Fire Truck! Fire Truck! Fire Truck!Commentary • Opinion • children • ISSUE 41•43 • Oct 26, 2005 By Edwin Brauer Look, out the window! A fire truck! I've seen drawings of fire trucks in my picture books, of course, but how could I have ever known how pale and insignificant those crude representations were in comparison to the real thing! Fire truck! Oh, great God in heaven, fire truck! This has got to be the most moving of mankind's creations, and perhaps of nature's, as well. This whirlwind of sensory input is almost more than my tiny mind can process! Mere words cannot begin to convey what I am feeling! This incredible, life-changing, soul-shattering wonder is... Why, it is beyond description!Run! Run to the window as fast as your giant legs can carry you! Whatever you are doing right now, place it aside for a momentit can't possibly be as important as the opportunity to see a fire truck with your own eyes.This is quite possibly the greatest experience of my life thus far.How do I even begin to describe its magnificence? First off, it is bigbigger than anything I could ever imagine! Secondly, it's painted an incredible, alarming, eye-catching red! Thirdly, it makes the most attention-grabbing sounds: whistles, bangs, gearshifts, bells. And that siren! Of all the noises, the siren is surely the best! I wonder if, somehowbut no, surely notunless... Well, could I? Could I possibly? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE... No, that's not right: It's high-pitched enough, but missing some crucial... OOOOOOOOOO... No, again, it's got the booming quality, but lacks the screechingly irritating aspect of the higher register. Wait! What if I combine the two, in an alternating series of high- and low-frequency modulations, and belt it out at the top of my lungs? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOO,EEEEEEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOO! That's it! That's the same noise that the fire truck is making! EEEEEEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOOOOO, EEEEEEEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOO! EEEEEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOOOOOO, EEEEEEEEE-OOOOOOOO! Oh, God. I could make this noise all day! I never want to do anything else!And nowam I really seeing this? It can't be! Surely there are not colorfully dressed men with powerful bodies, brave expressions, and purposeful toolbelts hanging off the side of the fire truck as it careens around the corner! If this is a dream, let me never wake. Look at their hats! They have the most wonderful hats ever made! I must acquire a child-sized version of such a hat! They are the most large and most yellow hats I have ever seen. That's it: My fate in this life is sealed. I must become one of these men. Nothing will ever sway me from this goal.But what a spectacle it is! You must come and look upon this immediately! This fire truck is blowing my mind. It is as if God Himself has created this piece of machinery just for me! But it will not be here long. It is driving away. It grows quieter and quieter as it recedes from my visual field and...It is gone. It was only here for one fleeting moment, and you never even saw it. This is the greatest tragedy that has ever occurred. My faith in the universe is shaken to its core by the magnitude of what you have missed. If only you had listened to me. You may never be able to comprehend my experience, for I have seen the fire truck, and I will never think about anything else again as long as I live. Huh? What is... Why... Afgh! Airplane! Airplane! Mommy! Airplane! Don't bother with those towels! Don't you see? Look! There is an actual airplane in the sky!