A lost episode by the great schizmattersfamily, perhaps in an attempt to spook the children even further. Or perhaps... it is real...
Oh my god it’s fireman sam! My god, I love this television program, and let me tell you, it’s saved my life on more than an occasion. Whenever there’s a fire, you contact fireman Sam, for he is the king of fire safety and the commander of important fire related events. It was a television show, one of which I was a huge fan, or so I thought, and I’m not talking about “fanning the flames” of this incredible television program. I’m talking about being one of the biggest Fireman Sam promoters, as one of the “higher ups” at Mattel Creations. When I wasn’t helping them develop the newest Barbie Doll or designing the next action-fan Powerman, I was watching this amazing, life changing, award winning television program: Fireman Sam.
Every week, Fireman Sam would solve the fire problem, usually by spraying it with water, foam, or a combination of water and foam. But there’s a creepy and disturbing missing fireman Sam VHS tape that pretty much changes the entire show’s canon and suggests to the “less inquisitive” viewer that something may be seriously wrong with Mr. Sam, or at least according to my boss, Mr. Larson. I initially started to question his fire training when I saw a very strange, missing episode of Fireman Sam. As someone who worked for the company, I knew I wasn’t supposed to watch the tape, but I just couldn’t help myself. Mattel issued a verbal warning, telling me not to go into the Digital archives, and I was quickly “fired” (Pun not intended) but given suspension without pay for going into the digital archives. I just wanted to see what was in those digital archives. Missing Snoopy reels? A fantastic playlist of sorts? But no, none of that at all.
I told them that I would put the tape back, but I replaced it with a fraudulent one, a video of an old birthday party involving Barney where some of the parents were drinking wine and driving recklessly. The tape was oddly titled: “Summer 1976.” I immediately got into my car and drove home, locked the door and put the tape in. What follows is a very, very strange VHS, one that I should not talk about, but since I am doing it under anonymous circumstances I am certain I can divulge. The show used cutting edge CG, and it was part of the reason why I was such a huge fan. CG like this only comes around every decade or so, the highest quality CG: but here, Fireman Sam’s eyes were very wide and slightly bloodshot, the artist had taken care to draw the veins.
I was…disturbed. “You know, if you suffer enough third degree burns the flesh literally melts like ice cream! The dermis cannot regenerate, and you’re basically a bleeding, blistering bag of pus!” What the hell. He continued. “If you were to cremate someone, the left behind ashes would make up one, maybe two pounds of the person’s total body weight, meaning most of you has turned into smoke? Your WHOLE body will fit into Mcdonald’s Drive-Thru Lunch bag!” What in god’s name? I suddenly got really confused and scared. The camera cuts to show that no one is in the fire truck with him. He’s…talking to himself. Anyway, you may think that’s the one weird part, and that’s what I thought. I was going to contact my Supervisor, Dennis Bregel, and ask him what this was all about. But what happened next sent a shiver up my spine and made me question whether any of this was happening at all.
You see fireman Sam… pull up to the fire. He has a bunch of prerecorded cassette tapes in his fireman coat pocket. And yes, it’s a fire. The CG flames were lapping quite intensely, with tiny holes in the fire, as though the fire was alive. It was a cake shop. The cake shop was on fire! I didn’t want to see the cakes burn! Fireman Sam gets out of his Fire Truck and gets the fire nozzle ready. “Thank God you’re here fireman sam! The Hiller Bakeshop has-“Suddenly her speech is cut off, as though something has been shoved in the voice actor’s mouth. What in God’s name? Fireman sam… was shooting firefighting foam into the old woman’s mouth! “Bloody Christ!” Fireman Sam yells. “WE’VE GOT A CLASS C! AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT COFFEE AND CUPCAKES, YOU BLOODY ASSHOLE!” What? Why would he say that? He shoots, and shoots his foam into the old woman’s mouth, she starts to swallow the foam and he keeps spraying it, as she gurgles and falls over, and he sprays the head of the writhing body.
