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Diatribe: Plastic Pink Flamingos Stolen And Held For Ransom.

09/08/2012

My folks always took a lot of pride in their front yard.  Living on a fairly busy street near the high school, quite a few people would drive by regularly and it was important to them that our house always appeared to be well-kept.  My family returned from a vacation one summer to find that our lawn had been turned into “Tent City” by a bunch of prankster friends and neighbors.  They had scattered pup tents and flags and various other odd items, including a commode, across our front yard assuming that my parents would be embarrassed when we returned.  To add fuel to the fire, they called someone from the local newspaper to come and take pictures!  Yes, a photo of our beautiful home looking a ridiculous mess, and in which my parents took so much pride, was printed in the local paper for the entire town to see.

Among the items that the pranksters included was a pair plastic pink flamingos.  Along with the garden gnome, plastic pink flamingos are one of the most famous lawn ornaments in the country.  The long-time mascot of tacky yard art was originally designed by Don Featherstone in 1957.  I get a big kick out of them and I’m not ashamed to admit that I once proudly displayed a pair (received as a gift) for a short time in my own yard.

I was appalled to learn that forty pink plastic flamingos were recently stolen from the lawn of a home in Mansfield, Massachusetts and their owner has reportedly been sent a ransom note for their return.  Beginning last may, flamingos were repeatedly stolen from this yard and replaced by the homeowner only to be stolen again.  Last month, one of the flamingos was returned with a note attached stating that the flamingos would be returned if the homeowner called a designated telephone number.  Instead of calling the number on the note, he contacted authorities.

Apparently, the man has been collecting flamingos for several years and he dresses them in themed outfits to mark special occasions and holidays creating a bit of a neighborhood attraction.  Friends and family reportedly have been pitching in to buy new flamingos for the display.

I can certainly understand why a neighbor might not appreciate a yard filled with bright pink plastic birds dressed in costumes and attracting unnecessary attention.  Surely, it would be quite a display.  No arrests have yet been made.

While my parents were mortified to have that picture of their house printed in the local newspaper and they quickly shuttled the display out of sight, it appears that this prank may have gotten out of hand.

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One Comment
  1. A few years ago hubby & I found a cute sign handcrafted by a local artisan. It featured two black crows wearing straw sun hats perched on a white sign stating “2 Old Crows Live Here.” We thought it would be perfect for hubby’s mother & her husband who were retired & loved their garden. We thought it would be a perfect little addition. However, they obviously didn’t think the same thing & never displayed the sign. When they both passed away we took the sign back & it now sits on our balcony.

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