For Kerry’s jungle-themed birthday party she designed a parrot for me to build. Compared to some of the other piñatas she’s asked for, a parrot would be a fairly quick and simple project.
Or so I thought.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The wings were clearly going to be the tricky part, but I just used two long, skinny balloons as supports and hung sheets of newspaper from them. I applied a layer of papier mâché to the wings to stiffen them up a bit without adding much weight, then used scissors to trim the wings into shape at the bottom, and I was ready to decorate.
Because I failed to do the math before I made the wings.
Each wing was a little more than 2 x 3 feet in size, which really doesn’t sound like much. But there are two wings, and each wing has a front and a back, and before I knew it I was looking at 25 square feet of surface area. That’s 3600 square inches.
Each strip of snipped crepe paper that I glued down was about six inches long and half an inch wide: a whopping 3 square inches. I would need to cut and glue 1200 strips of crepe paper – and that was just for the wings. The bird’s body was about four and a half feet long. I’m lucky I’m not still working on it today.
(But if that sounds bad, wait till I get to the Porcupine Pufferfish piñata, where each piece of crepe paper I glue down only covers 1/16 of a square inch…)
I suggested making the parrot piñata look like a real bird species, but Kerry wanted purple here and blue here and green here and yellow here, and it was her party, so that’s what she got. What’s the point of making custom piñatas if you don’t get what you want?
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up daisies. It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.
This is an ex-parrot!
Anyone who knows me saw that coming a mile away.