“I’M GONNA NEED BACK UP!” Fireman Sam yells, as the dead woman lay there, pulsing, writhing and choking. She was dead. Fireman Sam…had murdered a woman. He walked into the bake shop and greeted the fire. “Thank you, ma’am.” He was…talking to the fire. “You know you can only do reverse psychology twice, and then you’re reaching the laws of diminishing of returns.” He tips his fire hat as the fire continues to grow! It was an electrical fire, someone had left the bagel cooker on too long. This was the episode that was supposed to introduce his firedog Harvey, but Harvey was nowhere to be found.
“And how old are you, little Flamey?” He kneels down and shakes hands with the flame. His hand catches on fire. “Boy, we got a crowd in here!” It was fire man Sam. “Nice to meet all of you! No need to thank me-“ He was talking to the growing flame that now covered the exit. “AHHH!” He screamed. He was being burned. Fireman Sam was being burned by the flames! You see his blood, guts and internal organs sizzling as his shoes melt into the floor, and the flame begins to burn the flesh on his face, burn it down to a skull, and the skull was burning. “Oh- an autographfpprphtht-“ His tongue had melted into his cheek.
I needed to face reality here- Fireman Sam was dead.
The CG skeleton lay there, as the camera zoomed out. You hear a lot of fumbling and arguing as the voice actors start yelling. It was that older firefighter “What do you mean? I GAVE YOU VOICE WORK?” You hear crackling- as though a fire is being started. And then Fireman Sam said something REALLY weird: “Those who are in the unenviable position of living or are working with a narcissist have learned through sad trial and error that they are the only one in the relationship who can change the dynamic!” I shut the tape off. What the fuck was this? Under the terms of employment, I was forced to carry fire insurance, specifically because of the nature of the program I was a part of.
But something, very, VERY strange happened next. The VHS tape player, an old one I borrowed from a relative, began to sizzle and produce smoke. I went and hit it, to stop the smoke. In doing so, I pressed play. The tape continued. Fireman Sam was talking, over his dead body, that had been burned, and his skeleton being consumed by flame as well. “Fire consumes, makes things bright to show us the way, but it can also burn us and kill us. “ What in god’s name? “Fire is like the sun, we need it to survive, but it will also horribly burn us if we get too close.” WHAT was a shitty Greek mythology reference doing in Mattel’s programming lineup? You see a hand-drawn portrait of the devil in the corner. Some chanting begins.
“I was confused.” Fireman Sam continued. “I came out of this as a GCSE equivalent graduate, with hopes and dreams, a desire to quell the flames, and soon I became the flames. I didn’t realize how strange it was to be anything at all, I tried to stake a claim to oxygen, heat and any physical material, and that was me, I was the physical material, and nature did the rest. I’m dead now, forever.” Fire man Sam said. “All the people I tried to save are gone, forever. But I couldn’t save them…” Fireman Sam’s voice began to cry, the voice actor sounding uneasy. “I… only shortened the inevitable.” Suddenly the tape clipped completely. I first heard crying, but then it turned into…laughing. He was laughing, and laughing, and laughing away, as I heard the sound of a siren! All this talk of ritual and sacrifice was far too frightening, but…
I was suddenly transfixed. And yes, my VHS tape player was still smoking, but the skeleton, or what was left of it, was talking. The scary thing, and I know you won’t believe me, is that skeletons burn. “That’s why I no longer feel disheveled.” The smoke began to cover the artificial camera that existed in fictional CGI space.
