Thursday, September 19, 2013

Better Than A Pink Flamingo

It has become a custom for me to answer the question, "How are you doing" with "Better than a starving Ethiopian".  But, it's time for change!  I awoke around 3am the other morning and turned on the television in my new place in the upscale ghetto, or the low end of the high-life... Which one it is, I haven't quite figured out, but I have yet to hear any gun shots.

When I looked at the screen, all I could see were birds, including a flock of pink flamingos.  Pink flamingos apparently can't fly very well.  Maybe that's because they spend a lot of time breeding, because there sure are a lot of them compared to eagles, vultures and the infamous Big Bully.  Just what kind of bird the Big Bully really is, I'm not sure.  A web search revealed only Big Bird from Sesame Street, and a search for pink flamingos yielded a Wikipedia page for a movie called the Pink Flamingos.  The movie is considered a "transgressive black comedy exploitation", whatever that means.  I'll have to look it up on You Tube!

However, if it is about exploitation, then it is certainly named appropriately.  As pretty as a pink flamingo is, and as numerous as they are compared to other birds, it makes them an easy target.  The life of a pink flamingo is one on the run.  The run through shallow waters as the hunt begins when vultures and eagles attack.  Pink flamingos make for the perfect snack.

Life on the run cannot be fun.  That is something I've never experienced although I have thought many times about it, I am convinced that life on the run leads to an early death especially after watching this documentary.  Pink flamingos serve only one purpose and that is to feed birds of prey and other predators, and parasites like feather lice.  The poor pink flamingo is always under attack.

While we go through phases of life during which times we might be under attack on all sides, for humans these times are generally temporary unless, you're a starving Ethiopian, of course.   As Americans, these times of attack generally pass away.  Our hardships are nothing in comparison to others less fortunate, and yet we bitch and moan about parking tickets.

It is time for a serious reality check for Americans.  During my service as an undercover parking violations officer, I have noted too many times when spoiled Americans get upset about getting a parking ticket.  Just the other day someone ran up to one of the other ticket writers and pushed him out into the street.  This is an act of violence against a fellow human being in this luxurious land over a parking ticket.  This is why I support sterilization of certain people.

It is a matter of perspective.  As one acquaintance of mine put it the other day on her way to work after being asked about her job at the coffee shop, "I get to bake whatever I want and put icing on cupcakes.  How bad can that be?"  This young lady is probably one of the most positive people I have ever met. She's got her head screwed on right.

Negativity is something to which I am no stranger.  The problem with my negativity is that I'm right!  Americans are spoiled brats.  That's the extent of my negativity.  I came to this conclusion nearly fifteen years ago when a Quick Trip opened near the house.  It was almost exactly one mile away.  I soon figured out it took me approximately fifteen minutes to walk to that store.  Exercise has almost always been a decided part of my life.  I could drop dead tomorrow, but it probably won't be in a car crash, unless I get hit by a car like I did the other night... on my bike!

I thought the car was stopping, but it didn't.  It just did one of those check stops after coming out of nowhere.  Suddenly it was just a few feet in front of me about to cross my path when I had no choice except as to whether I fell on my face or my back, or somewhere in between.  I released the handle bar and went airborne landing with my elbows on the hood of the car while doing a cartwheel in the sky finally landing on my back.  Thankfully, my back pack was stuffed with shirts and stuff that made my landing painless.  However close I was to ending up like a pink flamingo on the ground after it's predator makes it's kill, I did not die, and was not significantly injured.

With just a few scrapes on my knees and elbows I got up from the incident as the driver of the car opened his door.  I said, "I'm okay.  If you want me to stick around for a police report I will".  To which he replied, with a slight hesitation, "Nah", shaking his head at the same time.  I didn't see the moon in the sky, but if it wasn't for those Blue Moon t-shirts someone had given me, I might have very well ended up just like a pink flamingo!

So, yes... I'm sticking with this one for awhile.  I'm better than a pink flamingo!  That doesn't mean I don't care about starving Ethiopians anymore.  I just needed a new schtick. like transitioning from a former rodeo clown and the next Hugh Hefner to an Undercover Parking Violations Officer!  Periodically, we have to re-invent ourselves and for me that comes with circumstances and learning.  Unfortunately, learning sometimes involves a brush with death.  I've had several of those throughout life.

The first I remember being at Virginia Beach as a child and getting knocked on the head with a raft disorienting me and sending me below the surf.  I couldn't tell which way was up.  Fortunately, buoyancy lifted me to the surface before I took a big gulp and drowned to death.

Another time, I was at a pool party as teenager bouncing as I liked to do on the diving board before doing a trick only the trick was on me as my right foot caught the corner of the board and sent me flying to the right toward the railing below.  I wasn't accustomed to bouncing on high dives, but on this night I went for it!  I remember thinking, I'm about to die as the seconds slowly passed until I landed right next to the wall of the pool at the railing where my right hand simply gripped it as I climbed out of the water as if nothing had happened.

Most pink flamingos survive the onset of predators just because of their sheer numbers.  There can be thousands of them in a flock, but in the end one of them is going down.  So, while I might not be at the level of success I imagined I would be at this point in life, I'm still better than a pink flamingo, and so are you!