Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The phrase 'crumpled heap' comes to mind.

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Parrot Doorman

A parrot that can be bribed to ring the doorbell
  [vote for,

Ed the Vacuum cleaner salesman approached the house.
The last house today, whether I make a sale or not, he thought.
As he came to the door he noticed a clear glass block inside the wall next to the door with a button. Below the botton a small sign read: Buzz for Doorman.
Ed also noticed a slot with a "Insert 25 cents for cracker" sign above it next to another slot with no sign.

Ed pushed the buzzer button. He was startled to see a parrot emerge from a pet door on the side of the glass block.
"I'll ring the bell for a cracker!" said the parrot.
Ed noticed a light had come on displaying a doorbell at the back of the glass box.
Ed stood there thinking for a few moments. He had some pocket change, but this was crazy.
"How 'bout a cracker?" said the parrot.
"How 'bout you ring the bell, you pretty bird" said Ed. He didn't think it would work, but it was worth a try.
"Cracker?" said the bird back to him.

Ed sighed. He decided to knock on the door instead. He rapped on it 4 times.
As soon as the knocking ceased, the parrot blurted out "Cheapskate!" and wobbled back through the tiny pet door inside the block.
Ed waited. No one was answering.
For Cryin' out loud, thought Ed as he reached into his pocket for a quarter.
He pushed the buzzer again to have the parrot re-emerge.
"Cracker?" said the parrot.
Ed dropped a quarter into the slot. It dropped down a shaft and made the ca-ching sound that coins will.
Quickly a cracker dropped from the top of the glass block.

The parrot immediately said "Thank You!" and quickly hopped over to the doorbell proceding to ring it with its beak several times. It then scurried back to pick up the cracker and disappear through the pet door again.

A few moments later, the parrot re-emerged to say "Sorry, they're busy. Have a good day!"

Ed couldn't help but chuckle. At least he'd have a good story for the pub tonight.
Little did Ed know, that he could have just slipped a cracker through the unmarked slot.

Inside the house the parrot was in his larger cage that attached to the pet door and glass block. A man stood there and told the parrot "Good Jeaves".
"Who was it?" asked a woman in a blue sweater.
"Salesman by the looks of him through the peephole" said the man as he tossed a cracker to Jeaves.

"Salesman!" said Jeaves. "Cheapskate!"

Zimmy, Sep 15 2006


       One can only presume that you selected the unusual spelling of "Jeaves" so that the parrot would in no way be mistaken for Bertie Wooster's valet or the well-known internet search engine. Somehow that part of the joke goes over my head. The rest of the narrative seems to lack an invention.
jurist, Sep 15 2006

       //seems to lack an invention//
Are you serious? MFD it then. I wonder if you are being objective?
Zimmy, Sep 15 2006

       Really I don't see an invention either. Lots of inventivness, but no invention. Basically this is just a trained parrot.
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 15 2006

       Hmm. Maybe I'm the one who is not being objective.
As an invention I thought it was a buffer that allowed you to choose whom you answered the door for using a trained parrot instead of a speaker box. I thought the bonus would be to discourage solicitors as it seems to require them to spend money to solicit you.
Zimmy, Sep 15 2006

       Like a coin operated doorbell?
Galbinus_Caeli, Sep 15 2006

       Kind of. (You can mention to people you know that they can just knock or bring a cracker). I have the impression that some good salesmen and politicians have a delivery method etc. that can be hypnotic. The parrot wouldn't be affected.
Zimmy, Sep 15 2006

       Salesmen everywhere are sure to start carrying crackers with them...
ye_river_xiv, Sep 15 2006

       //Little did Ed know, that he could have just slipped a cracker through the unmarked slot.//   

       I particularly liked that sentence, as people are wont to carry crackers with them as frequently as a pocketful of change.
fridge duck, Sep 16 2006

       I like the idea.. However, I would replace the parrot with a raging rottweiler loose in the front yard.   

       Salesman: "Can you ring the bell, nice doggy?" Jeaves: "Leg?"
Zus, Sep 18 2006


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