They are awful. I don't even like to call them firemen. I mean, really, how often do they find themselves fighting a fire vs. noodlin' around doing other stuff (accident run, false alarms, neatly folding hose, kitten in a tree, watching old Emergency reruns, goin' to the grocery)? Perhaps they should be called, uniformed cooks, official accident responders, or professional truck shiners? I donno, but fireman seems somewhat misleading and disingenuous to me.
And what kind of grown up, professional job actually allows you to have another full time job on the "side"? I mean, really now.
In all fairness and in the name of full disclosure, I have an admitted bias against the engine and ladder set. Why? Because everyone just fuckin' looooooooves a fireman, but you know who loves the po-po? That's right noooooobody. And guess who's parents were the po-po? So I'm already pissy at 'em from go. It's entwined in the helix of my DNA for heavens sakes. I can fight it no more than I can fight breathing.
I can not help it. When I see their big red rigs it's like a red cloth being waved in front of an irritable bull. The occasion to have one near me in person is just asking for a tussle. Again, I can't help myself, they bring it on themselves. Apparently, they seemingly own no clothes not bearing a FD logo. I guess I just figure, if you're gonna bait and taunt me with your stupid 'look at me - look at me/love me - love me' logo t-shirt then I'm left with no choice but to alert you to my disdain of you, ya know?
Sometimes it starts with a tongue being stuck out, as it did a couple of years ago on vacation at Cod (Cape for the uninitiated). My guy at the time and I were out at dinner with another couple and had the colossal misfortune of being seated next to a table of firemen. How'd I know? Because of course everyone of those fuckers had some blue t, sportin' some and the other fire logo. Assholes. Name any other job where folks wear their profession on their clothes during their off hours, always? ...See. You are already starting to come around to my way of thinkin'. Those guys are a lil' touched in the head. It's like they're not allowed to wear just some regular, unadorned shirt.
Anyhoo, one of those guys gets up heading to the men's room and by reflex I stick my tongue out at him. That's all. Nuthin' more. He walks on. My guy and the other guy in the mix inform me that I need to "be good" because there are seven of those fire eaters and just 2 of them, and under no circumstances will they be able to take the fire group if it comes to fisticuffs. I assure them that there will be no trouble. They continue to stew and look chicken shit. A bit later the eldest member of the fire table stops by our table, says hello, introduces himself as the Bat Chief of the local brigade, and asked how the guy who I stuck my tongue out to bothered me. My response was "with his mere existence". And then uttered the words, my folks were Officers. All the while all inhabitants of my table looking very, very worried, at which point Bat Chief laughs, shakes my hand and hangs out and jibber jabbers for a while.
Our table continues on with our meal, the guys looking particularly relieved that they will not be the victims of an overwhelmingly outmatched beat down. And then it starts. Each and every fireman who went to the men's room, or wherever during the course of our time there made a pit stop at our table and said "I'm sorry", apparently Bat Chief instructed them to apologize to me for being firemen. Frankly, it was awesome!! Like getting a little comeuppance for the inequity of their general public perception. Even they know it deep down! It ain't right. Score a little moment of justice for the good guys (the police, of course).
In addition to the irritating custom of wearing their job literally on their sleeves (chests, backs, whatthefuckever), they have a propensity for actually tatting their logos on their bodies. Again, really, hoss? I have dated four firemen, much to, particularly my father's dismay, and 3 of 'em had a fire tat. Now, I've dated a couple of IT guys, they seem to manage to live life without a computery Windows or Apple tat. Attorney guy had no lady justice etched on his epidermis. I don't know one officer who felt the need to tat a badge on his body. Fire guys are weird.
Ok, now I feel the need to defend myself. For the record, I have never sought out a fireman. Ever. I know, I know, most girls would knock their grandma down to get to a fireman, but I see it as something one overlooks, not seeks. It's a trait I put in the 'con' colum. I've tried my best to shoo them away from go by letting my feelings be known up front. But, I had some valid reasons for going into my la-la land of don't ask/don't tell about that and letting them in. One was a Marine who'd served in the Desert Storm. Marine good. So I just chose not to think of him as a fireman, but as the much more palatable Marine, who wasn't available every 48 hours. My last beau had been hurt on the job and had to medically retire out, so I liked to consider him as what his second career is and not a fireman, but you know...once a fireman... If you think I'm talkin' trash behind their backs, wrong. I've said way worse in front of their faces. ...And yet, they keep finding me. And keep stickin' around. Why? As the owl would say;
The world may never know...
Before you think that I'm an out and out bitch, (which you may already think from reading other entries, or by knowing me in real life, but either way, you're the one who's here, and so I'm left with only one thought: suck it.) I only hate firemen (and women, my feelings are all people fire included) 49%. I would never stand for any ol' Tom, Dick or Harry badmouthing them. Think of it as how you can talk about your sister, but if someone else talks about her there's gonna be trouble, type stuff. The fire service is kind like the slower, "special", less cool, kid brother of the police. I feel with my other 51% that these are stand up, well trained cats who see some horrible things and put their lives on the line to come screechin' up ready to run in and TCB when your good judgement has you running the hell outta there-- and that I respect.
And they do have a few good qualities. (Wait. What is that bad feeling I just had when I typed those words? Is this what an aneurysm feels like?!?) For instance, those crazy velcro pants. As much as I mock when fireman Marine shows up wearin' them, (think along the lines of "awwwww...your employer doesn't think you guys are smart enough to master a button") those suckers are kinda cool. And as much as I would never ever ever admit it to him, that turnout gear and when he smells a bit like ode du smoke, is strangely appealing. Plus, I know the difference between the engine and ladder. (overly simply, engine guys extinguish, ladder guys ventilate) And I know terms like "unit day". So there's that.
The only really awesome thing about fireguys that I like is Rescue Me. Wicked awesome show. The new season started last night. I have it DVR'd and can't wait to see it. I say it's one of the best shows on tv. There is plenty of hoosafudge (nonsense, non reality based stuff/story lines), but there is a lot of reality to it too, specifically in terms of the ball breakin' and got your back business between the characters. I highly recommend it.
...Now let's just keep that our lil' secret. If fireman Marine finds out I'll never hear the end of it. The last words I spoke to him were, "you look cute...well, except for that shirt." I gotta keep my 49% rep in tact.
Everyone loves Raymond. And firefighters. Except for me. I hate 'em both. (sticks tongue out)