“Nice days make great fire drill weather, don’t you think?”

Wheelock AS horn/strobeI love adding new away messages to my lineup on AOL Instant Messenger. My away messages could best be described as a little strange, bordering on the geeky. So last Friday, I decided to expand the list and add a new one. It took a couple of revisions to get it how I wanted it, but once that was finished, say hello to my latest away message… “Nice days make great fire drill weather, don’t you think?” And we must admit… they do. Every child in school knows that on that January day that’s unseasonably warm, that they should expect to spend at least a few minutes of it out in the school parking lot while the teacher’s making sure that all of his or her students made it outside in one piece. Plus for the fire alarm aficionado, fire drills are a great time to see the items of our interest in action without any lives being endangered. And in fact, when I first put this away message up, fellow fire alarm aficionados asked me what this was about a fire drill happening. Now for those who aren’t nearly as interested in fire alarms as I am, you get some very strong reactions to this kind of statement. Say it’s one of those unseasonably warm days in January. I’m stepping out of Potomac Hall to go wherever. I comment to whoever’s coming in, “Lovely day, isn’t it?” They agree with me. I then say, “Good fire drill weather, don’t you think?” Right there is where I get the strong emotions. My favorite was from a resident last year who shouted, “NO!” Otherwise, you get people who are concerned (we’re having a fire drill?) to people who get annoyed – after which I have to tell them that no, there’s no fire drill coming that I know of, and that it’s just an expression of mine. Still, that’s why I like these little expressions of mine. You never know what kind of reaction you’re going to get sometimes…

Date posted: November 24, 2002

Notes: This photo does not depict an actual fire alarm strobe flash. Rather, the strobe flash was digitally added in post-production.