Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm not a superhero...

I'm not a superhero, but I play one.

For the past I don't know how many years, I've endured great pain during Fire Prevention Week for the pleasure and education of Argonia Elementary's preschoolers and first graders. Donning the Fire Department's Fire Pup costume for a half hour at a time is not an easy thing. I have sweat profusely in the enclosed space of the Pup's head. The small personal fan blowing on my scalp seldom works as well as advertised. I have had kids step on my toes. The Pup's red fire boots do not have steal toes. Thankfully preschoolers aren't very heavy. I have had the hard hat supports dig into my scalp. That really hurts! I haven't bled yet, but I've had marks. My shoulders and neck have ached for hours after each episode. Try holding fifteen pounds on your head for a half hour, shrugging your shoulders up from time to time to relieve the pressure. You'll be sore too.

I know what you're thinking. Why does this whiner keep coming back? First, I have no where to hide. Fireman Stucky, the guy who heads up Fire Prevention Week activities, is lives right across the street from my office. He sees me walk in the front door of the church and quietly sneaks in and corners me. "Would you please be Fire Pup again?" Second, I have had a great time and have learned a thing or two every year. Mr. Stucky really connects with the kids. Third, I'm a sucker for little kids. They're fun...except when they tromp on your toes.

I "endured" this morning's visit. The strong northerly wind that's blowing down Main Street nearly knocked Fire Pup's head off when the truck pulled away from the station loaded with little ones. I guess it had been serving as a windblock. I kept my head, though, and waved back as 4- and 5-year-olds vigorously shouted their goodbyes. "Bye, Fire Pup!"

Ahhhhh, the reward comes to Argonia's (reluctant) fire-fighting canine superhero. 1:00 is just around the corner. First graders! Can't wait!

(More pictures later...maybe.)
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