For the SMFD Retirement Dinner
by Captain Cory S. Trammell, 2003

We know you are laughing at the old guys up here.
Just because we are deaf doesn’t mean we can’t hear.
Yes, we are tired and fat, and we are getting old
You’ve heard a hundred times each the stories we’ve told

We are bent and we’re broken and our hair has turned gray
Our meals and our naps are the best part of our day
We can’t smell a thing, we need glasses to see
We wake in the night at least three times to pee

We have ten pairs of glasses laying around
But when they are needed, none can be found
Our heads hurt, our feet ache, we are losing our hair
We’ve got sex scenes on cable and we don’t even care!

Every bone aches, from our heads to our toes
We can’t keep our readers perched on our nose
Our slippers are worn from shuffling around
And we couldn’t get up if we were to fall down

Our hearing is poor, our memory shot
We are just glad to have anything we’ve still got
We try to act young but the rookie that’s here
Was born ten years after OUR rookie year!

Ringdowns cause us to curse in voices so low
And the rookie is wondering why we don’t want to go
We walk toward the engine with a slow, painful gait
Where the rookie, all dressed, impatiently waits

And when we return from an inspiring call
The rookie recounts how he had a ball
And each gory detail he loudly recalls
While the old guys think, “Hey, we’ve seen it all...”

Or perhaps we respond on a call that’s Code 3
Panting and sweating, only to see
A victim half our age, and in much better shape
Than we could hope for on our best day

Yes, we are easy to laugh at and easy to hit
With you barbs and your digs and your sarcastic wit
Around a group of rough hecklers, we rarely last
Because our minds can no longer work very fast

And you might wonder, how it is that we know
About the things that you say, after we go
Well, we hear the echoes of our own voices past
When we were all young, so strong and so fast

Yes, we laughed as you do, at the guys that were old
At the sweaters they wore when the weather turned cold
At the oatmeal and bran flakes and fiber they ate
And we mocked each one of their unique, limping gaits

We smirked while they struggled to climb on the rig
We tried on their turnouts that were ten sizes too big
Next to the heater, an old guy reading a book
Drew from us youngsters a disdainful look

Early they’d rise without making a peep
Though we had run circles around them while they tried to sleep
Ignoring their pleas to keep the noise down
We wrestled and rumbled till we brought the house down

We jeered and we laughed so smugly at them
And we swore that we never would end up like them
Flat bellies we’d keep throughout our careers
Nothing would stop us, not even the years

Then, all of a sudden, the old guys were gone
They’d taken their pensions and each one moved on
We didn’t sweat it, they needed to go
They were too old to work and they moved way too slow

Then WE started hearing the giggles and snickers
And noticed that WE had to buy bigger knickers
Buttons began to pull tight on the fronts of our shirts
If one ever let go, someone would certainly get hurt!

Soon after that we were packing our bags
And we moved to the hill to count linen and rags
And now here we sit, the joke is on us
The old bodies we laughed at belong now to us

You are young and you’re vibrant, you’re brash and you’re bold
Right now you are feeling that you’ll never grow old
That’s great, we applaud you, you make us feel younger
But remember this kids, we won’t be here much longer

So mock us and taunt us with jokes at our cost
We will all laugh along and no sleep will be lost
Though you may not relate to the guys on the hill
We’re smiling at you, because we know you soon will

Now we’ve had this good jest at our own expense
To make fun of the years that here we have spent
But in our last verse, one final thought we will share
Should you ever need us, rest assured we’ll be there!