Disclaimer:  The gentlemen from Emergency! don’t belong to me.  Just having a little more holiday fun.


Parade Duty 

By:  Vanessa Sgroi



 “Are you ready yet?”




“Well, hurry up.  Cap’s already close to spittin’ nails.”


“I’m comin’.  I’m comin’,” moaned Johnny Gage, “why’d we hafta pull parade duty anyway?”


“I think Chet had something to do with it.  St. Patrick’s Day and all that.”


After a quick snort, Johnny replied, “It figures.”


“Quit complaining.  We usually have fun in the parade.”


“Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.”


“C’mon, Junior.  If you’re done primping—”


“Primping!  I’m not primping . . .”  Johnny followed his departing partner all the while protesting.


“Gentlemen, nice of you to join us,” Hank Stanley intoned, “Are we ready to head out?  I’ve already notified 36s since they’re covering for us.”


A chorus of five voices rang out indicating they were all ready to go.


“Let’s get to the staging area then.  Roy, you and Johnny are following the engine in your car, right?”


“Yeah, Cap.  We’ll be right behind you.”


Fifteen minutes later, Engine 51 pulled into the St. Patrick’s Day Parade staging area, closely followed by Roy’s Porsche.


Soon five of the six men were busy putting last minute touches on the engine.  Chet and Marco were attaching an American flag to one side, while Roy and Johnny affixed one on the other side of the vehicle.  And though barely needed, Mike diligently worked at buffing the chrome to a high shine.  Meanwhile, their captain busied himself preparing the candy and green bead necklaces they were going to pass out to the crowd.


They finished just in time to take their assigned place in the long line of participants.


“Now, Mike and I are riding in the engine while the four of you walk in front.”


“Cap, we know.  You told us that already,” Chet remarked.


Hank shot a don’t-mess-with-me look at Kelly.  “I know I did, ya twit.  I was reminding you.  Here’s the stuff to hand out.”  He handed each of his crew a shiny green bag full of stuff.


Stoker and Stanley pulled themselves into the engine to await the start of the parade.


Johnny donned his dress uniform cap with a groan.  He hated wearing the damn thing.  Noticing Chet’s bare head, he muttered, “Hey, Kelly, where’s your cap?  Lose it again?”


“Stow it, Gage.  I’ve got my cap right here.”


The dark-haired paramedic could only stare in horror as Chet Kelly donned a hat shaped like a giant shamrock on his head.


“You . . . you’re not wearing that, are you?  You can’t.  Cap!  Please tell me Chet isn’t wearing that.  It’s . . . it’s against the rules or something, right?  Cap?  Cap?”


From inside the engine, a laughing Hank Stanley yelled out, “Sorry, Gage, but we got special permission for him to wear it.”


“Ah, man!  Roy . . . Roy, switch places with me.  I don’t wanna walk next to him.”


DeSoto just shook his head and changed places with his hard-headed partner.  A few seconds later, a sharp elbow connected with his ribcage, hard enough to make him grunt.


“Psst.  Hey, Roy, check out that hot chick in the car in front of us.  She’s got one of those sash thingies that says “Mrs. California”.


“The way you’re drooling, you better hope that her MR. California isn’t nearby.”


Annoyed, Gage elbowed him again.  “I’m NOT drooling!  Geez, can’t a guy look?”


“Watch that elbow before I end up in Rampart!” Roy scowled and rubbed his sore ribs.


Just then, one of the bagpipe bands fired up.


“Oh, great.  Just great.  On top of everything else, we get to follow the bagpipes.”


Tired of his partner’s grouchiness, Roy decided it was time to pull out a little parental magic.


“Hey, Johnny.  I’ll tell you what.  If you stop moaning and groaning over parade duty, I’ll treat all of us to those new Shamrock Shakes at McDonald’s™.  If Cap’s willing . . .”


“Really?  I love those things!  You’ll treat?”


“Yep.  Is it a deal?”


“Deal.”  Gage started to whistle in time with the wailing bagpipes.


Roy bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud.  **Sometimes it pays to be a parent.**


**  The End  **


Author’s Note:  I couldn’t find the date of when Shamrock Shakes debuted at McDonald’s.  For the purposes of this story, I made its debut in the early 1970’s.


*Click on the bagpipe player to send Vanessa feedback



Stories by Vanessa        Saint Patrick's Day Stories