Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Have flamingo. Will travel.

This post stems from the vacation tale in the previous post.

My church used to do this fundraiser that they called "flocking." They had purchased a few dozen pink flamingo lawn ornaments and would put them up in people's yards. That person could then pay the fee to have them removed, and pay a bit more if they wanted to nominate someone else to be flocked.

We were flocked the morning of Memorial Day one year. Only we didn't know it. My brother in law had a friend in town for the Indy 500, and sometime that morning, they got up and noticed that we'd been flocked. They decided that rather than pay, they were going to take matters into their own hands and take them to someone else. Only they couldn't figure out how to get the wire legs out of the ground. Instead, they took all of the bodies and dumped them in our preacher's yard. When we found them, our lawn was littered with all of these metal flamingo legs, only no flamingos. It was a pretty funny sight.

This spawned an idea, and we kidnapped the flamingos. We made ransom notes, took pictures of the legs, and also had a hangman shown ready to kill them. Then we had the guy that ran the church website come over and take pictures, and the heist was on.

We eventually gave the flamingos back, save two. These two made it into my luggage and out west with us. The whole trip we spent taking pictures of "Fred and Fern Flamingo" at the Grand Canyon, the MGM Grand, the painted desert, and all of the other sights. Then we mailed them, along with post cards to the youth minister. He thought it was pretty funny. At points during the trip, we had taken the straps off of our water bottles and were using them to carry the flamingos around like purses. They were actually quite a conversation piece. They swam in the pool with my brother, and they accompanied me to the clinic when I had food poisoning. We have this great picture of me sitting in the waiting room of the clinic, holding one of those crescent hospital pans to be sick in one hand and a flamingo in the other and looking like I'm about to die.