Five Alarms. Five Brain Cells.

Submitted by Tracy:

I met Robert at a community picnic. He was a volunteer fireman and a single dad.

"My wife died in a fire. Ironic," he said shortly after I met him.

The stare I gave him must have been enough. He went on. "Kidding. She's in Vegas with her lover."

He paid plenty of attention to me, and we were each full of questions for each other. I was impressed with his public service career, and he was impressed with my work as a psychiatrist. We spoke all through dinner, and I gave him my number when everything was closing up.

After a week, he hadn't called, and I surmised that I wouldn't be hearing from him. I thought about calling the fire department where I knew he volunteered, but that would've been a bit obsessive. He had my number. He knew what to do with it.

I had arrived home on a subsequent Saturday night after seeing friends. It was around one in the morning. I was about to climb into bed when I heard a fire engine siren some distance off.

Nothing too unusual. I climbed into bed and opened a book.

The fire engine whined louder.

"Must be something close by," I thought.


"Must be in my neighborhood."


"Oh no... it must be on my street."

I hopped out of bed and looked out my window. A giant fire engine, sirens screaming and lights flashing, stopped right in front of my house. Neighbors were opening their doors to look.

I ran downstairs, panicked.

Banging on the door. "Fire department! Open up!"

I ran for the door and opened it, convinced that my roof was on fire.

Robert stood on the doorstep, in a full fireman's uniform. He pulled off his helmet.

"Tracy!" he said.

I word-vomited, "Oh my God! Robert! What's wrong? Is my house on fire? What's going on?"

"No, no. I just wanted to surprise you."

I could barely hear him over my heartbeat, so I asked him to repeat himself. He did. He had done it to surprise me.

I took a minute to catch my breath and figure out what to say.

I asked, "Are you fucking crazy? A fire engine? At this time of night? Waking everyone up? Scaring me to death?"

He became defensive, "Hey, I did this for you. I wanted to give you the best surprise you've ever had."

"Flowers! A nice dinner! A play! A hike! A trip to the zoo! You surprise me with a fire engine? Banging on my door?"


"Get away from me!"

I slammed the door shut between us, and, shaking like never before, called the police.

I heard him yell, "Fucking bitch!" from the front yard, and I heard the fire engine moving. I was afraid that he was going to drive it into the house, but he blasted the sirens and drove away.

The next day, I called up his fire station and demanded to speak to the chief. He was very understanding, mentioned that Robert had a record of disciplinary problems.  I had him fired.

He wasn't arrested for that stunt, but last I heard, the city was investigating him for something else, regarding embezzlement.

Definitely the strangest and most unwelcome surprise I've ever had from a guy. I laugh about it now, but I'm sure that the entire incident probably shortened my life somewhat.


  1. He should've plowed the engine right into your house and done donuts in your living room. What a fun surprise that would have been!

  2. Good thing he wasn't a proctologist...imagine how he'd try to surprise you there!
    "Oops, I dropped my keys...can you pick them up for me?"

  3. ^I'm really surprised that you didn't save that one for the Butt Rape Kid.

    And yes, Sarah is a fuckin twat for missing the point of the story. While the OP claimed that *she* got the guy fired, it was probably simply a matter of this being the final straw in a long, dysfunctional disciplinary career. It's one thing to act out in inappropriate ways; it's another to use city-funded emergency vehicles and resources to try and "surprise" a woman you've just met and only talked to once at 1:00am.

  4. This is the funniest thing in the whole world. Thank you, Tracy, for doing the right thing and putting this on the internet for all to see!

  5. There's currently a big fight over a proposition to protect public safety funds in my town, mostly for the fire fighters. This would make an excellent case for opposition.

  6. Can you really be 'fired' from a volunteer position? The worst they could do employment-wise is tell you not to volunteer with them anymore. However, I'm sure they could press all sorts of other charges, like misappropriation of an emergency vehicle, noise laws, etc...

  7. This is one of the more entertaining ones in a while.

  8. I highly doubt you got him "fired". I have been a firefighter with a few years on the job, and let me tell you from both sides, its very hard to have someone removed from the fire service.

    From the Career side, you will have your union to protect you even when your at your worst.

    From the Volunteer side, for one thing, there would be no firing, but being removed from the company. While that is not quite as hard as having a career firefighter removed, it takes a bit to have a volunteer removed as well, for that reason, they are a volunteer. That easily falls into lawsuit territory of asking a volunteer with full training to not come back, and at worst as a volunteer, if he gets booted from his current house, I promise a house in need of people will gladly take a fully trained veteran with years on the job. So don't let your head expand by saying you got him "fired" because you did not, nor did you stop him from doing what he loves to do. Your not that special sweetheart.

  9. The Astronaut- I don't think the point is how awesome she is, she got him fired. I think the point is HOLY SHIT THAT GUY IS BONKERS.

  10. I think this story is completely bogus.

  11. I think The Astronaut got his butt hurt by this story a little.


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