Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Ice Man Cometh

To: All personel
Fr:  FFPM Kevin Dufus

Subject:: Missing Shirt

While working at Sta. #221 on Wednesday, I may have left my shirt in the day room. I cannot find it. If anyone has knowledge of it's location please let me know. Thank You.

Reply: Did you check the freezer?

Reply: I thought I saw it up the flagpole when I went off duty on Fri. Hope this helps.

Reply: There was some homeless guy standing on the corner of Haines and Sullenburger, I thought he was wearing one of our shirts. Maybe it was yours.

I ran into Dufus the other day at the Fill the Boot Meeting. I asked him if he found his shirt. He shook his head no and said that it was probably gone for good. I asked him if he got my smart - assed reply (the freezer one) and he said that mine was one of many smart - ass replies that he had received, including those above. He must have been pretty desperate to publish that memo, usually you try to keep stuff like this on the down-low.

The time honored tradition of freezing someones uniform shirt is alive and well in our agency. It is only done when someone makes a habit of leaving their shirt laying around the station after they go off duty. To do it properly is an art form; when improperly done it reeks of hackiness.

The shirt must be properly folded, with the vertical fold just outside the outboard edge of the badge and just outboard of the name tag. This allows both to be visible within the ice block while still in the cake pan. The transverse fold needs to be done so that the shirts fits into the cake pan with minimal space between the shirt and the sides. The collar must be properly formed so that the collar brass is properly displayed.

The cake pan must be large enough that the properly folded shirt will fit inside without the shirt touching the sides and deep enough that the shirt will be completely covered in water when the pan is filled. 

If you are going to freeze someones shirt, make sure sufficient time is available for the ice block to completely form before it is discovered. Pens are never removed from the pocket, even expensive ones. Some make it, some don't.

Pockets should be checked for cell phones and calculators, those come out - money stays in.

Most people learn after getting their shirt frozen to keep track of it. It rarely happens twice to the same person. 

The practice of hanging someones clothing or gear up on the flagpole is not as popular as it once was. A citizens complaint kind of put the damper on that.

I must also add that Captains rarely get their shirts frozen. First off, they know better than to leave stuff laying around. Second, old guys are very mean and treacherous. The payback will likely be too severe.

Thanks for reading,



  1. I thought for a moment that freezing in this manner could be a remedy for Mr. Bunker's habit of leaving his dirty socks on the kitchen counter (why?!?). However, after careful consideration, I'm worried it could contaminate the ice cream and make the fish smell funny. The flagpole thing though, that's got potential.

  2. Yes Mrs. B, the flagpole method is an effective deterrent, but it is not without drawbacks. As applied to certain garments, particularly underthings and socks, it gives new meaning to the term "airing ones dirty laundry".

    In some instances however, that may not be all bad. It may tend to keep flies near the flagpole and away from the kitchen door.

  3. One could always bury the socks under mozzarella on a personal pizza, however. No, under salsa in a taco salad. That would at least be cold.

    Now that Captain Schmoe has opened the door: Something will occur to you, I know.

    Ann T.

  4. Ahhhh, yes. Even though, by many standards, I'm still a rookie, I've done this to at least 1 person with less time than myself.

    It was the same thing, he always left his shirt on a chair in the dayroom. After a few shifts, I folded it up so just the nametag was visible (no brass unless you're a chief here), and shoved it into a bowl of water. He didn't find it until the next shift, so all 3 were aware of what happened and nobody told him.