Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Bad things DO happen in threes!

Three highly upsetting things happened to me in short order this evening.

As I approached my building, I saw six fire trucks, one with a ladder going to my roof. Terrified, I ran the two blocks to my building, where I stopped a fireman who was climbing into his truck and told him I live here and asked him what was going on. "Nothing," he grunted as if I was really imposing on him. "There's no fire."

Well it certainly didn't look like nothing. There was a hose, and water on the sidewalk, and over 20 fire fighters. Though none of them (the hose included) seemed to be actually doing anything. "So, I can go in then?"

"Yeah."

I asked a civilian who was standing and watching, and he said in broken English, "There was fire!" Okay then.

So in I went, where I smelled no smoke and saw no water. My building is actually four small-ish units that share an exterior but have separate entrances and don't connect at all on the inside, so this didn't seem all that strange. So I went upstairs and dropped my stuff off and then headed back out to run the errands I'd been about to run when I saw the trucks.

By now the ladder was down and the trucks were down to five. The guys were standing in groups and chatting, and several (ironically, I though) were smoking. None took the slightest notice of my attempts to get their attention. I finally rudely interrupted a loud conversation to ask what had happened. "Small stove fire," the man explained, making the universal finger gesture for "wee." Six trucks for a small stove fire? I realize overkill is better than underkill (underlive?) in these situations, but six trucks??? I think if my entire building were ablaze it wouldn't take six trucks. What really gets me is how quickly I went from terror at losing my home and all my possessions to irritation at how rude the firemen were to me.

Clearly, this story could have had a much worse ending, but the next two can be taken at face value....

On my way into the not-burning building I'd picked up my mail, where there was a completely undisguised ad for porn. Normally I wouldn't be embarrassed by this at all, but given my history with my insane, prying mailman, I shudder to think of what I'm in for now.

Finally, most terrifying of all, I went to Rite Aid, where, next to the dregs of Christmas gift wrap, the Valentine's Day stuff is out! UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!

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