Flamingo Famous – Part 2

Flamingo Famous – Part 2

Very early on day 2 the boys informed me that I had agreed to wear Kevin every day for the first week of every school term for the rest of their scholastic lives. This sounds highly dubious to me but they are adamant and I have no evidence to the contrary. It is, I must admit, plausible that I wasn’t completely listening when this matter was first discussed. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, this happens from time to time because sometimes what they want to talk about is just so desperately uninteresting.

But there is a lesson here; engage fully with your children parents, give them your fullest attention, especially when you are discussing such important matters as wearing an eye-popping, inflatable costume to their school for the rest of your life.

So Milo quickly did the maths. Given Monty has just started kindy, after this week I will only need to wear Kevin 510 more times. It seems unlikely he will go the distance, given he is so vulnerable to catastrophic deflation. So it may be wise to visit Spotlight now to procure ‘son of Kevin’, before the costuming trend of ‘human riding something comical’ comes to an end, however unlikely that may seem now.


So with the finish line, in fact, nowhere in sight, Day 2 began rather brightly. Still a few honks from passers by and giggles from those parents who missed Kevin on Tuesday but otherwise our neighbourhood seems altogether non-plussed today about a fully grown man wearing a flamingo costume on a Wednesday morning. It is likely they still think me odd, but the repeat performance has reframed the oddness as the type that should be pitied rather than feared.

Upon our arrival on school grounds we enjoyed far more interaction and engagement from parents, teachers and students. Those who had averted their eyes yesterday today called out “good morning Kevin”, gave him a pat and asked a number questions, most of which were variations of “why are you wearing a flamingo?” I tried out a number of responses such as “Why aren’t you wearing a flamingo?” and “What do you mean I’m wearing a flamingo?” etc, most of which were received poorly by the students, who generally responded with that blank look that only children can deliver which says “I’m smarter than you think I am, you’re an idiot and I’m not impressed” all at once.

However, eventually we were surrounded by a group of 5th and 4th graders (one of whom was in Milo’s class) who were examining Kevin’s puny legs. One of them (Ollie) asked the standard question and just as I was mustering an underwhelming answer his friend (name unknown) stepped in and said “Oh, I know. My mum told me it’s because Milo is starting a new school and so he made his dad wear it.” Ollie then looked at Milo and said “Milo, you’re flamingo famous.” Milo grinned. The system is working.


I can’t tell you how disinterested everybody is in Kevin today. He is decidedly commonplace. Only the dogs are still titillated by our presence as we walk to school. The plovers who foolishly build their nests in the middle of school ovals for some unknown ridiculous reason don’t swoop us. The occupants of the passing Hiluxes and Landcruiser Troop Carriers don’t even steal a look sideways as they pass. The only interaction we received on the walk was a “sick ride” from a returning parent, which we enjoyed.

However, it must be noted that Milo skipped some of the way singing “I’m flamingo famous” which warmed Kevin’s plastic heart.

By the end of the day Kevin’s batteries were running low. His head was lolling back and forth like he had some sort of Flamingo vertigo, his healthy rump was emaciated, and those tiny helpless legs were scrunched up like deflated wedding balloons. We’ll need some fresh batteries tomorrow morning before Kevin’s final adventure… until April, apparently.

Waiting for Monty


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