PHILADELPHIA — Local pet owner Dylan Murphy could not find a suitable adoptive home for his beloved pet cockatoo last week, despite incessantly screaming “FREE BIRD!” at a recent all-ages punk show, according to aggravated witnesses.
“I tried yelling, ‘FREE COCKATOO TO A LOVING HOME — SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY!’ But that was too wordy. So, I shortened it to ‘FREE BIRD,’ and screamed it between every song,” said Murphy with the cockatoo, Beansy, sitting calmly on his wrist. “Most people ignored me or gave me a dirty look. When I tried politely to push to the front to get everyone’s attention, people shoved me back. Some even threatened me. Maybe they just weren’t animal lovers?”
Due to an impending move overseas, Murphy hoped to find his pet a new home before leaving the country. After several Craigslist ads failed to garner any serious attention, however, he made a last-ditch effort to find a caretaker among the roughly 50 fellow show-goers.
“There was one super-drunk guy who thought my offer was hilarious. This isn’t a joke — I’m actually really worried about what will happen to her,” said Murphy. “She’s so smart. I trained her to say, ‘Play a fast one!’ But the opening band got really offended when Beansy said it.”
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Members of Surf Coffin, the headlining band, were reportedly very aware of Murphy’s presence.
“Oh, yeah. Fuck that guy,” said drummer Dave Huston. “I mean, Skynyrd’s fine and all, but that joke stopped being funny 30 years ago. Maybe it was ironically funny like, 10 years ago, but now, it’s just annoying.”
For their part, animal care experts strongly advise against adopting pets at punk shows.
“Please do not give away birds, dogs, hamsters, or any other kind of pet at a concert — punk or otherwise. Honestly, I shouldn’t have to say that,” said Nikki Cullen of Quaker City Animal Shelter. “Can you tell him to bring the bird here? Please?”
Get them while they last:
Article by Patrick Coyne. Photo by Senny Mau @SimplySenny.