Neighbor Nate typically tolerates the extracurricular activities of his Woman well. She stays involved in many things, and her biggest consumer of time and energy is her work with high school students.
It happened to be fund raising season. Something about kids going to summer camp, or something as equally nonsensical in his mind. Neighbor Nate believed in the program and the thing it accomplished, however he had no desire to have any part in it. He was supportive, from a distance.
This year the Woman’s troop of hooligans was partaking in a very untraditional form of fundraising. Flocking.
The way it worked, was you pay money to have a flock of flamingos put in someone’s yard in the middle of the night, so when they wake up, their yard is covered in flamingos. These are plastic flamingos, mind you, so they are completely harmless to everyone involved. The idea is that if you get flocked, you will pay to have someone else flocked, so it is a continuous trail of pink flamingos throughout the neighborhoods. It’s funny. It’s entertaining. Harmless. Money for a good cause.
Not to Neighbor Nate.
Neighbor Nate had heard his wife talk about this fundraiser in passing, but per his usual un-involvement in matters such as these, he paid little attention, and soon forgot.
One morning, the Woman woke up suddenly and said “we forgot to take the garbage cans to the road. It’s garbage day.”
Neighbor Nate staggered out of bed, put on his robe and slippers, and went out the back door to take the garbage cans to the road. He had no idea what was in store for him on the other side of the fence.
He began pulling the garbage can through the back yard. When he came to the fence that divided the back yard from the front yard, he encountered unforeseen difficulty. He tried to push the gate open, but it kept hitting an unknown object. He shoved harder, but was still unable to open the gate sufficiently in order to pull the garbage can through.
There was a series of mutters, sputters, and angry words as he struggled with the gate. Eventually he shoved hard enough it dislodged whatever was on the other side and he was able to squeeze himself through in order to identify the offending obstacle.
The Woman watched in eager anticipation from the back porch, barely able to contain her excitement for whatever was about to unfold.
That’s when Neighbor Nate saw it. There was not one offending object blocking the gate. There were 50 offending objects, desecrating his entire yard.
He’d been flocked.
In a burst of rage, Nate burst the rest of the way through the gate, pulling the heavy garbage can behind him. The flamingos were scattered throughout the entire yard, blocking his path to the road.
Swear words began spewing, barely able to be heard over the Woman’s laughter. Neighbor Nate began doing the only thing that seemed remotely logical in the moment – he began ramming the flamingos with the garbage can. Standing behind it and pushing with all his might, he flailed about the yard, trying to crush the innocent pink birds. To his extreme frustration, the flamingos were much more sturdy than he anticipated, and the garbage can did little to dislodge them from their place. The ramming was proving to be completely ineffective.
Obscenities continued to fly as he resorted to his next strategy. Neighbor Nate ditched the garbage can and began raging through the yard, kicking every flamingo as he encountered it.
Flamingos began to fly about the yard as he continued to scream and rage, the Woman doubled over in laughter on the back porch. The laughter was making him even more angry. How could she let someone desecrate their yard like this? How did this happen? WHEN had they trespassed on his property and committed such a heinous crime?
Someone would pay for this.
There was a man walking his dog across the street who stopped briefly to witness the mayhem that was unfolding. There was a car blocking his full view of the events, and all he could see were pink birds flying through the air. What was all of that noise? Curious and concerned, he slowly walked forward so the car was no longer blocking his view. The man and his dog stood their, confused, both of their heads tilted slightly to the side as they tried to decipher the events before them. There was an angry man, storming about his yard wearing nothing but a robe and slippers, kicking a flock of pink flamingos. Grateful he had left his daughter home that morning instead of bringing her on the walk, he quickly scurried on his way, fearful of what would happen if he accidentally made eye contact with the flamingo-hating man.
Neighbor Nate continued his giant fit until every flamingo had been uprooted and kicked across the yard. He stormed back to the garbage can and again tried to push it to the road. The fallen flamingos were still blocking his path, but his fit of rage provided enough momentum that he ran over each flamingo, then kicked each of them again as he continued on through the yard. He eventually got the garbage can to the road. He slowly turned around and scanned the mess before him.
His yard looked like a pink massacre. He could still hear his wife’s fit of laugher ringing through the back yard. Oh, she would regret this.
“I AM NOT CLEANING THIS UP!” he screamed. He stormed through the yard once again, and again kicking every flamingo in his path, slammed the gate behind him, stomped past the hysterical Woman, and made his way back into the house. There was a loud BANG as he slammed the door behind him.
As the Woman tried to regain composure after witnessing Neighbor Nate’s juvenile flamingo fit, she heard him yell “What are you looking at you stupid dog? You’re so fat and ugly! AND I’M NOT CLEANING UP THAT YARD!!!”