8 March 2007

Flamingos

The cult of the pink flamingo never really reached the UK but this kitsch symbol of ordinariness has been prevalent throughout lower middle class America since the sixties. It is equivalent to our garden gnome cult - of which I am a paid up member. I can see a business opportunity here for somebody - Pink Flamingos UK Ltd. with pink plastic flamingos on wire legs inhabiting gardens from Wick to Winchester and from Southend to Southport.


The genius behind the flamingo cult was Donald Featherstone from Leominster, Massachussetts. It was back in the nineteen fifties when this art school graduate conceived his first plastic pink flamingo. It is estimated that Union Products, Leominster produced twenty million of them! They spread through America.


Where ever you see a pink flamingo, it defines the occupants of the house - ordinary, lower middle-class, God-fearing, truck-driving, burger-eating, Republican-voting, Britney Spears-loving, Bud-supping, baseball capped America. There are twelve in Alkelda the Gleeful's garden - they frighten the hell out of little Lucia! By George just has two and Friday's Web has a whole bloody forest of the suckers! Brad the Gorilla has fallen in love with a plastic pink flamingo called Hillary.

8 comments:

  1. "Where ever you see a pink flamingo, it defines the occupants of the house - ordinary, lower middle-class, God-fearing, truck-driving, burger-eating, Republican-voting, Britney Spears-loving, Bud-supping, baseball capped America."

    Hmmmmmm I don't think I'll be buying any then.

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  2. Ulp! Burp. The twelve you saw were only the ones in my front yard. Though really, you do go too far with "Republican-voting" and "Bud-supping."

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  3. The only place I ever saw them was in the famous "anti-game" - The Sims - which, after several days of tidying up your house, you realise if you'd spent the same amount of time tidying up your REAL house, you would live in a palace!!

    They're not something I would aspire to, but they do look kind of cool.... is it right to have a preconceived view of the owners of a plastic garden ornament?

    FoX

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  4. I suppose they're the summertime equivalent of the overdone Christmas decorations in the garden.

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  5. Well we had two but one of them got broken btw.. not a republican, not a democrat. I'm a Georgican.. or Georgacrat.
    Don't drink bud.. Sam Adams, Definitly don't Fear god ( observe the non capitalization) Gag on Britney Spears. I'd drive a truck if I had one. and have been known to wear a baseball cap.

    I also have a painting of pink flamingos that I painted in my bathroom. About 3' X 4'.

    so Anyway.. Ive been facinated by them since I was 2 and my parents kept losing me at Knotts Berry Farm .. I'd be at the flamingos.
    Oh well.

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  6. Well, I am obviously not 'ordinary, lower middle class' as I haven never even heard of the phenomenon! Should I be congratulating myself or berating myself?

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  7. STEVE - Remember America is the UK's number one ally!
    ALKELDA - It was you who inspired me to post about flamingos so blame yourself if your secret is now out! How about a children's story about a pink flamingo that came alive at night?
    FOXY - Yes it is right to have preconceived ideas about the owners of certain garden ornaments. I for example have a large plastic lion on our front gatepost!
    MUTTERING MEANDERER - I think you are right to make that kind of connection.
    BY GEORGE - I hope you gave the broken flamingo a proper funeral. Did you crash into it when returning from the bar late at night?
    JENNYTA - A Welsh version would be a plastic sheep or maybe a plastic dragon by the wheelie bin.

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  8. Don't need plastic sheep round 'ere, mate. We've got real ones! So still not ordinary lower middle class.

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