Ruf­fling feath­ers OK when child mis­be­haves

Montreal Gazette - - PUZZLES - AN­NIE LANE

Dear An­nie: I was at my brother’s home for my sis­terin-law’s birth­day a few weeks ago. My sis­ter-in-law, “Jess,” had a stroke some years ago and can only say a few sin­gle­syl­la­ble words at a time. She has an 18-year-old bird that she loves and takes care of.

My nephew’s fi­ancée, “Becky,” and her daugh­ter, “Emily,” came over dur­ing the party, and Emily started to tease the bird. Jess looked at me and said, “Cover bird.”

I went over and po­litely put the cover on the bird­cage and said, “I think it’s time for the bird to go to sleep. When there are a lot of peo­ple in the house, the bird gets stressed out. The cover helps him calm down.”

Ev­ery­thing was fine for about 10 min­utes. But then Emily went over, flipped part of the cover off the cage and started to tease the bird again.

Becky was sit­ting right there and did not say a word to her daugh­ter. I looked on silently be­cause I felt it was not my place to say any­thing, and Emily sat down af­ter a few min­utes any­way.

But then she went over to the cage a third time. She be­gan teas­ing the bird. At this point, my brother po­litely told Emily to stop be­cause she was up­set­ting the bird, and she did. At that point, Becky got up­set.

She told my brother, “She’s only play­ing with the bird.” She and Emily left the birth­day party early be­cause of this.

My brother and I would like your opin­ion on whether it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for him to tell Emily to stop. Birdy-guard

Dear Birdy-guard: Of course it was ap­pro­pri­ate of your brother to speak up. If that ruf­fled Becky’s feath­ers, she should have stepped in be­fore he had to. The next time you’re all to­gether, set some ground rules right from the start, and make them clear to Emily, Becky and your nephew: no ifs, ands or squawks about it.

Dear An­nie: I couldn’t agree more with your re­ply to “Won­der­ing Why at the Y,” who com­plained about the odour of his fit­ness class­mate. But this isn’t just a prob­lem at the gym.

In to­day’s of­fices, peo­ple are of­ten crammed into small areas to save money. If one in­con­sid­er­ate man or woman puts on too much fra­grance, it can give headaches to ev­ery­one around them.

If you wear scents daily, you must be care­ful. Over time, you be­come im­mune to the smell. Bot­tom line, if you put on enough that you can smell it, it’s prob­a­bly ter­ri­bly strong for ev­ery­one else! Glad I’m Re­tired

Dear Glad I’m Re­tired: Let this be a public ser­vice an­nounce­ment: The per­fumes and colognes you wear could ruin a co-worker’s day. Spritz re­spon­si­bly.

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