Monday, 17 October 2011
Present tense: The dark origins of Fireman Sam and Fireman Paddy
I don’t like my kids watching television. I will be the first to admit that it makes a really great babysitter when you are rushing to get something into the oven, or just need a bit of breathing space, but there is something about those little impressionable minds sitting staring blankly at a box that gives me the heebie jeebies. Call me traditional, but there it is. And so, in my wisdom, I decided that they could watch DVDs instead (in a very limited number and for a very limited time). That way, I reasoned, I could know exactly what they were watching and would not be surprised by an advert selling a feminine hygiene product or a condom (questions I don’t need to answer at this stage of life!).
Fireman Sam seemed relatively harmless – the good-looking boy-next-door, who is a hero that saves people from burning buildings. What could go wrong there? And in essence, the hero lived up to his hype. Perhaps too much.
“Come boys, we’re getting in the car,” I called out the next day.
Loftily, the eldest regarded me. “Our names are Fireman Sam and Fireman Paddy,” he informed me. Paddy? Where on earth is that from? I made a mental note to re-watch Fireman Sam at earliest convenience. From then on, Firemen Sam and Paddy refused to answer to any other names. Driving in the car at any time was punctuated by loud siren noises coming from the backseat – without letting up for intake of breath. You see, with twins, there is one to take over from the other when he needs to breathe – intermittent siren problem solved!
I would be standing talking to a friend, or unsuspectingly doing the shopping, when one or the other would slide down my leg – like a fireman on a pole! I in fact lost my pants (held up only by baggy elastic – I am a mom of three after all) in this way on several occasions. All the while, the Fireman Sam theme song was being sung loudly and tunelessly (or the lyrics they thought they heard):
So moosa maquay (move aside make way)
Gog sav deday (Gonna save the Day)
Looks like the alter egos are here to stay! They don’t drop their poses for a second for me to catch them out. One or the other will often come to me and ask “Where’s Sam?” And my pointed response gets not a moment’s attention.
Look out for the next instalment in this saga!