Diary… Man with parrot spotted on 243 bus

Exotic bird dodges bus fare

A man in a beanie hat with a parrot on his shoulder exited the 243 bus at Pearson Street today at around 3pm.

I’d like to say he had a wooden leg, but there was no obvious evidence.

‘The next stop is…’

As he stood up to wait for the bus to draw to a halt, I desperately wanted the parrot (or whatever other type of yappy bird it might have been) to announce, in a parrotic voice, “The next stop is Pearson Street”. 

It never happened. Pity, that.

The incident prompted a few questions.

Is it permitted to bring exotic birds on a bus in the same way you can with a dog?

Is there a charge, or do accompanied animals travel free, like unaccompanied schoolchildren?

What are the limits? A snake round your neck?

What occupied my mind most as the 243 eased its way along Kingsland Road, Hackney, towards its final destination in Waterloo, was whether the parrot (or whatever) usually did chat to passengers, but today it wasn’t feeling up to the job.

Or before I got on the bus, was it yapping happily about the weather, or EastEnders?

I’d like to think so.

Did my arrival at Laburnum Street trigger an emotional crisis for the poor multi-coloured creature, accidentally forcing it into silence?

I’d like to think not.

🔹Monty Python Terry Jones has just died, fell off his perch, age 77. He wasn’t just a naughty boy, he was an accomplished academic.