Today, my Dad, AKA Wonk, makes his almost debut appearance. Insurance salesman by day, water commissioner by night, Wonk has a flare for getting others into shape. As children we were told to “drink water” with any ailment that presented itself. Had we stubbed or toes or broken our legs, a solid eight-ounce glass of H20 would fix us right up.*
In his quest to make the world as semi motivated as possible, Wonk volunteers his Wednesday afternoons to teach PE. It’s for a small Christian school where accreditation is moot, and Wonk just happens to have a degree in movement and hydration techniques. Like a true millennial, decades before his time, he outsources his passion for not being under the government’s thumb.
While he was on said teaching sprees, I volunteered as fill-in phone answerer. Though it wasn’t so much as a position as it was just being nice. I only did it because he is my Dad – which is how I assume he feels about each of my 10 moves. Dads are great at maneuvering couches.
The Main Event
During these three-ish hours at Wonk’s office, I would work my own job for as long as the stolen Internet would allow, and take intermittent messages. Generally customers wanted instant insurance or to pay by exact change – but never both. In between writing out receipts and explaining logic, I enjoyed an added source of entertainment: the Fire Department across the street.
I know what you’re thinking, but there were no hunky, shirt-less men chugging milk. They were just regular joes with a large patio and unlimited free time. (If someone’s willing to rescue cats and maneuver thousands of water pressure, who am I to judge on stature?)
Wonk’s office is roughly 250 years old, meaning it’s one of those old buildings with windows from the ceiling to the almost-floor. That means ample viewing space for elderly ladies on walks, children crashing bikes, and to the bored firemen.
Each week they’d invented a new activity or impractical pastime. Maybe they were changing oil in the rain, despite ample garage space. Maybe they were buffing their trucks – fire and personal. They may have set up their tiny house and set it on fire, multiple times. Sure it was for a children’s field trip, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be tested 15-17 times first. Or perhaps they were setting up targets on cones and shooting them off with their fire hoses – a personal favorite. Each week was a fire-less, danger-less adventure.
I know actual fires need putting out, but few seemed to occur Wednesdays between 2:30 and 5:15 pm CST. Whether fate or lack of arson, I’m sure these highly trained men appreciate the break.
*When my sister – the sibling who didn’t announce each bruise or cut – ignored symptoms of 103-degree fevers, she got actual medical treatment.