Better not cry! Fire Truck Santa is coming to town!


I guess Santa has a lot more deliveries to make on the East Coast.  He has to get help from the local volunteer fire department these days to get him from house to house.  We didn’t have this on the West Coast where I grew up.   I’m not sure I like it.

I suppose this saves a little mileage on the Reindeer and all.  Everybody’s cutting back in this economy.

Santa drives by on the red fire engine strapped into a seat on the top and waiving.  Not the man he used to be swooshing across the skies  in an open sleigh.  Now his “elves” are firemen actually —  not even pretending to be real elves.  Just somebody’s dad from down the street.  They pass out a single candy cane or a can of stale Tootsie Rolls to anyone who comes out of their house and walks to the end of their driveway at the sound of the siren. 

In case you couldn’t hear the siren blocks away, the police car goes ahead and blasts that “honk, honk” sound that you also hear from the ambulance if you need to move your car over to the right because they’re on your tail and somebody needs to get more medical attention fast and you feel bad for the poor guy but you can’t move because the idiot in front of you doesn’t know he’s supposed to move because he has his ears plugged up with iPod earbuds and the moron in front of him is stuck in a jumble of other drivers vying for the guardrail in rush hour.   That honk.

When my son was about age 3, the fire chief was one of our neighbors.  When the fire alarm rang at the station the fire crew would drive down our street and blare their sirens to be sure the chief got the summons, woke up and hauled himself out to assist.   As you might imagine, this would awaken our son and he would begin to cry (in case we had not heard the sirens and did not haul ourselves out of bed to comfort him!).

I think if I was a very young child I would not like this neighborhood fire truck Santa visit thing.  Sirens are upsetting.  Sirens sound the alarm.   Alarms are alarming.  They’re not supposed to be soothing or welcoming!

Why can’t they get a recording of an authentic sounding Santa chuckling “Ho, Ho, HO!  Merrrry Christmas!” with some jingle bells in the background and reindeer hooves clacking on the road (banging coconut shells together works if no actual reindeer can be obtained) and blare THAT from the loudspeaker of the fire truck?   

Instead of stale candy handed out by firefighters, let’s have a parade of investment bankers trailing the truck handing out $100 bills to every family member on Main Street.  This can be their way of saying thank you for the vacation home on their own personal island with the yacht moored next to it that we bought them with our retirement funds. 

Such a simple gesture, only chump change for them and tax deductible too!  No pouting, no crying!

Its a win-win.

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