Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Friday, June 30, 2006

Dateline Normal: On Firetrucks: Size Makes a Difference-----FICTION

With all the construction in town, and with all the folks getting their camping gear and boating stuff ready and heading out of town, my thoughts turned to where exactly I would spend the 4th of July.

Curious as to what would be happening up in Normal, Mn., I called Herman, my old countryboy lawyer friend, who also sat on the Normal School Board, and just blurted out my question. "Herman, What have you guys got on the program for the 4th up there?"

Herman just let out a huge belly laugh.

"Wolfman, (that's what he always called me), we are having our annual Fire Truck Parade on the 4th. Every fire truck from 100 miles is coming to town. It will be fabulous. There will be at least five fire trucks coming."

"That's nothing," I replied. "We have that many right here in Evansville. And we have a huge fire station to be built to house more of them. How about that?"

Herman just laughed.

"Well the real deal is that we only had one fire in the last five years up here. We have the most fire trucks relative to our size in the whole country. That is the key thing. How many fires did you have.?

"I'm not sure, Herman. They never even talk about fires. It's all about the trucks."

"That is the point precisely, Wolfman. It never IS about the fires. In real life, when you are young, the hot guys have the loud mufflers. All the young girls know this. Later when those hot guys get old, the guys with the biggest fire trucks and fire stations are the hottest. Listen up, Wolfman. "

"Do you mean it has nothing to do with public safety?"

"YUP" Herman laughed. "Now you get it."

I got off the phone quickly. Thank goodness I am back in good old Wisconsin. Where we have cheese to make us stand out, and not just fire trucks. Where we have a lot of candy to throw out on the street on the 4th and where all the hot folks have beer as well as large fire trucks to celebrate with.

I have to admit though. I do wonder how many fire runs we have. And also what the growth rate of fires is. It must be over the 26% of the Smart Growth Plan if we are getting more and more fire trucks. Wow. We must have a real big fire problem.

But then maybe Herman is right. Maybe it IS the size of the fire truck or the station that is important.