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THE FLAMINGOS

    Once the flamingos resolved to make important social issues more chic.
    It was about time, they felt. Time to bring that special flair and sense of style they were famous for to critical concerns facing the age.
    So the flamingos gathered by a resort lake, pecked one another repeatedly on the cheek in greeting, and then got down to business. “How can we make a fashion statement that will raise the level of awareness and debate on problems that really matter?” they asked, one and all.
    After a long silence, a single thought suddenly raced through the flamingos’ minds, causing quite a flutter and moving them all to lift their exquisite bodies into the air and begin circling the lake on their glorious, graceful wings. Around and around they flew. When they returned to the shallows and sandbars, though, none of the flamingos could remember exactly what the great thought was that had inspired them to take wing. 
    So they decided to start over and asked themselves again, “How can we make a fashion statement that will raise the level of awareness and debate on problems that really matter?” 
    “AIDS would be absolutely marvelous for making a statement, darlings,” one flamingo finally volunteered.
    “Old news” came the response from a number of sides. “Been there, done that.”
    “They say the plague may be coming back.”
    “Eeeuuuu! Swellings and pus, how gross!”
    “I know what, let’s do famine.” 
    “Cool, except what would we wear?”
    “I don’t know, but we could accessorize whatever we decide on with miniature ration bags or something.”
    “Wouldn’t we be sending the wrong message with all that?”
    “P-u-u-leeeez! There’s never a wrong message in a consciousness-raising campaign. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? No controversy is bad controversy.”
    “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a photo spread with an ethnic cleansing theme.” 
    “Helloooo? I hate to be the one to bring up the same thing again, but what would we wear?  You can’t just assume everybody’ll automatically get your message.”
    “Well, duh!”
    “Okay, okay, how about homelessness as our theme? How can you miss with something that’s sooo now?” 
    “I see worldwide appeal on that one. I see us really hitting home with exotic street shots and photogenic locals in the background.”
    “Yes! Yes! That’s it! And for the show itself, we can scrap the usual wedding-dress finale and wear some of those cardboard signs they use down the runway!” 
    “Visionary concept, absolutely visionary!”
    All of the flamingos were so pleased with their idea that they began to practice, one after another, the most dramatic way to hold their heads, arch their wings, and strike a pose that would embody their commitment to giving problems that really matter some pizzazz for a change.