The Fourth Annual Flamingo Fete  -- August 13, 2005 (Friday the 13th)

This Flamingo Fete is rated 5 little pairs of pink flamingos out of 5 on the Flamingo Fete Flamingo-o-meter.

Here we proudly display the first pile of new-for-this-year Flamingo Fete Stuff, which arrived a just a few days before the big event.  The place mats were a gift from Sue's sister-in-law, Tida, and little did we know the central role that the now-infamous Pink Wig was to play in the evening's festivities, especially, as it turned out,  for Ed.  Note the pink packaging styrofoam used by our good friends at  This lent a particularly festive atmosphere to our pre-Fete preparations.

And then, mere hours before the guests started to arrive, the second batch of stuff showed up, and included this wonderful Flamingo Flappy Hat, featuring a pull-string that, when pulled, causes the wings to flap up and down wildly.  Simply oozing with the highest quality, it was thoughtfully made by our friends at Rasta Imposta, who say they have "hats so cool you'll wish you had 3 heads".  As if we already have two?  Hmmm...  

The rest of the Flamingo Fete Stuff slowly wandered down from the storage loft in the garage,

while the cook got busy in the kitchen,

periodically sampling the fruits of her labor, as seen here.

The Pink Wig was given a trial fitting, and it was immediately clear that it was the best 5 bucks we've ever spent on Flamingo Stuff.

Tida was the first to arrive,

and helped Sue in the kitchen while the new "Flamingos Bar & Grill" sign was skillfully hung from a door hinge.  Surprisingly, a level was not skillfully used to obtain this approximately horizontal orientation.

The "Flamingo in the Hammock" made his second appearance, having been presented during last year's Third Flamingo Gala by neighbors Ed and Lori, to the enthusiastic accolades of the crowd, and earning them a permanent place on the Guest List, subject to their appeal. 

This year's theme was "Flying in Formation", and the flock is seen here heading south well in advance of the impending Northwest Fall weather in the characteristic "Flying-V" formation favored by many species of migratory birds,

while the "Flock of Mildew-Covered Elders" held station in their favored area of the yard.  

Here is a nice action shot of the "Flying-V" formation.  There were occasional gusts of wind which caused their little wings to spin madly to everyone's delight and amusement,

while the "Flamingo in the Hammock" looked on lazily.

Rufus the Dufus Dog was pressed into service on the deck, thereby lending a touch of formal elegance to the evening.

Here he proudly displays the highly touted and much admired Flamingo Shot Glass door prize, but, alas, no one remembered to award it to anyone, so we'll try it again next year.

The cook stayed busy in the kitchen, tending to matters gastronomic,  

while final decorations were placed in the bushes just so,

and the dining facilities were given one last critical inspection.  

Everything seemed to be ready for the crowds,

and the crowds did indeed arrive shortly thereafter: a hungry mob, able to contain neither their hunger nor their excitement.  And how about Ruth's feathered handbag? 

Here your humble hosts take a moment to quietly reflect on the true meaning of whatever it was that they were reflecting on.

Note the cooking apron worn proudly, albeit with some well-concealed and highly-justified trepidation, by the "perfect suburban host", who voluntarily took charge of the bar-b-que in a rare display of blatant and gratuitous domesticity.

Frank's shirt was suitably emblazoned with some fine Flamingo stitchery,  

and Diane, not to be outdone, was suitably adorned in similar fashion.

Rick and Laurie, yet again, rose to the heights of the lofty occasion, 

providing us all with their usual high quality and tastefully decorated dessert extravaganza from the Hancock Bakery in Redmond.

