The Rhyming Prankster by LaJuan
The New Man
by Marty P.
“He’s gone.” Johnny Gage relaxed his stance.
Roy DeSoto, his paramedic partner, pulled a sheet of paper out of pocket.
“What’d ya find out?” Chet tried to read the text as he surrounded the paramedic.
“Kelly, shush! He’s gonna hear us!” Gripping the paper with both hands, he recited:
“Henry Stanley. Married. Two children. Joined the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 1961 after serving in the army. Promoted to engineer in 1965.”
Mike Stoker uncrossed his arms, “I hear he was a good engineer. Knows his stuff.”
“Who was his captain?” Johnny doffed his hat and twirled it around his hand.
Roy gazed at the information. “McConakee, over at station 125 in Calabasas.”
“He’s been at 57 and 83, too.” Johnny poked his finger over the station numbers.
Marco peered over Roy’s shoulder. ““Look, he got a citation!”
Roy nodded, “Doesn’t say much. Went above and beyond the call of duty at an apartment complex, rescuing six people.”
“I hope we can measure up!” Johnny thumped the squad for emphasis and jolted when he felt a presence near him.
Johnny tried to hide the evidence of what they’d been doing by jamming it in his shirt pocket. The men took on the appearance of statues as they snapped to attention. Captain Stanley eyed the men; then plucked the bulge out of Johnny’s pocket. He skimmed the contents and faced his new crew. “Any questions?”
Chet, feeling an itch, wrinkled his nose. “Uh, no sir.”
“Could we get back to work now?” With an abrupt turn, Hank Stanley strolled back to his office with a smirk on his face. He’d checked out each and every man assigned to him. Turnabout was fair play.
As the men fell in for morning roll, Chet Kelly complained, "Sheeeesh! I have the worse darn luck!"
"I can see Latrine Duty in your immediate future," their Engineer quietly foretold, and then stood there--at attention--in front of his truck.
"Considering your water balloon hit the Cap," Marco muttered, "I bet the decision's a snap!"
"You're on," Roy readily replied, "Here's a buck!"
By Lizabeth S. Tucker:
I'm not fat, am I? Nah, I'm just built bigger than these guys. Chet is almost as wide as I am. Of course, Johnny calls Chet stocky. That's just another word for fat. Joanne says I'm just right. But she's my wife, can I trust her to tell the truth? Geez, look at Stoker. If his stomach was any flatter, it'd be concave.
Man, I'm bored already. Where's Cap? The Phantom has things to do, he can't hang around here waiting for Latrine Duty.
I think that new Turtle Wax might work better on my girl than the stuff the department issues. I wonder if I have enough? I think the chamois cloth should bring the engine's shine out.
If the Phantom is up to his tricks, I'm gonna kill him! Look at Chet's face, willya? He's up to something, I know it.
A Warm Welcome
By Vanessa Sgroi:
A loud, surprised shout echoed throughout Station 51. It was coming from the captain's office. The crew, already lined up for roll call, shifted uneasily and looked at each other. That was when Roy DeSoto noticed a slight smirk on Chet Kelly's face. His heart sank.
"Chet," he hissed, "what did you do?"
Chet's reply was all innocence. "What? The Phantom just left a little welcoming surprise for the new captain."
Roy groaned. "Are you nuts? This is his first day! We're supposed to make a GOOD impression!"
Marco Lopez closed his eyes and muttered, "Now we're in trouble."
At that moment, Station 51's new captain, Hank Stanley, made a dignified entrance into the bay, despite the white foam clinging to his shoulders and dripping from his uniform cap. His crew snapped to attention.
"Good morning, gentlemen, I'm Hank Stanley, your new captain. Before I begin roll call, I'd like to thank the man responsible for my unusual 'welcome' this morning."
Four pairs of eyes automatically turned to Chet.
"And you are?"
The fireman nervously swallowed. His prank didn't seem so funny now. "Uh, Chet . . . Chet Kelly, sir."
"Well, thank you, Mr. Kelly, you've helped me tremendously in my planning of duty assignments."
The serious look on Stanley's face melted away, and he smiled. "Now, let me find out who the rest of you are." He glanced down at the clip board in his hand.
Kelly breathed a sigh of relief.
"Oh, and Chester B. -- don't let it happen again." With a small chuckle, Captain Hank Stanley continued on with his first roll call at Station 51.
*** The End ***
What Was I Thinking?!
"Come on guys. You'll never know until you give it a try."
Roy continued to pled his case, as he along with the rest of the members of Station 51, made their way from the locker room to the bay for roll call.
While tucking his shirt in, Roy gave his crew mates a disgusted look, but before he could utter another word, Johnny Gage, his partner and best friend, spoke.
"Roy, you're wasting your breath. There is no way that you're gonna get these guys to try another of your culinary experiments."
The look on Mike Stoker, Marco Lopez and Chet Kelly's face told him that his partner, indeed, might have a point. Roy tried once again to convince the three men that there was life beyond chili, clam chowder, spaghetti and fried chicken.
"I don't understand why you are all being so sully about this. You liked the beef bourguignon I made last time I cooked. So why are you not willing to give this new recipe a chance?"
Mike finally broke the silence that had been prominent since the planned menu for dinner was announced, "Too much green." was all he said.
"Huh?" Roy replied.
Marco then voiced his thoughts, "Too much green and smelly."
Roy was finally starting to see the light.
"Johnny's willing to give it a try," Roy said.
"Roy, Johnny is a human garbage disposal. He's like that Mikey kid on the TV commercial; 'he'll eat anything'," Chet quoted.
"Hey!" Johnny complained. "I take exception to that."
"Besides," Chet continued, "it's brussel sprouts. Are you sure you didn't take in a little too much smoke our last shift. I mean, think about it, BRUSSEL SPROUT CASSEROLE, are you crazy man?!"
Roy knew that his only option was to get Captain Stanley to agree to his menu. Just as that thought came to mind, Captain Stanley approached his men.
"Ok guys, we have a busy day ahead of us. Kelly, Lopez, I want you to wash and hang the hose that C shift left for us; Stoker, latrines; Roy dorm room and Gage you have the kitchen duties today. Ok, let's get to it." Stanley said as a dismissal.
Before Hank could retreat into his office, Roy stopped him. "Cap, can I have a minute?"
"Sure, Roy, what's on your mind?" the Hank asked.
"Uh, wasn't I scheduled to cook this shift? I mean I thought it was my turn." Roy stumbled over his words unsure about questioning his superior.
Hank rubbed his jaw and sighed as he looked at DeSoto.
"DeSoto...Roy, I heard you talking and I just couldn't let you go ahead with your meal plans. So instead of having to override your decision, I changed shift assignments."
Flabbergasted, Roy stood speechless.
"Roy, don't take this to heart, I know you're only trying to broaden our culinary horizons but for goodness sakes man, you were talking about BRUSSEL SPROUTS."
With that Hank disappeared into his office leaving Roy to contemplate his choices in life.
"Brussel sprouts?! WHAT WAS I THINKING!!"
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