I found a $50 woodworking gift card the other day. A little bird told me where to find it. Literally.
My constant companion when I’m working is my little pal Bud, a Pacific parrotlet. (Google it.) Working alone all day can lead to going stir crazy, and Bud keeps me company, making just enough noise to never let me forget he’s there. I take him out into the shop on occasion if I don’t plan to turn on any loud, scary machines. I usually keep him in his cage, but if it’s nice and clean I sometimes let him out to inspect a work-in-progress.
In the house, meanwhile, he has the run of my office whenever I’m working in there, and considers my entire desktop to be his personal playground. While slaving away the other day for one slave-driving editor or another, Bud was tossing around one of his plastic bottle caps (his favorite toy), hoping it will fall on the floor. He finds it very entertaining when I have to bend over every couple minutes to retrieve it, so he can toss it right off again. It’s like having a two-year-old sometimes, which, I suppose, is why he finds my jokes so amusing.
As it happens, my desk drawer was open and the bottle cap landed inside. To keep him from going in after it and getting lost in the drawer (it’s happened), I start digging around to get it out. Turns out the cap fell down into some loose odds and ends, landing right on top of a gift card for one of the big woodworking suppliers.
I called the 800 number on the back, keyed in the code number on the card, and found that not only was it worth 50 bucks, but that I apparently got it in the fall of 2008. I must have slipped it into the drawer where I’d know right where it was, and then promptly forgot about it for three whole years.
As it further happens, over the weekend I was perusing the new catalog from that very supplier. Unlike the first time I got the card in my hands, this time it’s getting put to immediate use. All of this thanks to a noisy little parrot.
Nice going, Bud.