Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fireman Fiasco

I love firemen, and most of my girlfriends know this. So last week after happy hour when my friend A and I were walking her dog Turbo and came across a stray Rottweiler, she suggested we take it to the fire station down the road so I could get my fireman fix. I was game.

Now along with my love of firemen, I should also mention my crazy bad luck when it comes to men in general. I don't know what it is, but between bad dates and the, "he's just not that into you" scenarios I encounter, me + men is an equation that never seems to balance out (math analogy FTW!). So it really shouldn't have been a surprise that her well-intentioned plan backfired, even though it was. A surprise, I mean. Nevertheless, what happened instead was still pretty funny, so I thought I would share it here.

While A wrangled the Rot, I took Turbo back to her apartment and got a spare leash. The plan was to ask the firemen if they could call the police or animal control for us because we accidentally got "locked" out of her apartment. When we got to the station, we debated about where to enter. A suggested the garage where they keep the firetrucks since the door was open, but I thought it would be better to go around front to the office instead of just barging all up in their firehouse like we were their BFFs. So we walked around to the front and found the entrance to the office. A stayed outside with the Rot while I went in.

There was no office. When I opened the door, I was greeted by a twin bed directly in front of me, a living area (with a bangin' flat screen TV) to my left, and about six pairs of eyes staring at me over dinner at the kitchen table just beyond. I had just barged all up in their firehouse like I was their BFF. The following exchange went a little something like this:

Me (trying to be cool-as-a-cucumber and failing miserably): "Hi...sorry to barge in here, friend and I found a stray dog and we were wondering if you could call animal control or something since we're locked out of her apartment..."

Them: ::crickets chirping::

Awkward, to be sure. I just knew they saw right through the whole, "we're locked out of the apartment" lie, but after a few seconds (that felt like a few hours), the middle-aged white guy at the table nodded to a short, Hispanic kid who looked to be about sixteen (just my luck). The kid hopped up from the table, and I took care to hold the door open for him, like that simple act of courtesy would show that I was really a decent person, not some weird girl who went around to fire stations making up stories just so she could ogle the cute firemen. Which I was, but they didn't need to know that. After about a minute or so of holding the door open, I was thinking that it was taking that kid quite along time to come out and get the show on the road, when he emerged--along with the other five guys who decided to abandon their dinner for the time being because this was the most action that sleepy fire station had seen all day (that was my theory, anyway).

The group of us walked over to A and the Rot, and a few of the guys commented on how the stray must have had a home because it had a collar and looked to be well taken care of. We explained we thought so too, but when we found it, we didn't see anybody wandering around who might be looking for a lost dog. The Rot was by itself. After a few more seconds of chatting, one of the firemen who was inside on the phone with the police station (who was the captain, I later learned) asked for "one of the ladies" to come inside. Since A was with the Rot, I went inside. And this was where the plan backfired: A was outside, talking to the firemen, while I was inside with the middle-aged captain who was dialing numbers, trying to help us figure out what to do with the dog. The captain was nice, and I definitely appreciated him trying to help, but like I said, he was also middle-aged and not cute, so the wait for him to get off the phone with the verdict as to how to handle the situation was mind-numbingly boring for me. And when he did tell me the verdict, it was more bad luck: since we couldn't find the dog's owner, one of us would have to take the dog and wait for animal control to call. It couldn't stay at the fire station because if the guys got called out, it would be left alone. It couldn't stay at A's because she already had a dog, and although the Rot seemed friendly enough, she wasn't sure how friendly it would be with her dog. That only left one other option: I would have to take the dog.

So to recap: I didn't really get to talk with any of the firemen because I was inside with the captain, giving him as much information as I could so he could help us, and it looked like I would be stuck having to take the stupid Rot home temporarily. Just. My. Luck. The captain gave animal control my phone number and sent A and I on our way with animal control's after-hours number and good luck well-wishes. Then it was over. The firemen went back to their dinner, and A and I were alone with my new four-legged companion.

We ended up finding the owner. He was walking around with a leash and a dog biscuit, and was very grateful that we found and returned Miles, his Rot. So while I didn't end up having to take the dog home with me, and I didn't get to talk to any firemen, A and I wound up with a good story to tell, which was better in the end. And hey--there's a fire station in my neighborhood, so there's always another opportunity for me to make up a story just to ogle some firemen.

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