Big Red’s BooBoo

 By:  Ness



Engine 51 made a right-hand turn into the parking lot of Singleton’s Deli.  The crew, returning from a trash fire, had decided to stop for their famous sub sandwiches for an early dinner that afternoon.


Mike inched the engine forward to park around the corner of the building.  Without warning, the right front of the engine lurched to the side and ground to an abrupt, grinding halt.  Unprepared for the sudden and awkward stop, Captain Stanley slid forward, bumping his head on the windshield.


“What the hell . . .”


Mike was exiting the wildly tilted cab of the engine even before his captain finished his statement.  Chet and Marco were seconds behind.  The three firemen gaped at the sight before them.  The right front tire had all but disappeared into an enormous sinkhole.


“Oh, no.  No.  No.  No!”  Mike groaned and bent down to inspect the damage.  His hands moved over the chrome continuously as if comforting his beloved Big Red.


Unable to open his own door, Cap managed to pull himself out of the driver’s side door and joined his men.  Shaking his head in disbelief, he muttered, “What do you think, Mike?”


“It doesn’t look good, Cap.  Not good at all.”


“We’re going to have to have her towed out then?”


At his words, Stoker paled.


“Towed?  Oh, God, that means we have to call Charlie.”  Mike’s breathing quickened rapidly.  “He . . . he . . . oh, damn . . . I can just hear . . .”


Hank reached out and grabbed the engineer’s shoulder.  “Uh, Stoker, calm down.  I think you’re starting to hyperventilate.  That’s it . . . now why don’t you just sit down right over here.”


“Lopez, why don’t you go make that call.  I’m going to stay here and make sure Stoker doesn’t pass out.”


Chet stood gazing at the sinkhole currently devouring the engine’s right front tire.  “Man, this is like something you see in the old movies.  They’d call it ‘Beware the Hole from Hell’ or something.”


Mike just groaned harder and thought about the ugly rant that Charlie was sure to undertake.


* * The End * *


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