In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo Excerpts



The first cruise we went on was a recommendation from a friend in Kathleen’s support group. She had a daughter with Down syndrome and said they took great care of her, made sure to include her in the ship’s activities. It was different with cruises, the friend had said. They have someone whose whole job is to make sure people mingle. 



Something’s wrong when I arrive at Fresh Us because Riley's at my table and he’s never at my table.

“Hi, Riley. That’s my station.”

Again, Riley says nothing back.

I go right away to tell Martha. She’s talking with Chef and they’re planning out today’s deliveries. Chef winks when he sees me. “Did you need something, Starr?”



The premise behind Bargain Basement! is that home owners get free labour on a finished basement and design advice from Matilda. She comes up with a plan for the space and gives the couple swatches and a list of items they need to achieve the look. Then they look at five high-end furnishings and, if they can stay under budget, they win some or all of them.



Jeremy drives his mom’s Lexus like he’s the one who bought it. He pulls up in front of our house, raises the volume on the radio and leaves the AC blasting. Waits to see if I’ll come out. Our neighbours, a retired white couple, rear up from their gardening. The woman is on the verge of asking him to stop idling the car. It’s twenty-eight degrees out, pre-humidex.