Lessons Learned From the Film Ladder 49

by Jay HOLLEY
 
  1. If you’re a rookie, the guys at the firehouse are gonna razz you. They might put a goose in your locker, they might stage a fake confession on your first day, to find out your dirty secrets — who knows! It’s okay, though, they’re just teasin’.
  2. Those wacky guys! Sometimes, when they’re trying to razz you, you can beat them at their own game by lighting a newspaper on fire and slipping it under the toilet stall door, or pretending you’re gay. Oh man, hint that you’re queer and they’ll get all, “what, what? How was I supposed to know he was gay, I didn’t think our little phony confession trick would out the rookie!” Then, you let out that you’re in on their ruse, that you’re not gay, and they’ll be like “oh, you, you got us.” It’s awesome when you counter-razz the guys.
  3. Chicks really dig danger and bravery, and that works out well if you’re a fireman, because it’s pretty much the most selfless and Good-with-a-capital-G profession there is.
  4. Not all firemen are Irish, or Catholic, but most are. There are also black firemen, and they’re just as brave. Firemen are all brothers, but not in quite the same way all black men are brothers. Black people use ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ to express a racial solidarity, firemen say it to convey, “I’d run under eight stories of burning steel to save you, and you’d do the same for me. I love you, man.” It’s touching.
  5. If you’re in a dangerous profession, you shouldn’t keep telling your hot wife that you’re worried about her worrying. Women are stronger than men can possibly imagine, and you’re not going to get nearly as much action if your girl thinks you’re projecting your insecurities onto her. And who doesn’t like hot action?
  6. When a fireman dies, it’s okay, because the fire department goes on. If you’re a grieving mother or sister or wife of a man who lost his life in the line of duty, this will reassure you. If you’re a little more jaded, you’ll feel disturbed by the directors trying to pull at your 9/11 heartstrings. You’ll wonder, is it really ok that our boys are dying, just because the army marches on?
  7. Watch out for those guys, if you’re a rookie: they’ll razz you!
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