Sometimes there's only one thing that can express the feelings in your
heart: fifty plastic lawn flamingos, left surreptitiously on someone's
lawn in the dead of night. As far as can be documented, this classic
method of expression started in a Chicago suburb in 1991 when twin
brothers Rick and Ralph Fazio decided to decorate the lawn of a cousin
using dozens of flamingos they had stolen as teens from homes in Parma,
Ohio. The next day, a passerby offered the brothers $50 to do the same
for one of his friends, and a business, Flamingo Surprise, was started.
Five years later, Alamedans Kerry Hargraves and Armand Sutton convinced
the Fazios to teach them the business and license them the Flamingo
Surprise business name. Since then, the couple has moved the business
to Oakland and expanded to penguins, dinosaurs, frogs, cows, bats, and
more. But, of course, nothing beats flamingos.