So I happened to be in the gym yesterday and there was a BREAKING NEWS story that was being covered by one of the local news stations. Fortunately this was not the type of breaking news story that informs you that Anna Nicole Smith is still dead, but it was still of the "you're wasting my time by telling me this" variety.
I'll link to the story here: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5180881, but I'll also provide a brief synopsis. This guy has a bird that flies out of the window of his house. So the guy pursues the bird, who has flown up into a pine tree nearby. The guy climbs one pine tree and recovers the bird by climbing onto a second tree on which the bird is perched. The only problem is that once on the second tree, the man is unable to get down and he is thus stranded some sixty feet up in the air. Fire department ladder trucks could not get him down, nor could fire department helicopters. Eventually the US Coast Guard had to rescue the man. The man spent nearly four hours in this tree.
But as I was watching this story, it was still very early in this man's Tarzan adventure. I think that the man had been in the tree for maybe about an hour when I saw the report. At the time I was hearing the report, the newscasters were saying that the man had climbed into the tree to retrieve his pet $2000 parrot. By the time of the final report it was revealed that this bird was in fact an umbrella cockatoo, which is a variety of parrot.
There were a number of concerns that I had when watching this report. How in blazes was this breaking news? So some full grown adult gets stuck in a tree and you dedicate an inordinate amount of news coverage to this story? Come on, that's ridiculous! To make matters worse, this was apparently the top news story for this particular local station (ABC 13) when they did their nightly news report. So there is nothing else more important going on in the world than some local idiot stuck in a tree trying to retrieve his bird? Wow, things must be going absolutely splendidly in the world then.
Another concern that I have is whether or not the Coast Guard officer/enlisted person who responded to this call initially laughed uncontrollably in the phone for about twenty minutes after hearing the situation before even thinking about reacting. That would be the proper initial response. And the next response should have been, "we'll be right over to get the guy out of the tree, but there are about five cats trapped in trees in the park that we have to save first."
But without a doubt, the biggest concern that I have is how is a parrot worth $2000? Okay, so the umbrella cockatoo is classified as a vulnerable species, but to me that hardly means that it should be worth $2000. I could maybe see this thing being worth $2000 if it could maybe act as your interpreter if you took a trip to France, or maybe it would be worth that much if it could decipher the Rosetta Stone, but even among parrots it is considered a poor speaker. So you have a bird that is not even really endangered, that cannot even really speak one language that well, and has not proven to be in any way, shape, or form a champion breeder and it is worth $2000? Seriously, there are some problems out there.