In Praise of Men in Uniforms

Thing I and Thing II were coming for a visit, which required preparations: meds relocated, furniture turned into blockades, glass tabletop corners cushioned, and an alarm set on balcony doors so a ding, ding, ding signals when orders are ignored not to pet Coco (a squirrel who begs for food). And, carseats must be installed.

This last task seemed simple enough, but I watched my son-in-law perform this function one day and concluded that for me it would be a physical, mental, and mechanical challenge equivalent to overhauling a motor. But, as Grandma GoGo, a woman determined to assure the safety of precious, pug-nosed, pudgy-legged little criminals, I embraced my I am woman watch me roar mentality and prepared for the task. This meant eating all the bacon I wanted and mustering the courage and determination to, by god, install carseats.

I dug them out of the tornado shelter stuffed so full that if I had to get in there, something would have to come out. No sentence enhancers were used in the process in spite of a level of frustration equal to parallel parking.

Intimidating belts and hooks dangled from the seats, suggesting the prospect of extreme mechanical details. Instruction manuals did nothing to mitigate the situation. It soon became clear no amount of bacon would equip GoGo for the challenge of installing carseats. So off I went to Fire Station 4.

Under the impression from a news report that firemen would check out carseat installations as a civic duty, I pulled up in front of Station 4. Men in uniforms—dark navy t-shirts with gold emblems and matching pants—crawled like ants over a red firetruck, polishing and pampering. Bruce Springsteen blasted from some source, and the energy of the young, fit men was palpable. As I approached, several of them looked at me curiously. They must have wondered what this old lady was up to. A young hunk asked, “Can we help you?”

I put on my best and well-practiced begging and pleading routine. “I’m old, please help me. My grandchildren are arriving at the airport today and I have a dilemma. I’m picking them up, and I can’t get these damn car seats installed. I’ve been told you fellows check out car seat installations. Clearly I have failed. Can you help me?”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. We only do that on certain days and at another station.”

I looked pathetic. Desperate. Downtrodden. “Oh my, what shall I do? They’re arriving in a few hours.”

An attractive young man dropped from the top of the firetruck and approached, “I’ve got kids. I’m a carseat aficionado. Let’s take a look.”

In a matter of seconds, four gorgeous, uniformed man-butts protruded from the car doors of my car as they wrestled carseats into secure, proper positions and secured them so tightly they would not budge a millimeter under any circumstances. “That should do it, ma’am.”

“Indeed.”

I wanted to hug all of them, or perhaps ravage them, but I exercised extreme self-discipline, thanked them profusely, and went on my way. As I pulled out of the driveway, the vision in the rear view mirror of Tulsa’s finest mounting the firetruck to resume their duties grabbed my attention at which time I concluded I had been blessed with a near-sex experience extraordinaire.

After Thing I and Thing II left a week later, I realized the car seats were so solidly installed there was no way I could de-install them. Oh darn. Off I went to Fire Station 4.


This experience was so profound that I decided to write a poem about it:

A Man In Uniform

Oh, hi.


From Near Sex Experiences––A woman in crescendo, aging with bravado by Nikki Hanna
available on Amazon and at www.nikkihanna.com

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Nikki Hanna

When asked to describe herself in one sentence, Nikki Hanna said, “I’m a metropolitan gal who never quite reached the level of refinement and sophistication that label implies.” The contradictions reflected in this description are the basis for much of her humorous prose. Hanna describes her writing as irreverent, quirky humorous prose with strong messages. As an author, writing coach, and writing contest judge, she is dedicated to inspiring others. She offers a series of nine writing presentations to writers’ groups under her program: Listen Up, Writer––How Not to Write Like an Amateur.

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