The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
I've found the new line of work that I'm going to go into: Flamingoing.

Flamingoing involves offering one's services as a professional flamingo prankster. People pay you to place flocks of pink flamingoes on other people's yards. A note is left along with the birds, "You've been flamingoed," and there's a number the victim can call to find out who played the prank.

Flamingoing, as a line of work, has been pioneered by two high school students, Emily Lohmeyer and Paige Prentice of Nevada Union High School. They charge $35 to "flamingo" someone's property. They're using the money they raise to pay for a trip to Europe. So far they've earned $700!!!

Prentice and Lohmeyer usually plant about 20 flamingos in the front yard. The job can still be risky at times.
"We've had experiences when dogs have barked," she said. "We had one experience when the owner let the dogs out when they started barking, and they got within 5 or 6 feet of us. We were hiding behind the bushes, so the dogs didn't see us. They were distracted by the flamingos. Then Emily and I jumped up and sprinted for our car."
When I start my flamingo business, I think I'll add a "rude gnome" option -- allow customers to include a few of those mooning gnomes from, along with the flamingoes.

A nod should be given to the University of Wisconsin's Pail and Shovel Party, who were responsible for what remains the most famous flamingoing event.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 14, 2007

Heh.. I've 'forked' a friend's yard before: Get a box of 500-odd plastic forks, and stick them into their lawn, tines down. For additional style points, arrange in various patterns.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  05:48 PM
My friend once paid people to flamingo his father's house on his birthday, so I don't think those two students are really 'pioneering' it as a business. Smart idea, anyway.
Posted by Jacob  in  Ottawa  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  08:46 PM
What does it cost them to get the flamingos and how many do they recover afterwards? Is this $700 clear or pre-expenses? Have they paid for a business licence? Have they paid their income taxes and Social Security taxes on it? Are these high school students of legal age to be working? Are they unionized? These and other questions America wants to know.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  09:33 PM
This really isn't anything new. About eight years ago we did it to my Father for his birthday. Most of the rental and party stores up here in Canada can do the flamingoes, they also have skunks, rabbits, penguins and ducks should you wish for them instead. I've personally known it to be around for at least ten years at my uncle's rent-all shop and there are many many many variations.
Posted by Transfrmr  in  deep trouble  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  10:12 PM
Transfrmr, the flamingo prank isn't new... but doing it as a profession? I hadn't heard of that before.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Sat Sep 15, 2007  at  01:49 AM
Do you get to keep the flamingos after they've been placed on your lawn? From what I remember from, they aren't that cheap, so I think they'd be losing money at $35. if the "victim" kept the plastic birds.

You'd certainly have an argument for keeping them if they were put on your lawn, I think.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sat Sep 15, 2007  at  05:33 AM
>>You'd certainly have an argument for keeping them if they were put on your lawn, I think.<<

Well, there goes my business plan. There always has to be one lawyer in the crowd who ruins everything. tongue wink
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Sat Sep 15, 2007  at  03:23 PM
Alex, it's been done by companies up here in Canada for quite some time, at least in Montreal, mostly party supply stores, rent-alla or florists. That's where I saw it first, and that was at least ten years ago. After the prank, they let you keep one flamingo as a souvenir, but come and pick up the rest.

They're simply "rented" for the occasion. Of course they don't hold you responsible if someone steals a few, it's a cost of their business.

A quick Google this listing of companies/shops that will do it in Canada:

Click on some of those links and you'll see what I mean.

They also have way more variety than I knew of aside from flamingos grin

Maybe it just took some time for the Flamingo business to head south?
Posted by Transfrmr  in  deep trouble  on  Sat Sep 15, 2007  at  11:29 PM
I'm more of a client than a lawyer, Alex.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun Sep 16, 2007  at  03:51 AM
We did fundraisers like this when I was a teenager. You could either pay for insurance against being flamingoed...or pay to have someone else's yard flamingoed...and then they had to pay a fee to get the flamingos removed.

If you paid for insurance, but then someone else paid for you to be flamingoed...there was basically a bidding war to see who could give us the most money.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Sep 16, 2007  at  11:11 AM
What were you raising the funds for, Maegan?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun Sep 16, 2007  at  05:25 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.