Plastic pink flamingoes, you must have seen them. They are ubiquitous. Standing in various shades of faded pink on one wire leg, unblinking sentries of the lawn. Are we to believe that these beautiful creatures of tropical climates have somehow migrated north and live as domestic pets in small towns all over the Midwest and in the suburbs of Chicago and Detroit and Cleveland? I have never liked them but compared to a real, live pink flamingo the synthetic imitation is especially pitiful.
Now you may have one and I don’t want you to take offense. After all this is America and you have every right of expression to decorate your yard to your liking. But I hope you don’t mind if I use my right of free speech to call your taste into question.
If these pink plastic fowl have any redeeming value it is that someone in some unfortunate third-world country is making a living for his family stamping out the abominable creatures on a machine. I suppose until we have the good fortune of finding plastic pink flamingoes on the endangered species list we can console ourselves with the fact that we are making a contribution to the economy of free China.
You should know that I am on the edge with this thing though. I’m not sure I trust myself around plastic pink flamingoes. Many a full-moon night I have irrepressible urges to drive through neighborhoods in the dark of night to eliminate the blight of the plastic pink flamingo. Are there support groups for people like me? Can anything be done to help before it’s too late? Is there foundation funding available to deal with this nuisance? Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler if you just put your little obnoxious plastic pets in the dumpster where they belong to spare me from my dark temptations?
Of course, you know I am being facetious but there is something distasteful about imitating things of beauty in a cheap way. The more beautiful and worthy the original, the more violent it is to imitate it. Imitation is injustice to the original. We should be careful never to settle for that. There are things of beauty that the Lord wants each of us to form in our lives and He wants his children to be without guile. There is a beauty in Christian graces that are simple and genuine. But when you meet someone who is not sincere… not real there is something repugnant at worst, disappointing at best in it. In character and in Christ likeness aspire to be the real thing, not a cheap imitation like a plastic pink flamingo.