by Kieran Healy on March 27, 2008

This picture is presently on the reddit front page under the byline, “The Coolest Guy Ever.” Some people in the comments thread are skeptical that such a person (and his parrot) could really exist, but I see him and the macaw pretty regularly as they drive around Tucson.



Dhez 03.27.08 at 4:51 am

cool photo. Large sites like digg, /., metafilter and reddit have members that are sceptical, to the point of paranoia, of anything that is brought to their attention on the Internet. I’m surprised none of them are screaming about “guerrilla marketing” involving parrots and cigars.


Righteous Bubba 03.27.08 at 5:47 am

Is there still that tiki bar in Tuscon with the parrots behind the bar?


Dave Weeden 03.27.08 at 6:29 am

Could that cigar stay lit? Or is it purely for show?


Ari 03.27.08 at 9:28 am

So, Kieran, have you stopped him to check out if he’s really that cool? Because I could go either way at this point: supercool parrot man; or posing parrot tool. Let us know if you get the skinny.


Chip 03.27.08 at 10:34 am

Dude needs an eye patch.

I’m just sayin’.


Tom 03.27.08 at 11:05 am


There is a guy in Manchester (the English one) who strolls round Didsbury with a GIANT (and I mean big) rabbit on a lead. The rabbit hops on and off buses with him seemingly very happy. The first time I saw it I thought I was tripping.


Matt 03.27.08 at 11:12 am

I think he’s setting a bad example by not having his parrot wear a helmet.


Lee Sigelman 03.27.08 at 12:38 pm

There used to be a motorcycle guy in suburban DC — I’d see him in Bethesda — with a cat on behind him, wearing a helmet. Probably it’s easier to find a cat helmet on eBay than a parrot helmet.


Nick 03.27.08 at 1:01 pm

Beautiful plumage the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage . . .
Though I’m afraid this chap is completely blown away by the people I used to regularly see driving a three-piece suite and standard lamp along the elevated section of the M4 in the days when I worked at LHR . . . unfortunately no phootgraphs of them seem to have made it onto the web . . .


Nick 03.27.08 at 1:02 pm

*photogrpahs obviously . . . oh I give up . . .


Ben Alpers 03.27.08 at 1:31 pm

I for one was disappointed in this post.

The title made me hope for some kind of robotic parrot.

More robot animals, please!


Tom T. 03.27.08 at 2:21 pm

Sorry to be nannyish, but this strikes me as exploitative and cruel. Wind whipping past at 60 mph, feet clamped on to the rider’s collar for dear life must be terribly stressful. He’s using an animal as a fashion accessory.


Anderson 03.27.08 at 2:32 pm

The first time I saw it I thought I was tripping.

Irrelevantly, the weirdest thing I have ever seen:

A man pushing his black cat in a toddler swing at Union Square, NYC. The cat had its legs hooked over the front edge of the swing, legs and tail sticking out, and was apparently enjoying itself — no effort to get out.


Sans S 03.27.08 at 4:24 pm

Can we nickname him Switters? … after the character in Tom Robbins book “Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates.”

It would be delightful if a nun took the picture?

It would also be delightful if the parrot is wearing a mic feeding the headset with “are we there yet” …

reality, huh?


Sans S 03.27.08 at 4:27 pm

The parrot says: “People of zee wurl, relax”


luci 03.27.08 at 5:14 pm

The bird might enjoy it, who knows. But if he puts his wings out at 60 miles an hour, he’s a goner.


roac 03.27.08 at 9:10 pm

12: I think the parrot must be a volunteer. If it didn’t enjoy the ride the first time, it could surely manage to bail out on subsequent occasions. Parrots are smart.

Dogs like sticking their heads into a 60 mph airstream, so why not parrots?


DennyCrane 03.27.08 at 9:32 pm

Earphones, parrot, poseur and with a fifteen year old princess’s total look at me mentality – gotta be about the safest thing on the road since that collapsing bridge thing.

Envious? Moi? Well, just a tadge, lol.


Andrew 03.27.08 at 11:14 pm

About 20 years ago I saw a guy on a bicycle crossing Columbus Avenue in NYC. He had a parrot on his shoulder and 2 parakeets were riding on the brake cables over his handlebars. When his bike struck the curb one of his parakeets lost his hold on the brake cable and fell to the ground. The cyclist called something like, “Come on up, Cheepie,” and the bird, with beak and clawed feet climbed up the spokes and up the brake cables to his former position. Then they rode off. All us observers stared at each other like we’d been involved in an alien abduction.


Ben 03.28.08 at 12:09 am

Half man, half bird, half motorcycle.


Barry 03.28.08 at 12:26 am

“There is a guy in Manchester (the English one) who strolls round Didsbury with a GIANT (and I mean big) rabbit on a lead. The rabbit hops on and off buses with him seemingly very happy. The first time I saw it I thought I was tripping.”
Posted by Tom

Have you ever heard of Rabbit show jumping?


Nick 03.28.08 at 8:50 am

Have you ever heard of Rabbit show jumping?

Were the rabbits in the long-jump competition tested for banned substances? Because that’s a long way for a rabbit . . . .


Tracy W 03.28.08 at 9:54 pm

There used to be a guy biking around Lower Hutt, NZ, with a kookaburra perched, presumably happily, on his handlebars. For all I know, there still is.

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