Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Karma - The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Back in November, I wrote a post about how a chance encounter with a homeless woman and our twisted humor afterward had been followed by an early morning goose chase. It was called Karma and it described our second meeting of the shift, that one at 0300.

Well, it would appear that our sick sense of humor has caused us further grief as we were again summoned to her bridge last shift. This time however, it was a much better situation for me, I was off of the unit when the call went down. It was also much better for my crew, as the call came in just after morning coffee rather than just after closing time.

The other good thing about this call  is that she didn't call this time, a passer by did after seeing the smoke come up from under the bridge. Apparently, the somewhat spun woman had decided to perform some spring cleaning around her domicile under the bridge.

She had piled up all of the paint cans in one pile as she knew she couldn't burn those. All of the glass items were another pile, as were other recyclables. All of the other trash was blazing away, having been piled into a neat heap then set alight.

As this occurred down near the rail bed, it took several hundred feet of hose to reach the cleansing fire and It was quickly handled and my crew was picking the line when our homeless heroine asked if they could do something about the empty chemical containers that had been dumped near the bridge.

A quick look at the containers revealed that they would require a haz-mat response and my crew came to the realization that they would be on scene for several hours. Although I didn't know who the involved homeless person was, I laughed to myself as I heard my engineer communicate with dispatch about the incident. - I was listening over the radio.

The story was related to me when I returned to the station later that evening, and again, I found it funny.
Here it is in January and the butt of our jokes on that November day was still causing us grief - what goes around comes around.

The question now is, when does this stop being an issue of karma and become one of her simply being a pain in the ass?

Thanks for reading,


  1. I think some of the pain in the ass credit goes to the brilliant person who dumped the hazardous cans.

  2. She's trying to help the environment AND follow local regulations, and you're complaining about it? Sheez.

  3. I can see some humor in this one. A trash fire set by a homeless woman trying to tidy up her, ah, 'home' and which would likely burn out all on its own mandates a response from the city's hook and ladder crew. Then, just when it looks like we can all go home...

    Excuse me kindly fireman, sir, but could you nice men do something about those barrels over there? Every time I try moving them I break out in boils, my head spins the wrong way and I discover blood in my urine.

    Okay.... here we go.

    Question: Is there any way to find out just who it was who dumped the barrels there in the first place?

  4. Bulrush - Hey, I've never said I'm above being whiny!

    G - Of course the idiot who dumped the cans is the final pain in the ass, however you have to admit burning trash under the bridge does produce a little gluteal discomfort!

    Mad Jack - I think her head may have been spinning before she came across the containers. Although she has always been nice, she seems a little, well, spun!

    As far as finding out who dumped the containers, it's up to County Environmental Health. As they are understaffed and have a heavy caseload, it is doubtful that this will be followed up on. Also, people who regularly dump stuff like this are pretty good at not leaving behind stuff that is easily traced. Illegal dumping of all kinds is a problem as disposal fees are so high and regulations are tight.

    Thanks for the comments.