Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

a rather bizarre post that may make you question your previous assumptions about me

If you mention firemen around me and Marek you may notice our eyes lighting up. Its a rather odd passion to have, but I'm sure others have stranger. We have also bought a flat on a road that has a fire station at the end of it, so it's all turned out rather neatly.

We like firemen.

When Marek was young he wanted to be a fireman. Actually, deep down he probably still does. I think the combination of saving people and driving around in a big red truck with ladders and hoses was just very attractive to him... which I can totally understand. If you think about it, all that garb firemen have to wear makes them look just a little bit silly, but you wouldn't laugh at a fireman. You might wave at one (indeed I was known for doing exactly that whenever fire engines rushed past me during my university days), but laugh at one? Oh, no. They command respect.

We had an auction of promises at my primary school once and a few of us won an afternoon at a fire station. We got to check out the fire engines, slide down the pole and look at the control room. The firemen showed us how they store all their stuff so they can grab it quickly, and demonstrated how they put on their protective clothes inside the fire engine en-route to the fire. A fire was reported while we were there and for some reason I got to keep the little slip of paper that contained all the details. It stayed on my pinboard for a couple of years, untidy typing with an address and how many reports had been received, getting more brown and wrinkled over time until it was thrown out.

The ringing bells and sense of emergency was very exciting when I was seven, and maybe that's where this all started. Now, when the firemen leave from the bottom of the road, sirens blaring, Marek and I exchange smiles. If he can't be out there saving people, and I can't be out there waving at them, at least they are out there putting out the fires.

We're admiring them from a distance.

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