That is (sort of) the idea behind a Sacramento-based company that runs on the Internet at www.getflamingoed.com. For lack of a better explanation, getflamingoed.com is a way to both honor and prank someone at the same time.
Stephanie Allen and Stuart Campbell, the couple who co-founded the idea, put their idea into action in a rather indirect fashion.
“We were having dinner, chatting with family and someone mentioned that they had heard of something like this back east where someone had something done to their yard,” Allen said. “Then we talked about how hilarious it would be for someone to do something like that here.”
Time went by and the idea remained only an idea. Before long, however, the two realized that it might as well be they who blaze the trail.
“Soon after that we ordered 100 flamingoes and away we went,” she said.
For an installation and removal fee (flamingoes are removed after 24 hours) of $25 with an additional one dollar per flamingo, you too can show your love and admiration for someone in this most peculiar of ways. You can also add a personalized sign to be placed among the plastic birds.
But, why flamingoes?
“Flamingoes are just so gaudy and classic,” Allen said. “It just made sense.”
“People had great reactions,” Allen said. “We tried it out on some friends first.”
Since those initial reactions, nothing has changed.
“Not a single person we’ve done it to has had a negative reaction,” she said. “How can you not laugh at that?”
Allen explained that the time they decide to “flamingo” someone’s yard is based on that person’s schedule and that no one has caught them strategically placing the pink fowl.
The service is available to those outside the downtown area, but a $25 charge is added depending on how far they have to travel. This is not the couple’s main source of income after all. Allen and Campbell own a vegetarian food cart on I and 8th streets called Happy Go Lucky that takes up the majority of their time.
But one such occasion when the duo did travel outside of downtown Sacramento happened to be on Carmichael’s Susan Way.
Most people remember landmark birthdays like 21, 30, 40, 50, etc. But Carmichael’s Laura Lyon will most assuredly remember her 47th for a good long while.
“My mom called me and asked if I was going to be around on (my birthday),” Lyon said. “I told her that I wouldn’t be home until the afternoon and she said that something would be happening in the morning.”
When Lyon returned home from a birthday outing she arrived to the sight of 57 pink flamingoes dominating the scenery of the peaceful street. Lyon said she doesn’t know why there were 57 flamingoes to commemorate her 47th birthday, but she wasn’t going to ask questions. Her house was king of the block for the rest of the day.
“Everybody thought it was so funny,” Lyon said. “Neighbors stopped by all day and everyone enjoyed it.”
She said that it helped that everyone on her street has a good sense of humor, but like Allen she wonders who wouldn’t find it funny.
Lyon’s mother found out about the service through one of her close friends. That friend happens to be Stuart’s father. He mentioned it to her at some point and the idea to flamingo her daughter was set in motion.
“My mom is pretty funny, but this was totally out of character for her,” she said. “Had she not known (Stuart’s) father I don’t think it would have occurred to her to do this.”
But as the victim of the prank/present, did she find it funny enough to do to someone else?
“I definitely think I could do it to someone,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to do it to someone who lives in a place that has strict rules and regulations, but I can think of some people I would consider doing it to.”
While the act of flamingoing someone is pretty funny and indeed innovative, Lyon’s daughter summed up what she thought when she first saw the pink flock adorning her yard.
“Whoa, that’s pretty weird,” 7-year-old Gracie said.
Most people would probably agree with that sentiment. It is pretty weird. Luckily for most of us, we have some pretty weird friends who could do with an inundation of flamingoes.
E-mail Benn Hodapp at firstname.lastname@example.org.