Fivers and dimes with tenners on a song. Fistballs running through the hall. The alarm is off, on, off, on. It's quite vocal this morning. The fire leads to smoke leads to the outside. And we're out. The Shriners in their fezzes come soon after. Not enough blankets for the children, but we'll get them theirs. They always come first. The flames entertain the classroom for the rest of the day.
It's a small town in a small town. The fire engine is late onto the scene, but we don't care. The dentist can only do so much with a can of nitrous and a hand full of floss. At least the fire speaks to the crowd. Crackle. Hiss. "I'll tumble for you," says the support, the ceiling and the rest of the first floor. The caterer is already setting up shop, selling their marshmallow fluff and freshly broken sticks. You can still taste the dirt and grit. That's the genuine brown & sticky. Trademark.
When Dr. Starling does arrive he looks around for the hose. It's across the street and he has to bribe Mrs. Langton in order to make use of it. She's not instantly cooperative, but when he throws in a free year's check up on her little Pomeranian, Camelot, it's all out with the water snake.
It's a one man band with Dr. Starling. He flips over his kettle drums and fills them to the brim. Problem them is trying to haul it back across the street in order to dump out over the burning building. Which, because he loves the deep boom, takes quite a while. "Don't touch it!" he says. Of many things. And today, of the upside down drums.
By now the building is no more than a pile of almost charcoal. It's another few smouldering hours, days even, before it's ready.
The company pays well.
Written on Sunday, 10 February 2013