From the bedroom at station one a firefighter had a great view of the downtown streets below. One firefighter in particular loved this vantage point and you could find him parked there at regular intervals.
He was there three times a day, around 7:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 5:00 pm. You may notice these times correspond with work cycles of nine-to-fivers and that was no coincidence. Nippy (his nickname although ironic to this story originated in his use of alcoholic beverages) would set up his observation post in the window of the bedroom at these times.
The purpose of this lookout I have to say was not noble, it was in fact a chance to observe the comings and goings of the female work force from all the nearby office buildings. I must say I didn’t find it creepy and I have a low threshold for creepy and this was decidedly not creepy.
Nippy just admired the female form and liked to pass his time watching the changing seasonal fashions. He, like all men had a curiosity about the gravitational effects of forward movement of women while rushing about below.
He had his favorites and knew their habits and cycles, he was on many levels our Jane Goodall, a trained nearly scientific observer of women in the urban jungle of life. His favorites had been given nicknames in the same way Jane Goodall had named all of her chimps.
There was “Bobbit”, “Betty Boop”, “Veronica” (he just liked the name) and many others. Now being a self taught scientific observer, Nippy hadn’t taken on the advanced techniques implemented by Ms. Goodall, for instance he didn’t keep meticulous notes, he didn’t keep any notes, all his research data was in his head.
And that was okay because he never intended to publish anyway. So all summer and spring there sat Nippy, cup of coffee in hand and on alert. His habits became the subject of discussion in the building next door and the building next door was the fire departments administrative headquarters.
The ladies that worked for the fire department in support roles were all sequestered in that facility. Now Nippy being the outgoing friendly guy he was would call out greetings to these women from his window.
In time they became habituated to his presence in the opening much like Ms. Goodall’s chimps became tolerant to her presence and observations. They returned his salutations with a wave and a friendly smile.
I don’t know exactly when the change happened but it did. The observed became the observers and the realization that Nippy’s viewing habits weren’t as casual as first thought became the subject of conversations Nippy wasn’t privileged to.
This event happened prior to the advent of having someone of higher authority do all your problem solving for you. The ladies didn’t run to the fire chief and demand an investigation; they didn’t retain an attorney or host a news conference to announce the extent of their collective pain and suffering.
No these ladies being very acquainted with the sub species of male known as Firefighter Stupidius developed their very own plan of action to educate Nippy.
Having had a great deal of experience with this particular sub species of Homo Erectus, they knew what his primary attractor was, and they being women were all personally in possession of that very enticement.
Now I wasn’t privy to the planning phase of the upcoming event, but I was informed that an event was in the works. I had a very large informal communication network in place and so not much slipped my attention.
I learned that on our next shift at station one that a lesson was going to be taught. I’m sure the leak in the ladies news organization was intentional so as to provide an audience for the training session.
I was given only enough details so as to provide the desired audience. With strict secrecy implemented I disseminated the news to my crew, but Nippy was left fully exposed, unprotected by his brothers for this one experience.
The time was set for the afternoon lunch rush on the streets below. Following a humble meal in the station Nippy proceeded to his observation point in the bedroom. The rest of us took up positions on the two windows of the lounge room. The windows were large enough to accommodate 3 or 4 smashed firefighter faces per opening.
We tried to stay as hidden as possible so as not to draw attention to ourselves from the nearby outpost that was Nippy’s. Not to worry as his diligent observation were all consuming.
Then we saw her. Nippy nearly lurched out of his window as this previously undocumented specimen came into view. She was dressed in brilliant colors and her most defining characteristic was decidedly feminine, exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness.
That of course is why we all noticed it with just as much intensity as Nippy. We were after all of the same genetic sub species. The hypnotizing movement of her attributes had all our play buttons on pause, and a profound silence fell over the room. The laughing, and joking had been replaced with stunned awe.
The trap designed to snare a single member of the herd had in fact caused all of the Lemmings to fall helplessly and willingly over the cliff. As she drew closer her pace slowed and she bent over to make some sort of adjustment to her skirt.
The bending over caused her ample femininity to become even further disgorged from her smock. Our collective balance swayed in sympathy to her movements and not one of us was on guard when she righted herself. A folded piece of paper in her hands.
She unfurled the large piece of paper that had been concealed under her dress and swiftly held it above her head. It was a sign and it read “Got you Nippy”. We banged our heads together as we scrambled to retreat from the windows.
A huge noise erupted to our left, it was laughter. All of the women from the administrative office had poured into the street below. They held cameras and more signs announcing their awareness of Nippy’s observations.
Fortunately for the rest of us the intended victim of their revenge was the focus of their attention and the rest of us went unnoticed. Nippy never returned to his perch and neither did the rest of us. Lesson learned.