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Posts Tagged ‘fire’

I’ve been thinking about fire departments for awhile.  Here in the small towns of Pennsylvania most are local volunteer departments all sporting the name of ‘Alpha Fire’ something.  Watching television I noticed every station was also an ‘Alpha’ something which got me to thinking.  Is there a beta fire company?  Maybe the beta guys have to test all the new equipment and like everything these days the new stuff has bugs so it fails and the firefighters don’t last long.  Perhaps that is a secret that the fire administration people don’t want us to know about and that’s why we don’t hear about the beta fire company.  It’s only logical that if there is an alpha then there has to be a beta.  What about delta, is there a delta fire company?  Maybe if you have a small fire, say a toaster fire you can call 911 emergency and explain that you have a little fire so you don’t need the quickness and efficiency of alpha co.  Just send in the epsilon team.  There is no rush it’s just a toaster fire.  They can finish up their coffee, the scrabble game then if they are so inclined they can walk down the stairs, (I imagine only alpha and beta get fire poles) and mosey on over with the ole’ fashion truck and bucket brigade to deal with my toaster fire.  It’s all good.

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This past weekend my folks, one sister and my four-year old nephew were visiting from Canada.  It was also our 9th wedding anniversary, so we decided to have a little BBQ at our house, in all there were about 25 people and I think it is safe to say we all had a good time.  I lit a fire in the fire ring so we could make smores, the boy, (my nephew) was very interested in this process and pulled up a chair close to the fire,  he was making it quite clear in all his wiggling that he wasn’t overly comfortable. A co-worker/friend and I were standing off to the side where we overheard the following conversation between my sister, and her son. (who she calls in her blog, ‘the boy’)

My sister: walking up to my wiggling nephew and taking the seat beside him, “Boy are you okay?” 

Boy: “Yes”

“Boy you are wiggling around and can’t keep still, what is wrong?”

“My underpants are sticky”

His underpants were sticky because it was hot, and he was wearing long pants rather than shorts to protect him from mosquito bites. My friend went hysterical, he loved the honesty and simplicity of the answer.  Although we work together and see each other just about every day he clearly hasn’t been paying attention.  For my family such an answer is typical, even so I have to admit there was a poetic beauty about it, especially coming from a four-year old. 

Yesterday I was sitting in my office at work, my co-worker was in the other room helping out one of the technicians.  I always keep an ear open just in case there is something I need to deal with.  I heard the following conversation:

Technician: “Hey, what’s up?”

Co-worker: “My underpants are sticky!”

I almost died laughing.

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