Today I got to live out a childhood fantasy and ride in a fire truck. With the siren on.
Why did this come to pass?
For various reasons, first of which is that the universe obviously saw fit to grant me a fireman fantasy.
And obviously the universe thought my life was too boring.
Either that or I was cursed to live in interesting times.
My neighbours decided to get guys in to build a steel frame garage.
Four guys and a welding machine next to a split pole fence and dry African veldt is a recipe for certain disaster.
One minute I was quietly sitting on the porch wondering vaguely if I should make a move to fetch a young man from school and the next flames were leaping six feet into the air.
Me running inside: “Fire! Do we have a fire extinguisher?”
Me: “Because there is a fire! DO WE HAVE ONE?”
Husband emerged with the world’s smallest fire extinguisher.
Thanks to his emergency hose pipe arrangement we managed to keep the flames from licking too close to the house.
Young Padawan grabbed his most precious possession, his box of silkworms, and went to sit in the fish pond.
So while the Husband went to fetch our first born from school I played with the firemen from the Sandton Fire Department.
They seemed a little disappointed to arrive when we had most of the blaze somewhat under control.
Nonetheless I received a personal invitation to visit the station with all small people in tow.
Casually I asked the workmen if anyone had called the owner of the house.
Apparently not, because when he arrived I burst out with, “You missed all the fun!”
Neighbour: “What fun?”
Me: “I got to ride in a fire truck!”
Me: “Because of the fire!”
Neighbour: “What fire?”
Me: “The one that burnt down your garage, our fences and most of the property next door.”
He disappeared into the smog like the proverbial puff of smoke.
I wonder if the arsonists who set fire to things just to be able to call the firemen out?
I’ve regarded them as modern day superheroes since I was tiny and they arrived to put out a veldt fire behind my house.
In San Francisco I would take a two block detour to the Starbucks opposite the fire station to get my morning coffee along with most of the female population of the city.
Because at precisely 07:30 am the firemen would wash their trucks.
Oh and something to remember: If you need the fire department you have to call 10177 not 10111.
And here’s my soundtrack for the day: