She was standing over my shoulder waiting for me to finish the sentence I was cooking in the computer, so I took my sweet time writing and rewriting it.

There were several ways to go with this untamed string of words and I was going to try every single one of them until she gave up and went away. Ha! I should have known better.

I was jarred from my resolve when she let loose with a couple of overly loud throat clearings. “A…HEM…HEMMM!”

Miss Demeanor – the nemesis of all nemeses – had outlasted attempts to form a readable sentence and my ability to ignore her.

“Are you planning to do something about this or are you just going to sit there while wanton littering is being committed in our neat-as-a-pin little village,” she charged.

Who was littering where, I wondered, knowing full well she was about to tell me.

“Pink flamingos,” Miss D shouted waving her arms like some flightless bird. “They are everywhere, and it is not funny.”

Now as you know if you have met Miss D here before, she is a literal person with no sense of humor, so whatever this was that had her so steamed was probably easily explained.

Oh, you must be talking about those plastic flamingos,” I said. “Aren’t they cute and a really good way for the high school’s music department kids to raise money. I think they went to Disneyland last year off the proceeds.”

Then Miss D said something that proved me wrong about her lack of whimsey. She made a joke, sort of.

“Well that’s appropriate use of the cash because this is one Mickey Mouse of an idea and I’m not Bashful to say it is extremely Goofy.”

“Whoa, Miss D, way to go with the puns,” I told her admitting that I had sold her short in the humor department.

“Damned straight,” she volleyed back. “But this is no laughing matter and its up to you to correct what is a childish error in judgment.”

Why is it always up to me to do her bidding, I wondered? If I explained how the fundraiser works maybe she would ease up on the kids and stop making a fool of herself.

“See it goes like this, you pay a certain amount of money – I think its $10 – to embarrass a friend or enemy by having their lawn decorated with a flock of pink plastic flamingos.

“Then the person who gets the birds, so to speak, has to pay ten bucks to get them off their property and transplanted on someone else’s lawn. Fun, don’t you think?”

“No, it is Dumbo not to mention criminal . . . ever heard of blackmail, extortion and trespassing,” she scoffed.

“The music kids not only missed the boat but the pier and the dinghy that would have taken them to the boat they missed,” Miss D expounded.

“Flamingos are as old hat as the expression ‘old hat.’ If I were in charge I would challenge the kids. Advise them to get edgy and dare to be different then tell them to replace those puny pink birds with life sized inflatable elephants.”

She answered my “why, elephants” question before I asked it.

“Because the elephant is the symbol of the Republican party which is an embarrassment these days so people would pay three times as much to get them off their lawns!

“It wouldn’t work,” I argued. “Way too political and why get people angrier than they already are?”

Miss D thought a moment. “Even if we didn’t have orange elephants and got rid of the yellow pompadour toupees?” she asked.

“No!” I answered in capital letters.“Jackass,” she screamed.“That’s not good either,” I responded. “Then the Democrats would get mad.”

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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