The Dead Parrot At dawn the telephone rings, "Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house." "Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?" "Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead. "My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?" "Si, Senor, that's the one." "Damn! That's a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from? "From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod." "Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?" "Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse." "Dead horse? What dead horse?" "The thoroughbred, Senor Rod." "My prize thoroughbred is dead?" "Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart." "Are you insane? What water cart?" "The one we used to put out the fire, Senor." "Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?" "The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire." "What the hell? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle?!" "Yes, Senor Rod." "But there's electricity at the house! What was the candle for?" "For the funeral, Senor Rod." "WHAT BLOODY FUNERAL??!!" "Your wife's, Senor Rod. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I shot her with your new Kreighoff Limited Edition Custom Gold Engraved Trap Special with the custom-made Wenig Exhibition Grade Stock." SILENCE........... LONG SILENCE......... VERY LONG SILENCE.............. "Ernesto, if you scratched that shotgun, you're in deep shit."