Monday, August 07, 2006

3 Stories

Know Thy Phobias

Shift change at the firehouse. An eventful day where news of the new hires are being shared with everyone present. It's a firehouse: the news includes gossip. Nine men -- only because women in this profession are still hard to come by and the fledglings won't be hired for another 18 months in this particular instance -- round out the classroom/living room quarters, coffee in hand. Some smell rancid from a trash bin fire at two a.m. The stupids are still in town - classes aren't out at the university for another six weeks. Others smell of Ivory, Irish Springs and a collection of after shaves.
"Rumor has it," someone's voice rises above the din. "One of our newbies is a homophobe."

The din rises into a clatter that causes some mental frustration for those trying to sort things out, including one particular member whose face is creased into a downwards V. Heavy thought. He remains silent as he waves his hand up over his head and leaves the bay, homeward bound.
His wife, retired, greets him with another cup of coffee. This one he drinks. It's fresh, hot, brewed just the way he likes it. She slides three flapjacks onto a plate, adds two eggs, easy-over and three strips of crisp bacon alongside and carries it over to the small table seated in the bay window overlooking the neatly groomed back lawn. He sits down in front of it, slides the napkin from out under the fork and settles it on his lap before he slaps a pat of butter between each pancake and drowns it all in the Log Cabin maple syrup.
"The new hires were announced this morning," he tells her.

"Oh? Anything good?" She asks as she begins washing the dishes.

"Hard telling," he replies loud enough for her to hear over the slosh of water and clank of pans.

"Seems I've lost track of all the new ones," she says. There's a moment of silence as she continues to clean up after herself. She tops off his coffee and returns to the counter where she fills a mug for herself.

"What's 'homophobe'?" He asks. She thinks for a moment.

"Isn't that where the person is afraid to come out of the house?"
The next morning he returns to the station, puts his gear in on his bunk and crosses the bay into the living room/classroom and then into the large kitchen. It's the largest of all the stations, one that he enjoys as he thinks of himself as a good cook. No one has the courage to tell him differently -- they've come to the conclusion he's wired a bit differently. The eight men are once again discussing the new hires. He pipes up as he cradles his wife's brew in his hand.

"I've been thinking a lot about this one guy, the one who's a homophobe," he says.

Everyone's head swivels towards him, waiting for what he'll say. Some exchange looks. "Just what could possibly be a problem?" they seem to be saying.

"What was the chief thinking hiring someone who has a hard time leaving his home? Isn't this going to be a problem when we have a call to go out on?" He said.

The laughter erupted, filling the kitchen as it streamed out into the classroom and leaked into the bays.
Later that afternoon a battalion chief who happened to have overheard his comments pulled him aside. "For your information, agraphobia is being afraid to come out of the house. Homophobia is someone who is uncomfortable being around people who are openly homosexual."


Chain of Unfortunate Events

An officer received a call requesting emergency response to a home in his beat. When he arrived at the modest two-bedroom home, he was greeted by a young, harried yet still nice looking woman whom immediately escorted him into the master bedroom.

Being a rookie, he was a bit taken aback by the events. He had heard about badge bunnies and the extents to what they'd go to in an effort to get uniformed officers into their lair -- he just hadn't been expecting this. He shored himself up, standing straighter as he made a note of where his radio was - just in case. She continued on into the master bathroom where a man lay sprawled out on the floor with nothing more than a towel wrapped around his waist.

Immediately he kneeled down next to the victim and felt for a pulse. It was there, strong and steady. He next bent forward to check to hear the man's breathing. It seemed to be fine. He drew out his notepad and turned it to a fresh, blank page.

"What happened?" He asked the woman. She nodded with her wide open blue eyes. "Pretty," he thought. "But not my type."

"My husband was taking a shower when he noticed a puddle of water forming outside on the floor. He got out and wrapped the towel around him as he set about looking for the cause of the water. He tracked it to the wall over here," she moved over to where a sink and cabinet stood, the door beneath open with water standing in a pool at the bottom. "And he was inside looking around when our cat, a large tabby, came prowling in. I would have never believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself, but Jangles, that's the cat, crouched down and slowly moved towards him. Had I any idea of what he was about to do, I would have stopped him. I honestly thought he saw something below the cabinet, like a mouse or something which would have explained the hole in the wall that my husband was looking at. It happened so fast..." she gasped, fighting back the tears. He urged her on as he jotted down notes. She took a slow breath, held it momentarily then let it out even slower.

"The cat pounced and scratched his... well, you know... his..."

"Testicles?" The officer said as he chewed the insides of his cheeks to keep from bursting out in laughter. She nodded with a sad, forlorn look on her face.

"Exactly. He was so surprised," she continued.

"And probably in a lot of pain at that point," the officer interjected. She nodded.

"That he bounced up, only he was still under the sink and smacked his head up underneath. The next thing I knew, he was knocked out, cold."

"Well, we'll get him to the emergency room and get him treated right away, ma'am," the officer said as he quickly exited the room under the pretense of guiding the medics into the house even though the real reason was to keep from laughing in front of the wife.

It wasn't until the medics had the still unconscious man loaded up on a stretcher and were carrying him out to the ambulance that the full story was related to them by the officer while the wife was busy inside getting her belongings and locking up before following them to the hospital.

The medics got to laughing so hard that the patient fell off the gurney.

Just imagine the surprise and horror when the man woke up in the hospital suffering from scratched balls, a concussion and a broken arm! Damn, that's one big cat!



There was green alligators and long necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees...
"The Unicorn" by S. Silverstein

Two engines were dispatched to a call involving a rider thrown from a horse. When they finally located the injured rider out in the middle of a field inaccessible to the engines, the firefighters began assessing the patient's injuries.

"What happened?" Asked a captain.

"Well, I was riding back towards the stable when Grey, the mare I was riding, reared up. I tried to stay on but seemed to have lost my hold when I was thrown. She was probably spooked by a field mouse or something," he offered. "I think I may have hit the horn with my thigh when I got tossed."

As the crew worked through their assessment and started to make the arrangements to get the victim out of the field to the awaiting ambulance, the newbie of the group was standing there surveying the horizon.

"Tulson!" The captain barked. The newbie shook his head and stared at the captain.

"That's the third time I called your name, what's gotten into you? We need the gurney."

"Sorry, cap," the newbie apologized. "I was just looking for the horse. I've never seen one with a horn before."

Everyone, including the rider, broke out in laughter much to the newbie's chagrin.

"The 'horn' referred to isn't a part of the horse's anatomy," the captain said. "It's part of the saddle."

"Oh!" The newbie blushed. "And here I thought I'd actually get to see a unicorn."

(c) Kathie L./kathie.blog/2006
All Rights Reserved
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3somes for the week
August 6 - 12, 2006