Sunday, September 05, 2010

Grampa went to a Wildfire and All I Got was this Lousy Tshirt?

Since before he retired, my dad's been cooking up ways to make some money in retirement (my thought...why retire?). One of the ways has been as a driver for those fighting wildfires that crop up in Idaho every summer--from various sites to other sites from the fire to the airport (and vice versa), etc. He's been called to duty twice in the last couple of years--he's had at least one down year in between those, which put us in the odd position of hoping the fires don't get too bad, but sorta hoping they do.

What I find interesting enough to focus on today is, like just about every aspect of our culture, fire fighting has been commercialized. There is apparently a decent amount of swag to be picked up at the fires. A couple years ago, my dad brought back tshirts and caps for the grandkids (and himself) with the logos of the companies (is that what you call groups of firefighters?) he was near/driving, or of a waterbomber group, etc. But this year, he brought back tshirts for that very fire. In this case, the Hurd wildfire. Yeah, it had it's own logo (as you can see on Arnold's front and the Princess' back below). My mind boggles that while people are being evacuated, people are being brought in from all corners, federal funds are being allocated (granted, that can take milliseconds), and this thing is being contained; someone has the time to design and print these suckers. The stuff he brought back a couple years ago could be generated in the off season (and, I should note, was of higher quality). But in the midst of all this to create these just strikes me as odd. Not nefarious, don't get me wrong, just odd.