You all know the sketch. If you don't, watch.
I now strive to re-imagine that particular bit of comic history in my own way. Four separate posts.
CUSTOMER: Hello. I'd like to register a complaint.
SHOPKEEPER: Yes, sir?
C: Yes, this parrot that I purchased here not half an hour ago is dead. In fact, it was probably dead when I bought it.
C: What do you mean, "okay"?
S: It was dead when you bought it?
C: Almost certainly.
S: And it's still dead?
C: Of course!
S: So, how have we failed you, sir?
C: You sold me a dead bird.
S: That has successfully remained dead.
S: It seems to me that your parrot is operating precisely as purchased.
C: It's not operating at all!
S: I should hope not; it's not a trained surgeon. (chuckles)
C: That's not funny.
S: I thought it was a little funny.
C: My point is you can't sell dead parrots.
S: Apparently, we can.
C: You shouldn't.
S: We usually don't, sir.
C: You did though.
S: Not really, you bought a dead parrot. In so doing, you made us sell you one.
C: Made you?!
S: The parrot would have remained by itself, in our store, unsold if it weren't for you.
C: Are you saying it's my fault!?
S: You bought it.
C: I didn't know!
S: How could you not know that this parrot was dead?
C: I was in a hurry.
S: And in your haste, you bought a parrot, but, I submit to you, sir, that had you not bought this parrot, you would not have bought a dead parrot, so, by the very act of buying this parrot, you have, in a very real way, created the death of this parrot.
S: Follow along: You could have bought something else?
C: Yes, but...
S: If you bought something else, you would not have a dead parrot, right?
C: Yes, but...
S: So, the parrot would still be here in the store?
C: Probably, yes...
S: Why would the parrot still be here?
C: Because it would be stupid to buy a dead parrot.
C: But it was dead all along!
S: But no one noticed it was dead; so it was really alive. You killed it.
C: Listen, you! Do you or do you not have any replacements for this bird?
S: No, sir. We're fresh out of birds.
C: What do you have?
S: This stapler. It's more functional than a bird, and doesn't shit everywhere.