Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Everyone has their own idea about fun. Yesterday evening I took my daughter and her friend to play soccer with some friends. They were pumped. I was glad someone else was supervising the game. Neighbourhood soccer could be fun I guess . . . if you like getting tripped, kicked in the shins, and bitten by black flies. When I play it's familial duty, dad laying down his life for his kids, the ultimate sacrifice . . . are you wiping a tear from your eye, ready to give me the dad-of-the-year award yet?

Some folks volunteer as firefighters because it's fun. Or because they think it might be fun. If that's the only reason they join, they don't last long. Fighting fires can be fun for a few minutes, but then there's the overhaul and the mop up and the clean up and the roll up. You freeze in the winter and boil in the summer. It's dirty and smelly and unsanitary. You get to watch people bleed and cry and yell and scream. Yes, there are fun moments . . . but they are usually just moments. But hey, we do think it's fun sometimes.

I saw a video today of a couple off duty firefighters that saved three lives, and it definitely wasn't fun. It was fairly big news, but if you didn't see it yet, click here and here. I think we all hope we'd do the same, but I have to say, those guys had guts. Lots of good, old-fashioned courage. Wow.

I wrote reports today. Report writing is when you write about the fun things you did yesterday and last week (and for procrastinators like me, last month) for boring people to read tomorrow. I say boring people, not bored people. If they were simply bored, I could liven up the report to entertain them. But these folks aren't allowed to be entertained. You have to write things like, "Upsala Fire Department responded to a motor vehicle crash on Highway 17 with 9 firefighters and two apparatus . . ." Now if I really wanted to put soul into that report I'd write, "Some block-head tried to pass on a double yellow line and ran off the road to avoid getting smushed by a truck . . . " But no, we aren't allowed to be creative. Now you know why I blog. I'm not officially permitted to make fun of anyone, not even myself, so I do it unofficially. Right here.

Years ago there was a homesteader that published a country living magazine. He claimed that he always had fun. When he got bored of the office, he'd escape to the garden and play at farming. When the weeds got bad and he started taking agriculture too seriously, he'd go play magazine editor. Farmers write for fun. Writers farm for fun. He had the best of both worlds.

I decided to try that strategy. Maybe a little diversity was what I needed. The office was giving me claustrophobia so I set up a ladder in the truck bay and started painting, a job that I've been putting off for a year because . . . well because I hate painting. At least I tried.

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