The Dormouse came home from school last week more excited than Ralphie's dad at Christmastime. Apparently, the local fire house had come by the school back in September and presented a poster contest where the kids were asked to make come up with a poster about an aspect of fire safety and The Dormouse's poster had been chosen as one of the winners.

We didn't even know she'd entered the contest, nor had she thought enough about it to tell us she'd entered, but once she won something, this became the crowning moment of our young girl's life.  We asked what she'd done for her poster and she said she couldn't really remember.  But the firehouse had scheduled an awards ceremony and our presence was requested. 

That awards ceremony was this week.

First, we had to endure a "turn-out drill" in which firemen put all their gear on so that children wouldn't be scared of them when they came to their house, and then proceeded to tell the children every scary thing about what would bring the firemen to their house.

My favorite part of this portion of the afternoon was when they told the kids that they probably wouldn't bother to rescue their pets.

Then, there was a puppet show which probably violated several trademarks but wherein Elmo and Cookie Monster discussed fire safety on the Sesame Street.  I have no pictures of this portion of the afternoon, but the best line comes from that part:

"That's not a fireman's mask!  That's a Dixie Cup with the bottom poked out of it!"

Then the awards.

I tried to get her to turn around for a picture but this was the best I got.

She ended up getting third place in her grade level.

As each child was called to the front by the Chief - who could not pronounce even the simplest of names but who explained up front that he is "not a linguitist" so it's totally okay that he couldn't say "Erica" right - his or her poster was displayed by an extremely bored-looking Miss Teenage Fire Prevention.  

Most of the posters were along the lines of:
  • Don't play with matches.
  • Make sure you turn off the stove before you leave the house.
  • Don't ever leave a candle burning when you leave the house.
  • Put your campfire out completely before you go to sleep at night.

Wanna know what The Dormouse's poster was?

Do you really wanna know?

"Don't wipe up one chemical with a rag, and then use the same rag to wipe up another chemical and then put the rag in a trash can when it's not completely dried out yet.  (I know.  My dad nearly burned down the house when I was three)."

So that's the story of how our daughter won a major award and outed us as persona non grata at the firehouse at the same time. 

Kids are so not worth it sometimes.