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Summer Camp-y When it comes to seasonal silliness, pink flamingos have plenty of company

It's summertime, and the pinwheels are spinnin', the ice cream is drippin' and the swim trunks are slippin'.

Silliness heats up this time of year, when the living is easy and even the most dignified soul on the block feels free to joyfully clod around in flip-flops.

And there's plenty of silliness to go around. Think about it.

Summer gadgets are silly, even when they are useful: Neon-colored personal fans. Crazy straws. Misters. Floating coolers. Corn-on-the-cob holders shaped like pigs or golf balls.

Garden decor is silly: Wacky bird statuary. Mooning gnomes. Stepping stones that read "Weeds for sale. Pick your own."

And that's not all.

Summer fashion is silly: Baggy swim trunks in splashy prints. Big plastic purses. Floppy straw hats with faux flowers. And Crocs -- especially the ever-popular original style the New York Times recently described as "the big, $30 clown shoe with lots of holes."

Now those are silly. Or goofy, if you prefer.

And don't even get us started on summer songs.

Just because something is silly does not mean it's not useful, fun or decorative, however. It can be those things. But it's silly, too.

Looking for more silly? Then put down your boondoggle, unpack your chair-in-a-bag, grab a slushee and read on.

What's silly?

* Kids in swimming goggles. Got the picture? Add a soggy swimsuit and a popsicle mustache and, well, we're talking hilarious here.

* Dogs playing in the spray of sprinklers or garden hoses. Shake. Shake. Shake.

* Jell-O Jigglers.

* Slip 'N Slides. Water balloons. Bubble blasters. Yes, summer toys are always silly.

* Beach towels for two. Sure, they might come in handy, but oversized beach towels are just one example of the bigger-is-better summer creed. There are plenty of others. Jumbo water bottles. Mega-size pinwheels. Super-size hammocks. Super-soakers almost as big as the kids wielding them.

* Buying a frozen treat from Mr. Softee when you have a freezer full of ice cream. Now that's a silly thing to do, but we do it.

* Kids and drippy ice cream cones.

* Lawn sprinklers shaped like frogs and other animals.

* Doormats with flip-flop patterns on them. Or door mats that read "Wipe your paws."

* Blue ices, slushees and other drinks that stain your tongue and lips. Freaky.

* Plates and trays shaped like Hawaiian shirts.

* Kids doing the crab walk in wading pools.

* Candy necklaces.

* Fake palm trees in the back yard -- illuminated at night.

* Dunk tanks.

* People trying to set their sprinklers without getting drenched.

* The look on people's faces after they get drenched by their sprinklers.

* Colored sunscreen. We're not kidding. TBP4Kids is a bright-colored sunscreen made just for kids. Colors include Jupiter Jelly (bright purple), Saturn Sludge (bright green), Martian Mud (bright orange). SPF: 20. Cost: $10 a tube. Check them out at

* Lawn games.

* Any garden statuary that spouts water from its mouth.

* Battery-operated personal fans and fan misters -- dangling on a cord around the neck.

* Kids walking around the back yard wearing flippers.

* Colored mulch.

* Umbrella drinks.

* Sea gulls circling above while you're eating a hot dog.

* Toe rings.

* Portable daiquiri makers on the beach.

* Drive-ins.

* Adults participating in kids' sports. Example: A team called Bankers Gone Wild playing in an adult kickball league.

* Outdoor vinyl table clothes on windy days.

* Camping out in your own backyard.

* Goofy fly swatters. You know, the ones decorated with hands or ladybugs.

* Sunglasses for dogs.

* Any garden ornament that moves -- a bird with flying wings, for example.

* Potato sack races.

And, finally, camp songs.

Consider this ditty: "Mary Mac's mother's making Mary Mac marry me. My mother's making me marry Mary Mac. Well I'm going to marry Mary for when Mary's taking care of me. We'll all be feeling merry when I marry Mary Mac . . ."

Or something like that.


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