But the real surprise was when Frank and Diane showed up with a huge cake celebrating our 25th Anniversary.  We were really touched - or perhaps it was just the sugar rush?  Our anniversary wasn't till the 15th, two days hence, and we had no idea that anyone even knew that it was the our Big 25th.  We were caught completely by surprise, and thank all those who conspired in this plot

We had all been busily feting for some time, when through the sideyard gate emerged Loren and Suzanne, the two girls from nextdoor, all by themselves, unaccompanied, completely and alarmingly lacking parental guidance.  We were all a bit puzzled by the fact that they were there without their parents, Ed and Lori.  Two questions immediately jump feet first into one's mind: (1) how could Ed and Lori send them over all by themselves into this melee of frightening and questionable taste, and (2) why in the world would these perfectly reasonable kids have agreed to it?  We never got any real answers to these questions, but does it not, perhaps, call somewhat into question Ed and Lori's parental judgement, at least in the minds of those who might not know better?  Nonetheless, we were glad that they had joined us, and in the picture above, we see Sue graciously accepting the lovely hand-made Flamingoistic gifts that they presented to us. 

Jack the Astonished could hardly contain his reaction to this turn of events, while Frank the Calm seemed to take everything in his usual low-key fashion.

Nan from work joined us again this year, perhaps to confirm to herself yet again that we really are crazy even outside the office.

Although tens of minutes had elapsed, Ed and Lori were still nowhere to be seen, and their two young daughters were forced to cope using their wits alone.

It was at this point that "Bogey the Neighborhood Cat" showed up, helping to diffuse what was, at least till that point, well on its way to becoming a somewhat uneasy situation. 

Relieved, we resumed our feverish merry-making,

although it might be argued that we were possibly getting close to teetering on the brink of approaching the point of letting things get perhaps a bit too merry for some, as can clearly be seen in the picture above.  And let it be emphasized that the cooking apron isn't just for looks,

there was actually some serious food preparation in progress here, as evidenced all the dead chicken parts on the grill.

An historic kitchen moment or trick photography?  You decide...

In point of fact, it must be pointed out that, under the Flamingo Flappy Hat, the cook is actually wearing the requisite food-worker regulation hair net, thereby lending some degree of credibility to claims of domesticity.

Well, well, well... Ed and Lori finally showed up, assuaging somewhat our

collective concerns, till Lori allowed the Pink Wig to get the better of her. 


Things got calmed down a bit, we all felt a bit more comfortable, and assembled for a tasty dinner

Ed and Lori explained that they had been busy "making cookies" to contribute to the evening's Fete, and they did in fact arrive with freshly baked cookies in hand, so perhaps we should judge neither too hastily nor too harshly.

Here we are beginning our 25th Anniversary celebration with a hearty toast of Pink Lemonade, hair net and Pink Wig proudly atop our heads. 

Ruth presented us with a hand-made 25th Anniversary calligraphic


replete with Flamingoes and a Kokopelli.  

Our goofy neighbors decided to get all fancied-up for a photo-opportunity, 

and as common sense and decorum loudly screamed  "No, No, No!",

here we see the sorry result.

The precedent had been set - it was time for Goofy Flamingo Pictures.  Rick and Laurie rose to the occasion in a quiet and dignified manner, with Rick looking decidedly domestic and paternal, cradling one of the Flamingo hats in his arms, 

after which Jack gave a short but impassioned speech about something or other,

smiled to the crowd,

and finally joined Ruth for this intimate portrait.  

Frank and Diane were up next, and presented this strikingly focused vision of fortitude in the face of adversity.  

Later on, we were alarmed to find Ed back by the shed, having snuck off into the trees with the Pink Wig.  We encouraged him to join us back on the deck, but were somewhat worried about the way he kept doing this perky little hair toss thing.

We certainly hope that the guys at work never see this, right Ed?  Lori, you can take it from here.  Try a right-click and then "Copy".  Or maybe use it for a majestic and compelling, if somewhat disturbing, computer wallpaper image.

In any case, we dug into the 3 cakes, and soon discovered that that we had lots more cake than we had appetite.

The hour had finally and painfully grown quite late, so we said goodnight to everyone and sent our guests off into the night with fond farewells, left-over cake, and solemn promises that one year hence we would all meet again for the Fifth Annual Flamingo Bacchanalia, whether we really wanted to or not.

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