A week or two ago I promised an explanation for this disturbing photograph. See, this flexing idiot is me, all suited up to be a fireman. Why, is the writing business not paying enough, you might ask? The answer to that is always no, but not the reason I was dressed in such flame-retardant finery.
My friend Cat and her husband Todd hosted me while I went to Arizona for the Desert Dreams conference. Todd happens to be the Fire Chief of their town, so I got the royal treatment.
Holy crap, that suit is not only stifling, but it's friggin' heavy. There is no way you can be a slouch when fighting fires. Seems obvious enough, but you just can't understand what it's like until you step into their boots. And heck, I wasn't anywhere near a fire. Just playing around in the fire station.
Then I was told that in a fire, you very rarely are standing. So I was forced--yes, forced--to crawl on the ground with an ax in hand, to mimic clearing my way through a house. Man, was that hard. I have a lot of new respect for firefighters, and for Todd, who somehow managed to trick me into the suit. But hey, I did get to sit in the firetruck and feel important.
So that's my explanation for the suit. Never let it be said I don't keep my promises.
*Big thanks to Todd, and to Cat, for the experience, and for not making more fun of me than they could have.