Sunday, July 15, 2007

1.8 - Flamingo Sunrise

MONKEY ISLAND, April 1986 - The officially recognized national state bird of Monkey Island is, of course, the plastic lawn flamingo. Popularly thought to be indigenous to the area, it turns out they occur as naturally as French toast does in Nice.

The first nesting pairs were imported from an extruding facility in
Taiwan sometime in the 1950s, when the birds were stretching their spindly wire legs across much of the western world. Trouble was first noticed on Monkey Island in the late 1960s, when the population of the birds was threatening to outnumber humans by more than three to one. The complacent attitude of the islanders led to the plastic birds taking over both houses of the national government for the better part of a year. (1970-71) It was only after the election of Don Featherstone as Prime Minister in mid-1971 that islanders finally took action.

Not one, but two hunting seasons were declared. The first, running from August 1st till February 29th, allowed the taking of two (2) flamingoes per hunter per day, with the stipulation that the weapon be an automobile. The second season ran from March 17th through July 23rd, with the required weapon being lawn darts.

Although property damage was substantial, by early 1973 the
flamingo population was at more manageable levels. The pair pictured here are trophies displayed on a resident hunter's front lawn.

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