If you are late coming to this show, you need to know I love to tell a good story.
I mean, heck, I’ll tell any story, even if it isn’t good, but I love to tell a good one.
My father used to be a fantastic story-teller. Just to make it more entertaining, he would add and subtract and twist a story around until you wouldn’t recognize it if it smacked you upside the head. I would call him on it, and he would say, “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, Brat.”
We were close, my Dad and I.
Last night My Captain and I went out to enjoy one of Burt’s Blue Hawaiians, which was, as always, as close to being in a Florida Key Tiki Bar as I’m ever gonna get. But on the way, we stopped at the Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department, Montgomery County Fire Station 14 (Whew…that’s a mouthful!) to say “Hey!” to our friends and My Captain’s co-workers. It happened to be “A-Shift” and that particular shift’s Captain is one of my favorite people, Adam.
Adam is the most sincere man I believe you could ever come across. He’s an amazing Paramedic and Firefighter, has worked with My Captain for over two decades, and is a well-respected teacher at the Fire Academy. Adam enjoys a good conversation and laughs easily. I like him immensely. It’s hard not to like him.
That just made me think of the saying I find to be SO true: “It’s hard to hate someone who likes you.”
Sorry, shiny object.
Back to the subject: Story Telling.
My Captain sat down at the kitchen table with the shift, and started telling the story of the previous night’s fire (my version of which you will find in ~ Dinner, Or The Lack Thereof ~) in order to 1) entertain his friends, 2) discuss what worked well and what didn’t and 3) talk smack.
Don’t get me wrong, My Captain is a good story-teller. He obviously knew what he was talking about, because he lived it first hand. There was no question that what he was saying was true.
I couldn’t help myself. My father’s blood started showing. I found myself interjecting repeatedly, just to color in the story more and more. It humored My Captain at first, then not so much, and then he started giving me the ‘Stink-Eye’ whenever he heard me take in a breath to talk.
Adam smiled and chuckled and nodded good-humoredly not only at My Captain’s story, but at my constant interrupting. But I knew I was getting really irritating when one of the guys on Adam’s shift… Pat…was searching for the TV remote control to see if the mute button would work on me. (ouch). Well, there was that clue and then when he said, “Will you just shut up?!”.
Pat is, if nothing else, blunt.
So I shut it, under duress, and was beginning to despair that My Captain would say anything more entertaining than “The intake pressure in the supply line was too high and the total pressure manager went into second stage of relief and dumped water on the driveway….”. I mean, sure, the firefighters listening were probably mildly interested, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say entertained.
My Captain sat back, looked both ways, and got ready to tell something really juicy. I know this because whenever anyone has to look both ways before saying something, it’s gotta be juicy. If you have to check for witnesses, it’s a good story.
Adam understood this. The consummate kind person, he is not one to do a lot of ‘look-both-ways-before-you-say-something-to-check-for-witnesses’ story telling. He started to laugh before My Captain said anything and said, “If you have to look around before you say it, you probably shouldn’t say it!” Ah, Adam. We love you!
But my father wouldn’t have hestitated, not one bit.
Wait – what’d he say? That was just plain mean – leavin’ us hangin’ there! We love a good story too!!