The Crazy Pink Flamingo Lady of Sea-View Lane
By Mike Stevens
The sun was shining and the bird calls sounded to us through the open window as my son and I drove into a perfect summer's morning. We were on our way to my mother's house in the small town about 25 miles up the road, and I was looking forward to visiting with her, as sadly, it had been too long. And my son was looking forward to seeing Grandma. We had The Funky Guys CD blaring out from the car stereo speakers, and assaulting our ears. They weren't my cup of tea, but my son loved them, and it was nice just to see him smile. It must have been the loud music which prevented me from hearing the loud knocking noise that emanated from under the hood. The first I was aware of anything wrong, was when the orange flames shot out around the hood, while smoke roiled also, blocking my vision, and causing me to slam on the brakes, and just hoping we wouldn't hit anything before the car came to a stop. My son was panicking, and I have to admit, I was extremely shook up myself, but I managed to get the car stopped. Before I could warn my son, I saw that a warning to bail out would have been unnecessary, for he was already undoing his seatbelt and was opening the car door even before we came to a stop. I undid my seatbelt, and flew out of the car as fast as I could, joining my son in the middle of the road, just behind the flaming ruins of my car. We watched as the flames devoured the upholstery, before at last beginning to die down. As we watched the destruction of my lifeline to making a living, I was feeling very blue, matching the clear afternoon sky. I needed that car to get to work. What was I going to do? I brought my thoughts back to our situation, and asked my son if he was doing okay?
"Yeah Dad, I'm just a little unnerved. It all happened so fast!"
"Yeah Son, it did happen very suddenly, but we managed to get the most important things, namely us, out."
I looked down the road, and there wasn't a thing in sight, except the winding curve of the roadway. So we began to walk, still in shock about what had happened. We'd been trudging along for a couple of hours, and now the sun was directly overhead. It beat down, and suddenly it wasn't a pleasant summer's morn. It was a blast furnace, a very real danger, if we didn't get liquids soon! I glanced over at my son, and noticed his flushed face, the sweat pouring off him. Just as I was debating what to do, a house appeared up ahead.
"Come on, Son, we'll stop at the house up ahead and ask for some water."
"Okay, Dad," he answered.
We drew closer to the house, and saw what seemed like hundreds of pink plastic flamingos all around the yard. They were everywhere. I thought it was very strange, but we were both so thirsty, we kept walking towards the house. As we mounted the steps to her front porch, I could see her mailbox, which was shaped like, what else, a pink flamingo. 333 Sea-View Lane was stenciled in black on what was supposed to be the flank of the flamingo. I shrugged off my thought of 'stupid!' and knocked loudly upon the door. After a few seconds, the sound of footsteps could be heard approaching the door. It opened, and a white-haired lady, dressed head-to-toe in pink, said,
"Hi ma'am, sorry to bother you, but my son and I were wondering if we could get a glass of water; see, we were driving up to Fortune City to visit my mother, and our car burst into flames."
"Goodness; by all means, come in!"
We gratefully stepped into a pink nightmare. Plastic flamingos were everywhere inside, as well. And all the furniture was pink.
"Why all the pink?" my son asked.
"Oh, it calms the birds, and I want to keep the stress down because it's mating season, and I expect a rather large addition to my flock soon!"
We exchanged looks, and I answered,"Oh, of course."
"Oh, you'll have to excuse the mess; they haven't been fed yet. I was getting their food ready when you knocked. There's glasses in that cupboard; help yourself to the water, and I'll just finish feeding them. They get cranky when they haven't eaten."
My son and I exchanged more looks, and I replied,"Oh no, just go ahead, and we really appreciate this."
We had opened the cupboard, and grabbed two pink (big shock!) glasses, and went to the pink-colored sink, and each drank a couple of pink glasses of water. As we were drinking, we watched the lady shovel something imaginary into several buckets, and grabbing one, she said,
"I can't carry as much as I used to, and there's many more birds now than there used to be, so I make many trips. If you will excuse me, I'll go feed some of them, and come back for another bucket."
"Sure thing, Mrs...?" I said,
"Oh, where are my manners? It's just Miss Davis."
'Gee, there's a shock; just Miss? I can't understand, as there must be several men willing to take care of all these birds; you'd be quite a catch!' I thought.
"Nice to meet you Miss Davis; I'm Don Hoe, and this is my son, Tommy, but everyone calls him Tally."
"Nice to meet you both. Well, I'll be right back."
"Here, let us carry these," I said, pointing to the 3 other large, empty buckets.
"Oh, thank you, that would be wonderful!"
So I grabbed two, and my son grabbed the remaining bucket, and we followed Miss Davis out to the middle of the yard.
"Hey there, take it easy! There's plenty for everybody!" she directed towards the stationary plastic flamingos. "Flappy; quit pecking your brother!"
Flappy didn't move, or act like he'd heard! We watched, as Miss Davis dumped the air on the ground, and said,
"Brine shrimp, the birds love them!"
So we dumped the bucket of nothing on the ground, and I said, "How's this, Miss Davis?"
"Perfect! Now Winger, you be polite; these nice people are kind enough to offer their help, and I want to show them what nice birds you are!"
The birds still didn't move, or act like they'd heard, but apparently, their reaction was satisfactory.
"That's it; good birds!" she said.
Apparently, all the imaginary birds had gotten enough, because Miss Davis glanced around and said, "There, see all the happy flamingo faces? I told you they would settle down once they were fed."
"Yes, Miss Davis, it sure does. Well, I guess we should be going. Do you know if there's a place in Fortune City where we might be able to rent a car?"
As we drove the rental car back towards our home, many miles ahead, we passed the sight of Miss Davis and all her plastic pink birds, and honked. She waved a farewell, saying something to the mute, stationary flamingos, and waving again. I guessed they were all saying goodbye. Then we passed the sad shell of our burned-out car, and sped towards home.