she had to post a picture and tag Crash in it. At that point, I was leaning towards the theory that Crash didn't know he was missing. I did still think it was all funny.

What I didn't know was that Crash and the Overachiever had gone hot tubbing that night after shark fishing and Crash left her bag there. The bag that she had been keeping Phred in. She asked Tracy to bring it home and told her Phred was in it. 

When Tracy got to the airport in Lauderdale, she checked the bag. No Phred. She told Crash who started freaking out. Both she and Patti were pretty sure Phred was at the bottom of the ocean or had become shark bait himself. 

What was she going to tell the Queen?

It was all kept on the down low. Crash got home and confessed to Barb who got on eBay looking for a new Phred. Of course, there were none to be found. 

The next idea was to spin a tale about Phred being lost at sea but not before he fathered another parrot who could become our next mascot. Barb even had several parrot replacements.

Before Phred's reappearance in Iowa, Crash had to confess. The membership committee got together to make badges and I'm not sure if the Queen asked or if Crash's latent Catholic guilt got to her and she just spilled but the sad story came out. I'm sure the Queen took it with her usual grace. She was actually planning a memorial at the club holiday party for him.

You can imagine the thrill Crash got when she finally found out Phred was living the high life in Iowa and not at the bottom of the Atlantic. If only she'd waited a few more days before confessing, she would have been in the clear. But, it would be less of a story.

We talked about having a Phred resurrection at the party and figured the Pirate Captain could rig something up where he would rise out of the ground or down from the air. It was all to be a big surprise to the Queen.

However, Patti created a Phred Parrot (go be friends!) profile and pictures of him started popping up. Crash thought the Queen knew he was back so we scratched our second coming plans.

But, the Queen didn't know. I got an email from her on Thanksgiving asking about the Phred profile and I sent Crash a text asking if I could tell the story. She said sure and I was planning on doing it this weekend. Then, I got another email early this morning from the Queen asking again about the profile so I figured I better get the whole tale out there.

So, here it is. Phred's latest adventure. This is actually not the first time he was kidnapped either. Many years ago, he ended up in San Diego but that's someone else's story to tell.

Unless we need him back before then, I think he'll be retrieved in February when we make a trek to the frozen lakes of Minnesota. And, no, I won't let him get anywhere near the polar bear dipping.


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