FORT MYERS, Florida (FP) -- A pet parrot has stolen its owners fake eye and is holding it hostage. The bird, whose name is Colonel Bubby, is a Military Macaw (ara militaris) who is demanding changes in living conditions and claims that the prosthetic peeper "gets it" if all demands are not met.
And it's no ordinary glass eye either. Wayne Mathew Jergens is a seventy-six year old widower living out the rest of his existence at the Brittle Oaks Retirement Home. When Mr. Jergens was seventeen, he lost his right eye in a key-hole prank gone wrong at the local YWCA in his hometown of Bedford Falls.
Ten years later he won the glass eye in a Las Vegas poker match from none other than Sammy Davis Jr. himself. Mister Entertainer even autographed the back of it upping its value to more than $7,300 [appraised on the Antiques Road Show in December of 1997].
It's from the 1955 "Butterfly Agate" collection of glass eyes manufactured by the ICU Glass Eye & Marble Co. of Rochester, New York which has since gone out of business. Mister Davis Jr. upgraded to the X2000 with lifelike veins and dilating pupil after losing to "One-Eyed Jack" Jergens in that smoke filled room on that dry and dusty summer evening.
Wayne, according to his friends, has willed the eye, upon his death, to his trusty old hunting dog, Boomer, who also lost his eye in a freak hunting accident that Jergens still feels sort of guilty about. Boomer is currently living out the rest of his existence at the Yellow Oaks Retirement Kennel just down the road.
It all happened last night when Mr. Jergens passed out on his couch after returning from the annual Brittle Oaks Bocce Ball and Skateboard Tournament and Dance with refreshments provided by Seagrams and NyQuil. Apparently the macaw waddled up his owners body and plucked the eye right out of its socket.
The victim awoke the next morning with a yellow Post-It sticky ransom note outlining a list of demands affixed over the empty eye hole. The terrorist bird says he will destroy the faux eyeball with his large beak designed for crushing and opening large nuts if anyone approaches.
Pressure from the Las Vegas Museum of Natural History and Show Biz has prevented a S.W.A.T. team from storming the room and taking it by force claiming that the relic is a federally protected historical artifact. So until then, the standoff continues and Mr. Jergens is left watching and waiting which he says he's used to at this stage of life anyway.
Colonel Bubby's list of demands includes three square cheese-crackers a day, a subscription to the Bird Channel, and weekly conjugal visits with the lovely pink flamingo parked outside his window.