First I saw the orange flamingos at the Elk Harbor restaurant. I figured something was up, but I thought it was harmless enough. Besides, we needed something to brighten things up around here during Mud Season. I put the flamingos on the TLV banner. The next week I saw a flock of them in front of someone’s house.
By the end of the week they had invaded the Blue Heron Gallery.
I went in and asked Dan Reszka to explain it all to me. Which he did. Gently.
It turns out that the flamingos appear in the dead of night, accompanied with a sort of reverse ransom note.
The person who has been “flocked” must call the secret number to request the removal of the flamingos–and by the way, a little donation to the Elk Rapids Schools would be nice. A fifty dollar donation purchases Anti-Flocking Insurance, guaranteeing that the flamingos will not reappear—this year. It also entitles the Flocking Victim to suggest another place where the flamingos might flock, thus insuring that sooner or later everyone in town has an opportunity to cough up.
People tend to lay low during flocking season, not wishing to attract Invasive Orange Flamingos to their premises. Most people anyway, Dan says, looking at me meaningfully. The coin drops. Gaaaah! I flocked myself!
Dan is very kind. He shows me all around the gallery, where there are an astonishing number of new works by Michigan artists. Turtles. Salamanders. Crooked trees. I’m saving the trees for their very own post, but here are some other excellent pieces.
I reflect on my self-inflicted flocking. Am I morally obligated to cough up? But suppose I pay the $50 for de-flocking and anti-flocking insurance. Who is to say that I will not forget–I forget everything, we all know that–and flock myself all over again???? I have to think this thing through very carefully. Perhaps I should replace the flamingos with an Asian Carp snacking on phragmites.
Maybe I’ll ask Babs and Katherine to advise me. Meanwhile I’m leaving the flamingos alone. You know how risky it is to undertake aggressive moves against invasive species. Next thing you know the treatment is worse than the disease. Maybe they’ll go away. The flamingos, not Babs and Katherine.