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6:12 a.m. - 2004-10-07

LET ME STAND NEXT TO YOUR FIRE ... TRUCK


Because you've asked for it ... you've begged for it ... you've promised me your first born for it ... I now present to you ... the only reason I like my wife's job at the large home improvement store ...

... When they have a huge sale, she's the first to find out about it and take advantage of it.

Yesterday, they started their "85% Off Furniture Sale".

Yes ... you pay 15% of the retail price on furniture.

We went a tad bit crazy.

We bought this huge entertainment center for the den, a buffet table for the dining room, two large bookcases for Andrew's playroom, a stand-alone pantry for the kitchen and this gorgeous computer desk to replace the cheap piece of shit that I've been using for the last nine years. It was the last one available in the store and is a floor model, but it was up high on a shelf and nobody's really messed with it so it's in perfect condition.

And we spent about $300 on it all.

That includes assembly and delivery of all the items.

With that said ... here is the MAIN reason I HATE my wife's job at the large home improvement store.

She hires complete morons to work there so that when somebody buys the LAST gorgeous computer desk the day before we decided to buy it, nobody is smart enough to put a "Sold" sign on it.

So the desk, the one thing I really wanted ... is no longer mine.

I should probably look on the bright side of things ... I got awesome deals on five other items.

But I reeeeeeally wanted that computer desk.

And plus ... when have I ever been renowned for looking at the bright side of things anyway?



I was the best Daddy in the world yesterday and went to accompany Andrew's class on their walk to the fire station.

I expected every kid to have a parent in tow.

I was the ONLY parent who showed up.

Which means that I was the teacher's assistant in trying to corral 10 3 year-olds on a four block walk.

It wasn't all that hard since the kids know that anytime they leave the classroom, they have to hold hands and form this big awkward line to walk.

I don't see how they walk like that ... one arm in front of them holding someone's hand, and one arm in back of them holding another hand.

I got to hold the coveted "Stop" sign that I brandished proudly every time we had to cross a street to keep cars from ramming into these kids.

The major problem we had during the walk were these kids' shoes would just mysteriously pop off their feet.

This happened six times on the way back. One little girl had both her shoes come off.

The first time I was all "Oh. A kid lost their shoe."

By the fifth time, I saw it as an omen of the apocalypse. There's no way in hell your sneakers can just pop right off your feet that much.

And if it was just one kid, I could chalk up the matter to a kid being forced to wear clown shoes to school.

But four different kids lost their shoes.

There was something bigger going on here, but I just can't put my finger on it.

When I solve the mystery, you'll be the first one to know.



The actual trip to the fire station was uneventful.

First, the firefighters talked to the kids like they were Rhodes Scholars.

"Who here knows their address?" one firefighter asked.

The kids had no idea what an address is. Most of them have only recently mastered the art of picking their noses.

Then he tells them all that whenever there's trouble, they should call 911.

Which ... you know ... is true and all.

But a kid's idea of "trouble" is quite different from a policeman's idea of "trouble".

To a kid ... if he's having trouble getting his Hot Wheel out from under the couch by himself .... BOOM!

Call 911.

I thought it might be a good idea to get one of Andrew's play phones and show him how to call 911 when we got home.

But then I figured he'd eventually grab the real phone, dial 911 and start babbling about Thomas the Tank Engine to the dispatcher and we'd end up getting shot by a cop with no patience for dumbass kids.

At the end of the tour, the kids got to see the actual fire truck and were invited to sit in the front if they wanted to.

None of them wanted to.

I guess after being told of the dangers of fire, hearing loud alarms being triggered for their amusement and seeing photos of third-degree burn victims in hospital beds ... they were a wee bit hesitant on climbing into the fire truck.

In fact, a few of them cried when they saw the truck and its flashing lights.

(The kids ... not the firefighters)

Those insensitive firefighting bastards!

On the walk back, all the kids admitted that they had fun, even the ones who were bawling at the sight of the fire truck.

Then again ... any time they can get out of their stifling classroom, I guess it can be chalked up to fun.


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