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Zoe Mulford: Postcards (Blog)

Tour Notes: The Bionic Frog

Posted on March 31, 2010 with 1 comment

I have vivid memories of some of the sonic landmarks in my hometown: the electric carillon in the Methodist church, the whistle of the commuter train at the railroad crossing, the different, more haunting whistle of the freight trains that run at night. The most distinctive local sound, however, is the klaxon at the volunteer fire station. A friend in high school called it "the bionic frog". I've never encountered anything similar in any other place I've lived.

Hearing it today prompted a haiku:

A fire horn. Sirens.
Somewhere, someone is having
a worse day than you.


April 1, 2010

I believe you were already abroad when the letters to the local paper complaining about the klaxon were running. A mother of small children, after confessing that she was terrified of it whenever she heard it, was *shocked* that her children now cried also! She demanded in this age of pagers that it be dismantled, with the concluding sentence: "Fear the fire horn!" I kid you not. I found that more than a little over the top.
It makes me giggle to remember when it went off during finals at the old high school, and you'd suddenly hear doors slamming up and down the hallway and be able to glance out the windows at the volunteers running full speed across the baseball field to get to the firehouse quickly, exam temporarily forgotten.