The Second Annual Flamingo Gala -- July 8, 2003

This Flamingo Gala is rated 5 little pairs of pink flamingos out of 5 on the Flamingo Gala Flamingometer.

Once again, we threw discretion and decorum off the cliff and here is the sad result.  As was discussed several times during the evening, there's a fine line between bad taste and no taste, and we're still trying to come to terms with that.

The Official Invitation.

By popular demand, Sue's Famous Flamingo Cranberry Spinach Salad.

And, for an Opposing Viewpoint (but turn down the sound on your PC first).

The Flamingo staging area - the night before.

It was a writhing mass of shameless pinkness.  And speaking of such things, here's a good shopping tip for all you Flamingo hoarders:

The Flamingos began to arrive mid-day.  Some of them formed a sort of Flamingo Stonehenge around the nest that appeared last year.  We're still eagerly waiting for the eggs to hatch.

Except for a brief rain shower just prior to the start of the festivities, the somewhat threatening weather cooperated nicely and the event unfolded under cloudy but warm skies, keeping the Flamingo Gala from turning into a rain-soaked Flamingo Fiasco.

When hit with a good gust of wind, these guys really start churning.

The first guest to come in for a landing was old friend Rick, who came bearing cakes from Hancock's Bakery in Redmond, with the words "Let's Flamingo" emblazoned boldly thereupon.  Rick was the last guest to leave last year, so he got to use the official "Rita" mug from the Flamingo Hotel Gift Shop in Las Vegas.  Sadly, wife Laurie, who deserves the credit for lining up the cakes, was unable to attend, much to her relief, perhaps?  Perhaps next year...  Good job on the shirt, Rick.

The "Let's Flamingo" business prompted speculation throughout the evening about what exactly it means to "Flamingo".  Is "Flamingo" really a verb?  We're not sure, but the cake sure was good.

Nan arrived next, with a lovely World Wildlife Federation Flamingo pillow.  Sue let out a mighty shreeeeek as it emerged from the wrapping paper.  You can clearly see her look of unbridled glee.

Then Frank and Diane showed up with 2 new 'mingers to add to the flock.

Then, before we knew what hit us, we were deluged with arriving guests bearing unexpected but nonetheless wonderful gifts, which made us think that maybe it would be lucrative to have Flamingo Galas on a quarterly basis.

Here Sue yucks it up about something, while at the lower left is the Flamingo that just returned from a week sailing in the San Juan Islands with Jack, Ruth, Jim, and Carol.  Some rather far-fetched allegations were made about the flapping bird unduly disturbing the aft cabin occupants, and it was reportedly arch nemesis Jim Trax, wildlife "expert" of some disrepute,  who kept the wings of the boisterous bird bungee-bound for much of the voyage.

For the second year running, Ruth took the lead and was the first to unabashedly don one of the Flamingo Hats.

Frank was appointed the official bar-b-que chef, based on his outstanding efforts last year.

Ruth wandered around outside showing off her headgear - everyone was suitably impressed

Next, Flamingo Gala first-timer Merle unhesitatingly grabbed the opportunity to model one of the Flamingo Hats.

Not one to be outdone, Jim was soon similarly adorned. 

And then the two of them joined forces.  It was a gruesome sight, but entertaining nonetheless.  Note the looks of intense concentration on their faces...

... but soon they seemed to lose focus - perhaps it was the wine - and drifted away to some far off place... 

... but eventually they drifted back, and migrated indoors where they disrupted the kitchen staff and made general nuisances of themselves, till they were curtly told to doff their hats and behave like adults, which, surprisingly, they did without too much argument.

Much more sedate and civilized were Miguele and Marie Clair, who somewhat sheepishly went along with the program.  Note the two "Flamingoes on the Utah Rocks" on the left - these were hand made by Carol, and personally imported from Arizona by she and Jim.  Maybe these Arizoners aren't so bad after all...

The mob mentality snowballed, and soon even Yvonne was swept into the frenzy.

Frank was way too busy to engage in such frivolity.

Ruth entertains Sue with ribald stories.

The perfect suburban hostess hobnobs with her guests.  Martha Stewart beware...

Sue takes charge of the bar-b-que while Frank takes a well deserved break and Jack offers advice.

Dinner was well received, perhaps in no small part because it was late and everyone was hungry.

Here, the Flamingo that arrived with Celina, Yvonne, Miguele, and Marie Claire, can be seen peering precariously over the edge of the flower box on the right.

And then - dessert!  The framed photograph is from Tom and Tida, from their recent visit to Sweden.  It's an aerial shot of thousands of the 'pink ones' on a lake in Africa. 

We even hauled out the fancy sawhorses for this one.

Your humble and unassuming hostess and host.

Jack sez: "Darn right - I've got a big blob of cake frosting on my upper lip, and I'm proud of it." 

Rick somehow got into our supply of animal hats, and latched onto the shark hat that Sue got for the upcoming Jimmy Buffett concerts in September. We eventually got it back from him and sent him home.  He was the last one to leave, just like last year, so he retains "Rita" mug privileges for next year.  If he does it 5 years in a row, he may actually get to keep the mug, but we are somewhat concerned about the way he kept talking to it....

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