All Flamingos are Pink

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.



27 thoughts on “All Flamingos are Pink

  1. Good to know your birth day was a total success. We used to have some of those round ice ball dealios, but we overused them and they stopped working. I think there are white flamingoes. In the zoo. Or maybe the ones I saw were a fluke. 🦩

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost added a disclaimer with fine print stating that there are albino exceptions to the rule (and perhaps a few related species) but it didn’t seem worth the effort, and “MOST flamingos are pink” doesn’t have quite the same punch to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that won’t cut it. Circles are more visually appealing than squares anyway, and they slide around the perimeter of the glass. Cubes just thump against the side.


  2. If there is an albino flamingo anywhere in the world, you might get off on a technicality. Speaking of plastic flamingos in your yard, I have to side with your wife. The flamingo thing had me seriously questioning your level of sophistication, but then you ended with the ice spheres and saved yourself. You are sophisticated. (We have them, too.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark, it’s so funny because when I lived in Florida I was obsessed with pink flamingos because everyone has them on their front lawn there. At one time, I also had a flamingo collection of things — statues, artwork, and even bath towels.

    Oh well, maybe one day Tara will slowly awaken and begin to see the beauty and joy in that pink bird and you’ll have them all over your yard. A flamingo community!

    Glad to hear you had a faaaaaaabulous birthday. And what stunning you had! It’s funny because as much as I am a city-boy through and through, spending time within nature overcomes me with emotion as well. There is something “spiritual” about nature.

    Love that giant ball of ice. That is so cool! And that’s the one thing I didn’t care for when I spent a summer in Europe (Amsterdam), they service everything room temperature. And if you ask for ice they give you one measly cube that melts in two seconds. The first thing I did when I came back to the States was order a HUGE coke with TONS of ice 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find people who don’t like drinks with ice suspicious. Like…Tara! She prefers room-temperature or slightly cool water, whereas I’m like, FILL that glass with ice balls. Please!!

      Your flamingo collection sounds awesome. I trust you no longer have it now that you are living in Philly?


  4. Happy Birthday. There is a certain beauty in tackiness. Actually for some time, flamingos fake were hard to find in Florida and there was a high price on those found. Not sure if it is still the same deal but our garden graduated from the flamingos to concrete python and other oddities.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The round ice cubes are cool. There’s also fake ice you freeze for the non-diluting but still cold effect. But I assume you know that. Totally impressed by your coworkers. Super nice that they then returned to remove the decorations. I mean, what else does one do with that stuff? Save it in your garage for next year and then put it back up yourself? That’s so Mr. Bean giving himself a birthday card at the restaurant where he dined alone on his birthday.
    Glad you had a nice one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know they were going to come back and whisk it away. Good thing they did; I was about to put on my shoes to head out there and take it down myself. Yes, I would have stored it in the garage, lol. I didn’t know anything about this service!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark, You seem to accumulate trivia, so you may already know how flamingos are born grey or white and turn pink due to their diet. I learned this from a six-year-old this past year. I did not know this.

    You do live in a beautiful area. Seeing the colourful sign made me smile. Sounds like you had a perfect birthday. The ice sphere things are intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand about the ice. Sonic and Chick-Fil-A ice are the best.
    Unfortunately, I share your wife’s opinion re flamingos. A couple I know has argued over flamingos for years. (Another couple, the garden gnome debate) Anyway, a few years ago I snapped some flamingos at the zoo and captioned it something like These two flamingos are fighting over whether to place Matt & Jen statues in the yard.
    Happy Belated Birthday 🙂


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