"WHAT THE HECK IS THAT!?!"
by Sally Blanchard
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits (from the early days before the show got so sarcaustic) was one where 4 or 5 of the male comedians stood on a porch and acted as if they were watching something of significance go by on the street. Their expressions were those of exaggerated shock and awe with a great deal of puzzlement. One comedian started with something like, “What the heck is that?” The second man replied, “I dunno, what is it?” Another one replied in a more exaggerated voice, “Geez, you got me, what on earth is that thing?” This went on for some time as they watched this imaginary thing go by from the right to the left of the screen.
Of course, my telling of the skit does not make it sound particularly funny but I thought it was hysterical. On a visit to a local aviary, I was reminded of that skit when I was visiting with four toddler Scarlet Macaws on the couch. They were full of energy playing and climbing all over everywhere. The aviary manager came over with a bundled up towel. She sat on the other end of the couch and unwrapped her bundle to expose a huge baby Huey doughboy of a Green-wing Macaw who was several weeks younger than the scarlets and was just beginning to pin feather. The Scarlets were taken aback, stopped in their tracks and stared at the big baby with astonishment. Two of them stumbled into each other as they looked at each other incredulously and then back at the bappy. I imagined that the first Scarlet’s body language clearly exclaimed, “What the heck is that?” The second Scarlet was thinking, “I dunno, what is it?” with the third one’s wide-eyed reply being, “Geez, you got me, what on earth is that thing?”