Its really rough being a fireman when you take the name literally. You’re not supposed to set yourself on fire, man.
This reminds me of a job I had for about five minutes before I was let go for breeding pigeons on the roof, and letting them use the bathroom for their poo parties. The poo parties weren’t my idea; I simply noticed that the pigeons pooped a lot, and liked frightening the incontinent. The bathroom was an ideal spot to keep them when they weren’t soaring above the Denny’s parking, defecating on everything that dared stray within a one-mile radius of their poo headquarters.
Before I digress so far into my own bottom that I lose all sense of direction, I should explain that I did indeed have a job. They gave me money, and everything. I was desperately in need of some cash, so I could continue purchasing and breeding pigeons, so I took up a menial job at the local grease trap. Before I was unceremoniously fired, we had to go through a lot of safety drills and other pointless exercises. I especially disliked the fire drills, because we’d all be instantly engulfed in a grease-fueled inferno if there was a fire. I didn’t really see the point in pretending that we could do anything about our inevitable demise, so I never paid attention.
One day the fire marshal came into the restaurant, and instead of ordering everything on the menu with extra dipping sauce, he asked us all to accompany him outside. Personally, I was very torn by the whole situation. I didn’t want to work, but at the same time, doing another fire drill would have completely stripped me of the single shred of sanity I still posses. Although I didn’t have any qualms with the people I worked with, or the fire marshal himself, I would have unleashed a biblical reckoning on the surrounding countryside out of spite. It would have been on the news for weeks.
However, things were a bit different this time around. As we walked to the parking lot, I noticed that the marshal’s normal stack of safety brochures had been replaced by a large, flaming saucepan.
The fire marshal turned around and addressed us. “Today, we’re going to demonstrate proper usage of a standard fire extinguisher.”
It’s at this point that I stopped listening.
“A fire extinguisher is a very simple device. Simply pull the pin out like a hand grenade, point the nozzle at the base of the flames, and depress the handle.”
Still not listening.
“I’m sure you’ve all seen someone use one of these before, so I don’t need to show you. Before you get back to work, I want all of you to take turns putting out the fire, so you get some real, hands-on experience.”
I wonder where I can get a hat like that?
“Charlie! I haven’t seen you in a while, how have you been? How’s the family? Is your mother doing well? You haven’t been starting any fires, right? It’s been a while since she’s called me about your little habit. Don’t worry, don’t judge. Boys will be boys, and all. Here, you’ve gotta try this out before I let you get back. Just give it a whirl and I’ll let you go.”
I was abruptly brought back to reality. Before I had time to defend myself I had a fire extinguisher in my hands and I was standing over the burning saucepan. Instinctively, I pointed the nozzle at the fire, but nothing happened. The fire piddled along, and I looked like a bit of an idiot, which is nothing new.
“Remember, Charlie? Like a hand grenade.”
In a moment of clarity, I noticed that I forgot to pull the pin, and murmured, “Yeah — hand grenade. That’s the ticket.”
So I pulled the pin, threw the fire extinguisher at the burning saucepan, and ran back into the restaurant. Needless to say I wasn’t asked to participate in any fire-safety seminars after that.
Author’s note: they came back for another round after extinguishing their burning loins. This time went much smoother for the firefighters, but they cheated a little.