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Where have all the flamingoes gone?

Our household has a harmless affection for pink flamingoes.

Some years ago our teenage son threatened to leave home if we didn’t remove from our garden the pink flamingo ornament we had brought back from Florida. In his maturity he is more tolerant, so there was no objection to the several dozen pink flamingoes that visited our lawn to share Liz Bliss’s most recent milestone birthday.

And it seemed like a neat idea to give half a dozen pink flamingoes to our youngest grandson to mark his sixth birthday.

Where to buy pink flamingoes in Leaside in the summertime?

As a strong supporter of local business, I started at Home Hardware in Sunnybrook Plaza.

No flamingoes.

At Canadian Tire the staff in the main store told me to try the showroom.

In the showroom they told me to try the store.

Generously, the Canadian Tire people also suggested trying Home Depot.

A friendly senior clerk at Home Depot told me that in all his years he had only seen one flock of pink flamingoes in the store, a special promotion. He urged me to try Canadian Tire.

Perhaps the Bayview stores would be more flamingo-friendly than the Laird big boxes.

I struck out at the garden centre at Bayview and Davisville, the valu-mart, the always friendly Chinese flower shop, and what I thought was my last, best resort, the Dollar Store.

The Dollar Store came closest, offering several other almost satisfactory lawn ornaments, mostly butterflies. The garden centre would have sold me ornamental owls.

I came home discouraged and somewhat tired.

Then I did what my wife would have done first. I went shopping for pink flamingoes on the internet. Of course cyberspace is full of flamingoes. Two days later Canada Post’s midwife service delivered six baby plastic pink flamingoes to our home.  I think they had hatched in the USA.

What lessons should we learn from the apparent extinction of the pink flamingo in Leaside retail outlets?  Take your pick of these possibilities:

(a) There is no more demand for pink flamingoes in Leaside because of super-gentrification;

(b) Geoff Kettel and the LPOA ought to have been more vigilant in protecting our flamingo traditions;

(c) The main store and the showroom at Canadian Tire should be amalgamated;

(d) When it comes to shopping (and perhaps other things), Professor Bliss hasn’t a clue.

You will be pleased to know that our little family of pink flamingoes are growing nicely in their comfortable little home in the North Beach. It’s a neighbourhood a lot like Leaside once was.

I suppose the new Whole Foods store at Broadway and Bayview will feature flash-frozen Florida flamingo filets.