The engine backs in whirling red and blue, shuts down, and stops. The firefighter at the wheel bounds out, jacket unbuttoned, cap still in the cab and says, “Who’s in?” The lieutenant doesn’t take his eyes from the screen. “Cahill,” he says, “still six to four.”
They’re huddled around a small TV next to the golden pole. A few cops are in the back sipping coffee with their feet up on the counter, batons pointed down, guns on hips. “Cahill?” the firefighter asks.
“Yah, this guy,” the lieutenant says and points to the screen without explanation.
A fan wanders through the open door to take a picture, check the score. He stands in front of the TV. “Hey,” says a firefighter sitting on a chair, “you own that television?” The fan looks around a little bewildered. The firefighter doesn’t say anything more. The fan walks away from the engine house and into the crowd. There’s no explanation needed. For guys who have seen it all, they’ve never seen this. The golden rule applies here—get out of a firefighter’s way and let him do his job.
The ninth rushes by and whirls upward in joy and sound. The Cubbies win, the “W” is raised and Engine 78 goes back to work.