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Pink Flamingos threatened with extinction, but life finds a way…

By Brian | October 23, 2006 | Share on Facebook

Jason Bennion reports on this article, which heralds the extinction of the famed Pink Flamingo lawn ornament. It seems Union Products of Leominster, MA is going out of business due to increased costs, loss of financing, and because seriously – who buys pink flamingos anymore?

Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, provides the money quote:

Let’s face it – as iconic emblems of kitsch, there are two pillars of cheesy, campiness in the American pantheon. One is the velvet Elvis. The other is the pink flamingo.

But then, the principle of scarcity sets in. We all desire what we cannot have. Take Mike Smollon, firefighter from Boynton Beach, FL (had to be from Florida, eh?):

“I never owned a pink flamingo before,” Smollon said. “To be honest, I used to think this was the kind of a thing only a girl would put in her yard. But when I found out the factory was closing, I thought, ‘This is something historical happening.’ “

Smollon went to the factory and bought 11 sets of pink flamingos and one set of the commemorative gold flamingos that were made for 2007, which would have been the bird’s 50th birthday. He plans to keep a few and give the rest to flamingo-loving friends.

It gets better. He looked up the former president of Union Products, got him to autograph a couple of the birds, as well as a copy of his book, “The Original Pink Flamingos: Splendor on the Grass.” Here’s a man who will be sad to see the demise of our faux-feathered friends.

But wait! A small sliver of hope exists! The article is contains this picture, which is accompanied by the following caption:

The article in Thursday’s Section A about Union Products ending production of its patented pink flamingo lawn ornament after 49 years included a photo of flamingos in a frontyard in Ventura. The ornaments shown were not made by Union Products.

If there were ever a case for evolution, this is it. A new strain of pink flamingo has been discovered in the wild. Hopefully, this species will find ways to propogate more successfully than the genetically inferior Flamingus Unionus Productus, who lost out to its most common natural predator – red ink.

Topics: The World Wide Weird | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Pink Flamingos threatened with extinction, but life finds a way…”

  1. jason says at October 23rd, 2006 at 4:58 pm :
    That’s what I get for being too lazy to click the “Click to Enlarge” button near the photo. Excellent investigative work, Brian, and kudos for referencing Jurassic Park in the title, too!

  2. Charlie says at October 24th, 2006 at 10:55 pm :
    If I nad a yard I would put them there)

  3. Brian says at October 24th, 2006 at 11:42 pm :
    Charlie – I’ve just gotta ask: Are you from Florida? I’m wondering if the pink flamingo has successfully migrated out of the state…


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