Land Marked

Just a few days before Don Featherstone (inventor of the plastic pink flamingo) died, I saw a flock of the knobby-kneed, synthetic birds (which he named Phoenicopterus ruber plasticus) on someone’s Coronado lawn.

I used to live in Florida, where the pink flamingo is an icon of sorts; and it’s no surprise to see one or two of the long-legged shrimp eaters gracing a garden (if gracing is the right word).

But 20 or so pink protrusions on a front yard in Coronado is almost as shocking as director John Water’s 1972 trash classic Pink Flamingos (a way-off-the-wall dark comedy where the biggest laugh I got was watching viewers storm out of the theater, each one slamming the door just a little harder than the last to prove how disgusted they were).

I did a U-turn to take a closer look. A “You’ve Been Flocked” sign stood near the front door.

“Aha,” I thought. “This must be the upscale version of toilet-papering a house.”

It turns out that’s not what this kitschy clique of creatures is about. If you read the fine print on the sign, you discover that this is a fundraiser for the organization of the flocker’s choice: “In case you did not know this, Plastic Pink Flamingos are very territorial; and unless they are placed on someone else’s lawn, they will roost on your property for a very long time. Removal of this Flock of Pink Plastic Lawn Flamingos should be attempted only by trained professionals. Fortunately, our Removal Technicians are highly skilled. Please check the options below that apply and we will send a team out to remove these pesky, but very loveable, pink birds.”

Following that are check-off box options for donation amounts and an option to suggest the next person to be flocked.

I’ll bet Don Featherstone is tickled pink that his flamingos are being put to good use.