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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: "Kids Will Say the Darnedest Things"
By Jan Ross


"Good afternoon, Charlie, welcome to Bart's House Party!”

Charlie blushed revealing his obvious embarrassment. “Hi!”

“You know why you’re here, right? This is National Firefighter’s Week and from what I understand, your daddy is a firefighter.”

The studio audience was immediately captivated by this adorable 4-year old on center stage.

“So, Charlie, tell me. What do you like best about your dad being a firefighter?”

Charlie squirmed in his child-sized chair, shaking his head while giggling … “I can’t tell you.”

Children like Charlie were why Bart’s House Party was the most popular weekly family show. Bart took Charlie’s response as a queue to ask another question.

“Well, if you can’t tell me that, let me ask you another question. What makes your dad’s job as a firefighter so funny?”

Although the studio filled with laughter, his parents were getting a bit nervous not knowing what was he might say.

Charlie had a keen eye for details, even at his young age. Pointing to Bart’s tie, it appeared he tried to change the subject.

“I like your tie. My dad has some stuff with fire on it, too!”

With a surprised look, Bart continued his interview. “Oh? Does your dad have something with fire on it?”


“Well, Charlie, can you tell me? What does your dad have with fire on it?”

Charlie’s dad was a local hero. This particular year had been an especially difficult one as he nearly lost his life more than once in daring rescues.

Charlie’s mom had always made it her goal to keep life at home light and fun, saving her prayers and tears for the midnight hour when all were asleep. She never wanted Charlie or husband to know of her ongoing battle to trust God for his safe return after every fire.

Charlie motioned for Bart to come closer to him. Bart leaned down as he began to whisper in his ear, careful to hold the microphone so he could be easily heard.

“My dad’s underwear has fire on it.”

Charlie leaned back in his seat with a newfound boldness. No longer intimidated, this little tale-bearer began to unveil his childlike insight.

“I saw mommy do it. She bought daddy new underwear and sewed fire on them. I know why, too! She always says that daddy is cool so I guess she thinks he needs the fire to keep warm … she’s so silly!”

Bart was doing his best not to burst out laughing as he continued the interview.

“Why is your mommy silly?”

Charlie just looked at Bart for a moment with one of those looks. “She thinks putting fire on his underwear is going to keep him warm! See what I mean?”

“I do! Does your daddy wear the fire on his underwear in the summer, too?”

Charlie sighed deeply, “Of course! We have air conditioning! But, mommy doesn’t know that daddy isn’t really cold … he’s COOL! There’s a big difference, you know!”

“Oh? And, what’s the difference between being cold and being COOL?”

As the camera zoomed in on Charlie, it was obvious he was now enjoying all the attention!

“You know! Being COOL is when you’re like my daddy who helps people and puts out fires and rides in a fire truck. Being cold is when you’re outside in the snow!”

The applause was nearly deafening as Bart walked toward the audience. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet Charlie’s dad, the ‘cool’ firefighter!”

With the spotlight on Charlie’s parents Bart escorted his parents to take their place on stage by Charlie.

“Tell me, mom, what about it? Is Charlie right? Why do you put fire on your husband’s underwear?”

Obviously blushing, she carefully chose her words. “I’m so embarrassed! I never thought he would tell our secret. But the little flames I put on my husband’s underwear are a reminder to him that my love for him will never grow cold.”

The audience’s standing ovation made it clear that little Charlie was a star that day. Charlie’s mom was presented with a beautiful bouquet of roses as his dad was awarded the “Firefighter of the Year Award” by Bart’s House Party!

Not many years later Charlie followed in his dad’s footsteps as a firefighter. His wife continued the family tradition of sewing flames on the waistband of her husband’s underwear as a reminder that her love for him never grows cold.

It's true ... "Kids will say the darnedest things!"

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This article has been read 2541 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 10/12/06
GREAT story! Laughter, and yes, some tears...as I read this very entertaining entry. Evoking emotion in a reader is the sign of an excellent writer - and you did it! Right on target, topic-wise...and a fascinating read! Good Job! (Reminded me of Art Linkletter...remember him?)
Rachel Rudd 10/13/06
This is great! Really entertaining and with a sweet message. Thanks for sharing!
Ann FitzHenry10/15/06
Awwww...I love this! Really great story with a sweet message. You made me smile today.
Betty Castleberry10/16/06
This was a really fun read. Not only did it have a message, but it took me back to when I was a child and watched Art Linkletter on TV. Thanks!
Ruth Neilson10/16/06
*grins* very cute. Great way of approaching the topic.
Donna Haug10/16/06
That was cute. I was worried about what he would say next - just like you'd be on the real show. I was 'there' and could see it happening. Good work!
Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
Underwear humor--I always love it. This is very sweet and funny, and the child's voice is true.

On a different note, when I was spending lots of time in a hospital after my daughter's injury, writing helped a lot, and I was surprised to even find myself able to write humor then, even though I was so, so sad. It's a means of God's grace, I'm sure of it.
Catrina Bradley 10/16/06
I loved this - I couldn't wait to hear the reason for the fire on the underwear. This was my favorite line "... the little flames I put on my husband’s underwear are a reminder to him that my love for him will never grow cold.”
Joanne Sher 10/16/06
LOVED this, Jan! Writing is therapeutic (wish I'd realized that a couple years ago!) - and it appears this ministered to both you AND me! The boy's character was delightful!
william price10/16/06
excellent job!!!
I really, really liked this. Just what I needed to read today. Praise God and may He continue to bless your writing.
Jen Davis10/16/06
An entertaining and fun story that was very nicely written. Great job!
Cassie Memmer10/16/06
So cute and fun to read! You did a good job!
Donna Powers 10/16/06
Very cute and sweet. What a nicely told story! Thanks for sharing it.
Shari Armstrong 10/16/06
Very cute. Kids will always tell the things they shouldn't :)
Kaylee Blake 10/19/06
Gosh! That is hilarious! Written very well, too, congratulations on your win! Great job!
Sara Harricharan 10/19/06
I didn't get a chance to read this until now. Wow! This was amazing writing. Congrats on placing!