Flock of pink plastic flamingos migrating around Brewster

Sheryl Smith's husband Mike Lundstrom hit one of those milestone birthdays in early October (it's probably not necessary to say what milestone, just a big one). And Sheryl was faced with that classic problem-how to commemorate a milestone birthday for a man who has pretty much everything he wants.

Well. Mike is, um, more than 29 years of age, and for people who grew up in the 1960s (like Sheryl did) people over, say, 35 or so will always be associated with pink flamingos. Plastic pink flamingos. They were the alleged lawn ornament of choice for senior citizens back in the day. So, Sheryl said, plastic pink flamingos were the perfect present for a guy, um, on the far side of 40, especially when he's an enthusiastic bird watcher.

It was impossible to find the traditional pink flamingos, the tall ones that look really fake; Sheryl had to settle for slightly smaller, slightly more realistic birds. So she bought 65 plastic flamingos; of course, "where does one keep those and make them a surprise?" she said. She hid them out at the home of her buddy and neighbor Val Burgett.

So Val came over "on the morning-this man made a dental appointment on his birthday. Is that sick or what?" Anyway, Sheryl works nights and she had to pretend to be asleep until Mike left and then Val came over and "we placed 65 pink flamingos in the front yard," Sheryl said. "They were there to greet him" when Mike got back from the dentist, a whole yard full of plastic pink birds.

And, Sheryl said, it was a pretty good joke and Mike thought it was funny, but. Afterward she had a whole flock of plastic flamingos. What to do with them?

Hey. They may be made of pink plastic, but that doesn't mean they're not like other flamingos.

"They don't stay in one spot. They migrate for the winter," Sheryl said. They've already migrated all around Sheryl's neighborhood on First Street in Brewster, next door to the Burgett household, down the street to Zulma Erickson's, all the way to the end of the block and the Gelstin place. (They would've flown to Dylan and Tessa Gamble's place but the dogs chased them away.) "I have the best neighbors," Sheryl said.

There are signs that they may bust out of the neighborhood, turning up-well, they could turn up anywhere. "You can't control migration," Sheryl said. "They just do whatever they want to." And 65 is a whole lot of flamingos. "You just never know where they'll migrate to."

And whatever the migratory characteristics of other flamingos, pink plastic birds have a special affinity for men over, um, 45 or so. "If you're an old man you're especially vulnerable" to pink plastic flamingo migration, Sheryl said.

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