Lovelies:

As I believe I may have mentioned once or twice, I have a tiny bit of a fireman fetish. As with so many fetishes, it was born of my reaction to a single human being: a certain Baby Fireman who contacted me via the Internet personals a while back. Though he was A LOT younger than I am, I decided to go out with him because he looked so hot in his pictures (kind of like an anime hero), and I could tell from what he wrote that he was exceptionally smart and quite funny to boot. Plus, I figured that, if nothing else, I'd have something to blog about. As it turned out, he was handsome, hilarious and he talked non-stop (which I like, because it means I don't have to reveal that I don't have much on the brain, except, in this case ... what he looked like in his fireman's outfit). Now, we didn't exactly fall in love--in part because it was clear to me he was only in it for fun, and I'm not sure I could be serious about someone his age. But after meeting the Baby Fireman, I have been significantly more appreciative of the firefighting community as a whole.

(The fires make them especially sweaty, which is why they have to remove their clothing sometimes.)

And of course, there's a lot to recommend firefighters. They're strong, valiant and kind. They go into their line of work knowing there's a chance they could lose their own lives while trying to save others. They're loyal and sociable. Plus, while they may be fire-resistant, they are also smokin' hot!

So, when I found out that there is going to be a FIREMAN CHARITY RAFFLE in Brooklyn Thursday night, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to infiltrate the ranks, posing as an innocent member of the press, and get the inside scoop on how to seduce firemen. After getting the event's firefighting spokesperson on the phone, I was able to, er, grill him about how we ladies can cause flames to rise in the hearts of the brave men who know a thing or two about ... operating their hoses? And also about how we can find firemen who might save us from our otherwise lackluster love lives. (Rescue me!)

#1: STAKE OUT YOUR LOCAL FIREHOUSE

MOI: Where do firefighters usually hang out?

MR. FIREMAN (who prefers to remain anonymous): No matter where you live--here in New York, or in Mexico, or in Ireland, wherever you are--the best place to find them is simply outside of your local firehouse. When the weather's nice, they're often hanging around outside. An especially good time is when there's a change of tour: when some guys are getting off and their replacements are just statrting. Usually, that's between 5 and 6pm (or 8 and 9am).

#2: EMPLOY SMALL CHILDREN AS FLIRTATION DEVICES

MK: But what does one say to get them talking? I mean, when I go jogging, I often run past the fire house around the corner from me, and seeing all those big strong dudes standing around with their arms crossed--it can be intimidating! Even--especially--when they say hello to me first. I mean, do you say "Excuse me, but might I be able to slide down your pole?"

MR. F: I tell you what: If you have a nephew, bring him by the firehouse, and say, "This little guy loves the trucks--can he get a tour?" The firemen will be happy to show him around, and that'll be a good way to meet them. They'll all come out to say hello.

MK: Excellent. I don't have a nephew, but I can't wait to find a small child to use as a pawn.

#3: DO NOT FAKE AN INJURY (BUT DO BRING COOKIES)

MK: I've been thinking that the next time I go jogging I should fall down and pretend to sprain my ankle in front of the firehouse. Think that would work to draw the guys out?

MR. F.: Well, we do like the idea of being the knights in shining armor. That's part of the reason we do the job. And if you fall, you better believe we'd be coming to get you. But what might be easier is just stopping by with cookies or a cake, saying you baked the stuff because you wanted to thank the guys for the work they do. We always appreciate that kind of thing.

#4: GO TO BARS FIREMEN LIKE (I.E. CHEAP ONES)

MK: So ... what kind of bars do firemen like?

MR. F: Ones where there are cheap drinks. But seriously, go to any watering hole that's close to a firehouse and ask if it's a firemen hang-out. Some of us get part-time jobs as bartenders or bouncers, so we often hang out at the place where one of us is working.

MK: In New York City, any bars in particular? For both locals and tourists who want to go fireman-watching?

MR. F.: The Black Finn, on West 52nd. Or Down the Hatch, near New York University.

MK: Ohhh-kay. So that means sports bars with cheap drinks. Hmm. Not entirely my style--but for firemen, maybe I can compromise. What should you say if you run into a fireman at a bar?

MR. F.: Say, "I figured you were a fireman because you looked so strong." Act impressed--we eat that up!

MK: Believe me, I won't have to act. I mean, all that gear you have to wear--how much does that weigh?

MR. F.: When we're all suited up, with our masks and tools and the helmet, we've got on about 115 pounds.

#5: AVOID A CERTAIN TOPIC OF CONVERSATION

MK: Are there any topics of conversation that firemen find especially interesting? Or anything we should avoid?

MR. F.: We don't like jokes about how much time off we have. Sure, it's true that we don't work the same kind of hours as some other people, but we also go to a lot of funerals, and visit a lot of guys we know in the hospital.

#6: ENCOURAGE FIREMEN TO BRAG--THEY LIKE THAT!

MK: Do you like telling stories about being on the job?

MR. F.: We love bragging about fighting fires.

#7: BE ABLE TO TAKE A JOKE--AND MAKE A FEW

MK: Is there a certain type of female who is especially appealing to a fireman?

MR. F.: Being pretty helps, of course. But most firemen like to have fun, so they like women who can hold their own in conversation: who are capable of joking around, busting their chops, pushing back a little. If you're willing to have fun, that's more important than looks, to tell you the truth.

MK: Ah, I see. That's my problem: I'm a real shrinking violet.

#8: ENJOY A FEW DRINKS--BUT DON'T GET WASTED

MR. F.: Being able to hold your liquor--that's also a good thing.

MK: Don't overdo it on the Pinot Noir?

MR. F.: To tell you the truth, Maura, I'd prefer it if the girl ordered a Budweiser. If my drink costs $3.50, I don't want hers to cost $10--unless we're going Dutch.

MK: How about I send the bill to the Fire Commissioner, and we'll call it even?

#9: BE A GOOD LISTENER

MR. F: Also, firemen like women who know how to empathize--good listeners. We're supposed to be tough guys, and to pretend the stuff we do doesn't scare us. But sometimes it does, and sometimes your best friends die. And we're not supposed to talk about that stuff--because we're supposed to be macho--but it can be really therapeutic if there's someone we can talk to about everything.

#10: UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO

MK: Can you say more? Tell me anything you want.

MR. F.: I feel like I should give your readers fair warning: If you date a fireman, he's not going to want to stay home with you, watching a movie. We like to go out a lot, have fun, go to bars, be with our buddies. Any fireman will always be half-married to his job and to the other firemen he knows. Also, we work nights, weekends and holidays. There's a saying that firemen make great fathers, but bad husbands.

MK: Uh oh--does that mean yo you guys cheat on your wives a lot?

MR. F.: We have that reputation, but I don't think firemen do it more than men in any other profession. Probably less so. We're family men. We're just really into what we do for a living.

MK: Last question, Mr. F.: Can you set me up with a ringer?

MR. F.: Come by the firehouse any time and we'll make it happen.

------------------------------------

Lovelies: Which ones among you are going to try these tips out? Please let me know what happens if you do.

xxx

(ps--commenters: everyone had good points about the cheating business. yuck.)

What Do You Think?