Every couple of weeks, they would sneak over to the house of a different Finney teacher in the dead of night and deposit a flock of pink plastic flamingos all over their lawn. The next day, they would feign shock when their colleagues would recount how they’d awoken to find a jumble of fuchsia fowl in their front yards. My parents would point the finger at some other teacher. It must have been that crazy Ernie Stingle, my mother would whisper in the ear of the colleague. I bet it was that devious Deward Johnson, my father would cackle.
After awhile, folks finally caught on because everyone had been a target of the nighttime flamingo drive-by EXCEPT my parents (they really should have claimed they’d been flamingoed too, just to throw everyone off the scent). So one night, my Aunt Carole and Uncle Dom deposited a surprise for my parents on their lawn.
Sometimes karma arrives in the shape of a gigantic glowing nativity scene. In July.
* I should add that those flamingos lived in our garage until my sophomore year of high school, when my friend Maren and I adorned our friend Ryan’s beloved car with them, along with a bagful of cotton balls and streamers. Sadly, the flamingos were sacrificed on the drive to the carwash. Their shiny plastic body parts were strewn across Jefferson Avenue for weeks.