With my classes running every afternoon and evening, Monday to Friday, I’ve discovered the joys of grocery shopping on weekday mornings. There’s no better time to get it done. Produce piled high for the picking, supermarket staff fresh and cheerful, and near-empty aisles — nobody there but me, the seniors…and the firemen.
My favourite grocery store is kitty corner to the neighbourhood fire station, so by now it’s no surprise to find a fleet of firemen there, in full uniform, with crackling radios on their belts and market baskets in hand, doing this most homely and mundane of chores. One time they received a call in the middle of their shopping and had to drop everything and run. I looked at the deli counter lady and we smiled at each other.
“I love firemen,” I said.
I really do love firemen – from the time I was a kid. Just ask my mother. I loved watching any TV show or movie that featured firemen. I still do. Third Watch,Backdraft, Ladder 49 —I’ve seen ’em all. A few years ago, the World Fire and Police Games were held in Vancouver: it was heaven! The city never felt safer.
Don’t get me wrong — I never wanted to date or marry a fireman and I don’t ogle firemen calendars. I just like the whole idea of firemen, and the knowledge that if you are ever in any kind of trouble, you can call them and they will come and help you. I guess that to me, they are the real-life, every day embodiment of my childhood hero, Superman.
Today there were three of them in the produce section, wondering aloud what to buy “for the salad this weekend.” I hope they were able to get everything they needed without getting a call.
Thank you, guys, for everything you do!