57 Pink Flamingos

pink flamingos

© Susan Spaulding

“$2500! You spent $2500 on that?” Jeanette watched in horror as she watched her husband Terry insert the last of the 57 pink flamingos he’s purchased on Amazon into their front lawn. The driveway was littered with the debris of cardboard shipping boxes.

“Come on. We can afford it. You know how much dough we stashed away from the Corleone caper.”

“That’s not the point. But we’re supposed to keep a low profile, you moron. Why don’t you just get a couple of spotlights and set off some fireworks while you’re at it? Maybe you could send an email to Vito and Sonny telling them our address so they could come over and blow our brains out.”

Terry walked to where his wife was standing on the front porch and put his arm around her. “They look swell, don’t they?” The Cheshire Cat never had a grin as wide as his.

“You’re nuts. They’re tacky as hell.”

“Exactly. We embezzled millions from the mob working as their accountants and we’re on the lam from them and the Feds. What better cover to hide behind than the queen of all tacky lawn ornaments?

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge for June 10, 2018. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction of no more than 200 words. My word count is 189.

Lacking an immediate story idea when I first saw the photo, I Googled “Pink Flamingo” only to come up with the tacky but classic 1972 film Pink Flamingos created by John Waters. Except for the idea of criminals hiding out, I found nothing I could use in that movie (and I’ve never seen it), so I moved on.

Then I found The Tacky History of the Pink Flamingo at Smithsonian.com and I had the rest of my “hook.”

These plastic monstrosities were created in 1957 in an effort to allow people to accessorize the “sameness” of their tract homes that reproduced like lemmings in the post-war era. You can read the full history for yourself, but apparently:

In their yard near Leominster, Nancy and Don Featherstone (the sculptor who was commissioned to create pink flamingos) typically tend a flock of 57 (a nod to the creation year) that neighborhood college students feel compelled to thin.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

29 thoughts on “57 Pink Flamingos

  1. Pink flamingos always remind me of another lawn ornament that I saw from time to time on the lawn of a property that my parents would drive past along the way to my grandparents’ house in a nearby suburban town. It was a corner property, with an individual home on a slight rise, visible behind a swath of lawn that reached down to the street level; and I used to wonder if the three ornaments posted on that lawn could have been intended to convey a message to passing drivers who might be speeding or not entirely sober on their way home from some holiday party. They were pink elephants; and they were spot-lighted so as to increase their visibility in the twilight or after dark. [:)] I and my siblings would keep a sharp eye to see them whenever we passed that corner, because they appealed to our childlike sense of whimsy and somehow they became a characteristic reminder of the pleasure of the car ride and of a visit to our grandparents. It probably was a bonus that their appearance also represented that we were about halfway through the trip, in one direction or the other.


      • I should add that the three pink elephants I described were positioned in a line as if they were marching along one after the other, not unlike the cartoon elephants in the Disney film “Dumbo” during its accidental drunken delirium sequence. As I picture their size in relation to other objects on the property, like the house behind them, I think they were only about the size of pigs (or pink pigmy elephants) — but they were nonetheless eye-catching.

        But returning to the subject of flamingoes, I imagine the lawn ornaments were modeled to evoke a different era of affluence, probably in Florida or some other tropical venue, when native live flamingoes (naturally pink) would wander freely across some sumptuous estate. Only the artificial anachronistic cheap plastic variety (even at about $40 each plus tax) would have evoked a sense of tackiness and pretentiousness.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is so sweet, and definitely a great use of the mob money. I love how you transform historical events or things into something extraordinary.


  3. I really enjoyed the voices of these two and their conversation — very believable couple argument! Not sure which side I’m siding with, though I’m more on hers: a low profile is probably less noticeable than a LOUD profile, lol!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.