The Continuing Chronicle of the FNG(irl): Keeping it Real

We had our 2009 Installation Dinner last night.

First….a word about something near and dear to all of us…..the food.

Holy Slab of Prime Rib. I’m no slacker at the dinner table, and if I’m really hungry, I can do a lot of damage. That’s why I run….so that I can eat what I want when the mood strikes. I can usually clean my plate, but this…..this monstrously huge side of beef …..beat me down.

It was literally the size of my head, and almost four inches thick. I kept cutting and chewing, cutting and chewing….and sat back, completely done in, looked at my plate and it looked like I barely touched it. Since I ate too much, I donated the rest of my plate to Ron—he had cleaned his—but even he admitted defeat at the hands (or hooves?) of the Mega Meat Slab.

I digress....on to the installation… We went through the normal installation of officers (well, normal up until the Lieutenants installation…one of the newly installed Lt.’s is leaving for the military in two weeks in an unanticipated last-minute decision…should make for an interesting election at the next meeting), installation of the Auxiliary and the presentation of the 25 year, 40 year and 50 year members….all well-deserved. Then it came time for the “special awards” …some of these are humorous, and some are recognition awards.

Because one of my department pals had spilled the beans, I already knew that I would be getting something silly for losing my camera at two consecutive department events (I need a Clapper for that thing…) so I was fully prepared to take my medicine. Therefore I was listening, but not really paying attention while our Chief was presenting the three special awards….Bill Reddy for VFD Firefighter of the Year (that guy is my hero—he’s a firefighter’s firefighter in every best sense of the word)..and then I hear Chief talking about someone who goes above and beyond, training and safety oriented…yadda, yadda, and then he says “She’s only been with the department for a year” and I look over at Amy and she’s pointing back at me (we’re the only two females on the department) and mouthing “It’s YOU dumbass” at me.

It was for exemplary service to the department. I was so surprised and flattered that I have NO idea what I said while I was up there accepting the award…all I remember is white noise. Oh, and I did get my dumbass award for my inability to hang on to my camera….they bought me a retractable dog leash with a clip to fasten to my camera strap.

Lest I worry about getting a big head or an over-inflated ego about the whole thing…we were all walking out of the banquet facility and I stepped on a patch of ice in my high heels, slipped, went ass over teakettle and skinned my knee. My brethren made a valiant but unsuccessful effort to not laugh after they ascertained that I wasn’t seriously injured.

Leave it to me to keep it real while simultaneously making an ass of myself. Way to put the ego in check.

Til next time, wear your seatbelt and watch out for those ice patches.

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Comment by Rob on February 6, 2009 at 5:34am
Congrats on the award! As for the ice, I feel your pain, literally. Fell on teh way back from a medic run Sunday night and the damn knee still hurts if I bend it too fast. As for the second award, it happens to the best of us. I was on a department that did river rescue and got named for the Perpetual Prop Award all 3 years I was there since I seemed to completely wreck the prop every time we hit the river.
Comment by turk182 on January 29, 2009 at 9:27am
Congratulations on both awards.

From what I have read on here you deserve it!!!
Comment by LadyChaplain on January 28, 2009 at 4:34pm
Mary is awesome :-P
Comment by Jeff Betz on January 27, 2009 at 9:58am
Well done Newbie!!! I find it very appropriate that your brothers and sisters have recognized your desire to not only jump into this line of work, but to do so with the necessary desire and attitude to succeed beyond the usual "minimum expectations". I also believe there is a certain amount of "Karma" involved in the fall, which you smartly boost to the ego, and one shot in the....well, you know.
Really cool, congratulations!
Comment by russ allen on January 27, 2009 at 7:37am
you realize you are no longer a probie after that award...mord will be expected.....oh boy...
Comment by Art "ChiefReason" Goodrich on January 26, 2009 at 8:41pm
Well, so much for the "women in the fire service" thread.
You have proven that, not only are you as capable, but award-winning, but to top it off, you do that little Dorothy Hamill move on the ice.
Your talent knows no bounds and your appetite moooves me.
Push for chicken on a wild rice pilaf, steamed green beans, salad lightly tossed with a raspberry vignette and for dessert? Frozen peach yogurt.
Then, you will glide across that ice.
You worked hard, even when no one was looking.
Ah, but they were.
You have earned more than the award, Mel.
And I'll bet that feels pretty good, too.
Way to go.
Comment by Joe Stoltz on January 26, 2009 at 4:39pm
Wasn't it about a year ago you were waiting to get voted in? A year later you're getting an award for exemplary service. Wow! You have come a long way.

I'm very proud of you, Mel. Skun knee and all.
Comment by Bob Allard on January 26, 2009 at 2:49pm
Way to go, I told a while back you were good, sure hope you are hurting the next day from falling, been there and done that, just did the same on the ice, and I even had rubber soles on my shoes.

Good Going
Comment by LadyChaplain on January 26, 2009 at 11:49am
Congrats... followed by a royal HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA since I know you're not injured... and you wonder why I refer to you as the Probie IceDancer in my facebook profile? I think that should clear up any misconceptions now :-)
Comment by Kimberly A Bownas on January 26, 2009 at 11:19am
Hey, Congratulations and I am really proud of you. Great job and keep it up, you deserve it. Sorry to hear about your spill and aren't the guys great with how they are always there for you when the really silly things happen.....

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