Preparing for a Fire Fight


Men take little time to get ready for a night out.  There is less pressure.  You’re not really taking any risks with a button down and jeans.  It just needs to fit, kind of.  The majority of time spent picking out an outfit isn’t to ensure it is stylish.  We’re just trying to find something that is clean, relatively, and not so wrinkled that it makes us look like a raisin.  The mirror is used for shaving for a few minutes each day, but otherwise at most used to see if I still have a face or that I don’t look really sick.  For women, there’s more variety of dress to choose from and importance on being trendy.  Expectations seem to be higher.  Plus, makeup can be involved, which I won’t pretend to know the effort, skill, time required.

Preparing for a Fire Fight

A loud, persistent bell rings.  A firefighter slides down a pole with his pants and suspenders on.  He runs over to his locker and puts on his coat, boots, and helmet.  He holds his ax over his shoulder.  Other firefighters descend the pole, dress accordingly, and head out.  The first firefighter to descend, Charlie, remains waiting by the pole leaning on his ax for support as it stands on the ground.

Charlie (yelling up towards the hole in the ceiling with the fire pole): Olivia we have to go!

Olivia (upstairs and out of view to Charlie):  Why are we getting there so early?

Charlie: I really don’t want to have this conversation again right now.

Olivia: It’s never fun to get there before things are really on fire.

Charlie: Can we talk about this later?

Olivia: No, we are going to talk about this right now.  I am so tired of house fires.  We only respond to house fires.  What about something downtown?  We never go downtown.

Olivia slides down the fire pole in her pants and suspenders.

Olivia: We are trapped in the suburbs.  It’s suffocating.  Do you like my new fire pants?

There is a pause.

Charlie: They’re great.

Olivia: You paused!  You hate them don’t you?  I have to go change.  This is your fault.  This is on you.

Charlie: There’s no time.  I promised we would go fight this fire.

Olivia: Well, you need to stop giving out your number.  Everyone everywhere knows 911.  You need to be able to say no.  It’s not healthy.

Charlie: Let’s please argue later.

Olivia:  When is later going to be?

Charlie: The first free moment we have when a building is not on fire.

Olivia: Fine.  Help me find my oxygen tank.

Charlie: Did you check your locker?

Olivia: Of course I checked my locker.  You think I wouldn’t have thought of that already?

Olivia rolls her eyes.

Charlie: Here just use one of my extra oxygen tanks.

Olivia: No, I want to use my oxygen tank.

Charlie and Olivia scour around for a few minutes for her oxygen tank.

Olivia: Found it.

Charlie: Where was it?

Olivia: My locker.

Charlie looks like he is about to say something but contains himself.

Olivia: Let’s go then.

Charlie: Great, we are meeting Fire Station 9 out there.

Olivia: You know I hate that fire department.

Charlie: Since when?

Olivia: Last Thursday.  They said our fire ladder was short.  Do you even listen?

Charlie looks at his watch.

Charlie: At this point, it’s not even worth going.

Olivia: That’s a shame.  It may have not seemed like it, but I was really excited about going.


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