The carbon monoxide detector was blaring loudly, and they knew they should call the fire department. But they hesitated, these sisters, roommates for seventy plus years. Their custom-built villa on the hill was beautifully landscaped, overflowing with antiques and original artwork. The floors were carpeted with wall to wall pristine white carpet. And the steam cleaner had come only yesterday.
The alarm continued to sound annoyingly, and so they finally dialed the number.
The fire department arrived promptly with several trucks and a herd of firemen. The first responder knocked. The sisters cracked open the mahogany front door and peeked out. The firemen had obviously come directly from another call. They were filthy and dripping wet.
“Oh dear, you just can’t come in with those dirty boots on.”
“I’m so sorry ladies, but regulations require us to keep our shoes on during all calls.”
“Well I’m sorry too, but we just can’t have any big dirty bootprints on our white carpets. They were cleaned only yesterday. ”
The alarm was screaming now. The firemen were lined up and down the front walkway, but all the sisters could see were multiple pairs of muddy boots.
“Well, if you really must come in, you and your friends will put these booties on over your boots,” one said primly. “All our visitors wear these.” And she pulled out a large bag of medical elasticized slip-on booties from the closet.
“I’m sorry m’aam, but we just can’t put the booties on. We need to take care of your emergency immediately.”
“You either put the booties on over the boots,” she firmly reiterated, “or you don’t come in.”
“Alright ma’am,” he sighed. “We’ll wear the booties if you promise not to tell anyone, because we’d be a laughing stock in this city.” And so the sisters dutifully agreed never to tell a soul.
All the firemen trooped in and put the booties on over their boots. Except one particularly muddy one, who was sweetly ordered to remain in the foyer on the tile. He obediently complied.
Multiple tests were conducted by the bootie-clad firemen, but nothing was found amiss. It was a false alarm.
Always (!) Follow The Rules…