KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS (1998-2000) is a TV show hosted by Bill Cosby, based on Art Linkletter’s segment under the same title from Art Linkletter’s House Party (1952-1970).
12/01/09 | Television

Kids Say the Darndest Things

by Amelia Gray

UNFAIR: Honest citizens are no longer permitted to bring parrots to the park, even if the parrot is kept in a cage, even if the parrot’s owner has papers drawn up by an uncle who is a veterinarian, stating that the parrot is not a danger to society and will not harm women in the park, nor their children.

These are taxpaying citizens. These are not demented citizens, reliant on the state. These citizens have careers that keep them from home for eight to ten hours a day. The walls of their simulated offices are made of a material like carpet. These honest citizens pay taxes. When they return home, these honest citizens want to relax and bring their parrots to the park.

These are civilized parrots. They speak truths.

Time in the park is devoted to the individual pursuit, including but not limited to: the life of the mind; observation of the world; consumption of small pieces of bread. Children, who may otherwise speak charmingly are unable to perceive the benefits of a singular existence. Their mothers, being preoccupied, are similarly incapable. Only the citizen and the parrot can understand the individual pursuit.

In many ways, honest citizens are similar to civilized parrots. In the finest ways.

Citizens, like parrots, take some happiness in watching the women and their children. Civilized parrots appreciate the noises of simulated nature. In the mind of a parrot, the smell of women is similar to that of fresh seed. The sound of children speaking is similar to that of falling branches.

They are conduits of emotion, children are. They are parrots who wear little shoes.

A little-known fact: civilized parrots will not answer questions. If a child approaches the parrot and commences to harassing it, the parrot and his owner are likely to experience stress. Time in the park is solitary. This is not an interview. The fact that the honest citizen cannot run and the civilized parrot cannot fly is no reason for harassment.

The child, being foolish, assumes that his or her own frantic existence is a permanent state. Children are unaware that anything in the world is capable of saying the darndest things and has long ago decided against it.

Time in the park is solitary. It is not time to enter into conversation, answer questions, or correct misconceptions regarding parrots and the life of the mind. If you are an honest citizen, you understand. You work eight to ten hours a day. On the way to work, you try to move and think as little as possible, to conserve energy. When you are alone at work, which is not often, you are not sure what to do. You press your cheek against the carpeted walls and think of the women in the park, of falling branches and fresh seed and of the honest citizens with their parrots.

A civilized parrot is not terrifying. A civilized parrot is not a health hazard. Parrots are efficient enough to live as a verb and a noun. This alone should inspire respect, yet foolish mothers and their aging children choose to live in a world without respect for efficient creatures. They expend their seemingly boundless energy, and are afraid.

PROBLEM: When the child sees a parrot, the child will never say, gosh, that parrot says the darndest things. They might look at the parrot and say Polly? Polly? even when the owner informs them politely that the parrot is civilized and that his name is not Polly. The child might say to the parrot, Polly want a cracker? Polly? Why are you wearing little shoes?