When we were working in the yard last weekend, I asked Tara if she’d be opposed to adding plastic pink flamingos to our landscaping. As soon as those words left my mouth, I realized how absurd they sounded. Not because I have anything against plastic pink flamingos; their kitsch factor appeals to me in the same way that a replica of Stonehenge made from old cars revs my engine.
I berated myself instead because I’d just committed pleonasm, a/k/a the cardinal sin of redundancy. All flamingos are pink; therefore, use of that adjective was unnecessary. Oh, the shame! What was I going to do next? Start ordering tuna fish sandwiches, pricing hot water heaters, and being thankful for free gifts?
So I corrected myself and asked Tara whether we could buy some just-plastic flamingos for the yard. Sadly, her answer was no.
“Too tacky,” she declared. Proof that, like beauty, tacky is in the eye of the beholder. Plastic flamingos seem like a very Clark Griswold-ian thing, and if they’re good enough for Sparky, they certainly pass muster with me.
Maybe there’s a compromise here. We can start with one flamingo, try it out for size. Once Tara recognizes the joy that plastic pink bird brings her, our flock can expand.
I’m not giving up yet!
My birthday was every bit as pleasant as I’d hoped. I was out the door at 7:05 (and then out the door again at 7:10, because I’d forgotten my water bottle and hiking pole and had to turn around to retrieve those items) and on the trail an hour later. The weather was glorious, the landscape beautiful as always. It never ceases to amaze me that we actually ended up here. “How is this my life?!” I wondered out loud, as one often does when overcome with emotion while communing with nature and shit.
Good thing I turned around for that hiking pole, because the trail was still snowy and icy in a few shady spots. I probably could have navigated those sections unassisted, but the pole provided a little extra insurance. My friend Mike reminded me on Facebook just yesterday that I’m the guy who once took a nasty fall and scraped up his knee pretty badly while attempting to cross a small stream where the water was no more than an inch deep.
He fails to take into account the moss-covered rocks.
Three hours later, my soul brimming with gratitude and my mental batteries recharged, I was back at my car for the drive home. As I pulled onto our street, I noticed a rather colorful sight in our front yard.
I assumed at first this had been Tara’s doing, but nope. Turns out I had my coworkers to thank. If I thought I was getting off easy without anybody in the office making a fuss over my birthday this year due to social distancing, I was wrong. Ha! But I really appreciated the gesture. According to my wife, some guys in uniforms and a van pulled up to the curb, put up the signs, and were on their way while I was out hiking. The next morning, the display had magically disappeared from our yard shortly after the sun came up. I can only presume the same guys responsible for the setup absconded with it. If not, we’ve got a roving band of lawn ornament marauders on the loose in Rapid City. Ones who would probably stoop so low as to whisk away plastic flamingos, too.
Good thing I haven’t set those up yet.
Once I showered, we retired to the backyard, where I enjoyed the sunshine and many adult beverages. We read a little, played some corn hole, grilled steak and shrimp.
Funny how many people commented on that ice cube, by the way. One thing you need to understand about me: I think ice is a very big deal. Not just any ol’ type will do, either; ice should be meticulously selected as to complement your drink of choice. Regular cubes are great with a glass of water, while crushed ice + limeade = marriage made in heaven. People who love Sonic Drive-In know this! If you’re a whiskey drinker, you need giant balls of ice. I learned this one time when we were at a bar and my whiskey appeared with a giant ball of ice. I turned to Tara and exclaimed, “I need this.”
Lest you think I’ve got a screw loose, there’s a science to this…trust me. When you’re drinking an Old Fashioned, let’s say—or any bourbon-based cocktail, for that matter—you want the ice to chill your beverage but melt slowly, so as to enhance rather than dilute the drink. Which is exactly why I turned around the next day and ordered my own spherical ice molds from Amazon. I wouldn’t drink whiskey at home without them now, because what am I, some kind of pleonasm-spouting heathen?!
It’s the little things, folks. Always.