Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The size of a teen-age eagle? Really?

We were all delighted when David Sedaris's latest, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, showed up in the mail yesterday. I left it for the others to read and admire, though, turning my attention to library fare, particularly David Guterson's The Other (I think I do want to read this one, but I'm going to wait till it shows up at the university library), until close to bedtime when I thought I'd quickly speed through the first offering.

To my dismay, I was thrown out of the story on the second page by this:

In Paris once, I went to my neighborhood supermarket and saw a man shopping with his cockatiel, which was the size of a teen-age eagle and stood perched on the handle of his cart.

Methinks Sedaris must have seen a cockatoo. If he'd actually seen a cockatiel he'd have phrased it thusly:

In Paris once, I went to my neighborhood supermarket and saw a man shopping with his cockatiel, which was the size of a steroid-taking parakeet and stood perched on the handle of his cart.

Sorry, Leo.

4 comments:

aka_Nik said...

This cracked me up! I agree. He must have meant a cockatoo.

SFP said...

This makes me nuts. The piece first ran in the New Yorker in what, 2005? What's happened to their legendary fact checkers?

Jeane said...

I always find it annoying or hilarious when I read errors like this. Aren't eagles nearly full-grown size as "teenagers" anyway?

SFP said...

You'd think they would be. They may not be as heavy weight-wise, but unless you really knew a lot about eagles you'd probably just think you were looking at a female.