“At first it hurts.” He continued, but the screen was just gray with an occasional smoke flicker. “But the idea of “hurt” is relative. You only feel pain because pain is related to non-pain, but soon non-pain exists, and nothing hurts, because… hurt itself is defined by what does not hurt.” What? “When everything hurts, nothing does. Infinite pain is equal to infinite pleasure, and I hope we all die in a fire together. It’ll be so wonderful, except for those that have not died in the fire. We’ll all be dead together. Zero is also infinity. I’ll kill you (I love you)”
Suddenly my fire alarm went off. The smoke from the VHS had started to obscure the screen of my 80’s bubble television. A flame was travelling up the wall behind me. The VHS power cord looked like a flaming snake, “Sus Christ…” it whispered. I mean it was just the show- power chords can’t whisper. Thing is- the thing fell on the floor and I assume that was just the heat from the flames. The heat from the flames…
The flames blocked the door, as I had set up the VHS tape player and bubble tv just two feet from the entrance. There were no fire exists, as I had hired an independent contractor to cover the rear exit, to create a breakfast nook. But I didn’t want breakfast right now. But now the flames had covered everything. The VHS tape player cracked and contorted, it was smiling at me! “Happy Halloween!” it chortled, like modems squealing out of holes in its cheeks. It was disheveled, we’re all disheveled, everybody’s disheveled. A feeling of spiraling out of control, a feeling of complete and total loss of control.
I called 911- “HELP ME FIRE MAN SAM!” But it was just a dialtone. The 911 operator wasn’t there, nobody picked up. “SAVE ME SAMSUS!” A satanic figure emerged from the background, with red eyes, dementia and a pitchfork and tail. He smiled. “I want you to meet my son.” The flames continued to eat the background. “His name is David Berkowitz, but you may know him as…Sam. Enjoy the heat, this summer.” I decided to call my boss. I quickly dialed the number, I being a Mattel employee. I just heard the voice of a Barbie voice actor on the other line! “This is fire man sam, and I wanna wish you a happy, appy birthday!” What in god’s name? “I heard you were four years dead today, so I just want to say, HAPPY, HAPPY DEATHDAY, MAY YOU NEVER DIE ON DEATH DAY, EXCEPT FOR TODAY, BECAUSE IT’S YOUR DEATH DAY? YOU’RE ZERO DAYS OLD! NOBODY LOVES YOU, YOU’RE COVERED IN MOLD!” I screamed. The audio continued. “YOU’RE DEAD TODAY, SO HAPPY DEATH DAY! I’ll fuckin’ kill you! On your death dayyyyyy.” What in god’s name. The Mattel employee continued. “June 2nd, 2020, is National Arson day! Set your self on fuckin’ fire! My hate for you is oxygen, and you, son, are the pyre. I’ll kill all your family and friends! Oh wait, you don’t have any friends.” CLICK. I immediately redialed. Fireman Sam smiled, the skull, the skull in the tv smiled, the vhs tape smiled, and the 911 operator began to laugh, and probably smiled. I started to inhale into a Mcdonald’s drive through bag, coughing, and wheezing, and hacking, and coughing, as the smoke filled my lungs.
That’s how it is, you know, breathe in and out. Drugs to keep you calm. Your nerves still hurt, but the pathway to your brain doesn’t know it. Prescription medicine that does less than over the counter ones. You say “bless you” when someone sneezes, because their heart stops for a second. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. That’s the great thing about fire though, it’s not superstitious. It doesn’t discriminate. Now, as I said earlier, you’re supposed to carry fire insurance, you’re supposed to carry fire insurance, in case of a fire. And that’s what I did. I did everything the boss told me to, that’s exactly, what I did. So I’ll tell you what! That’s enough about you, let’s talk about me!
Coming soon to a theater near you: “Plastic Barbie and the cheap flammable lawn chairs! Fireman Sam meets Melted polyvinyl chloride, synthetic fiber, elastomer, PBT and smiling water-based paint! Government funded researchers, neon-noble gas fear technology, and a super powered cosmic death ray pointed directly into your fucking television programming cranium that will burn mankind’s reflecting remaining intelligentsia like ants under the magnifying glass known as the Almighty Dollar, my favorite weak, limp-wristed, red and blue infused cloth napkin, a cock sucking celebratory dance for those who are already dead. And we’re all already dead. Franklin D. Roose-go fuck yourself. High-level occultists. Social Armageddon. I saw It in a dream, and I killed it in a dream. 576-659-6969. 667.”
I picked up the phone again, and heard merely a dial tone, as no one was on the other line.
Anyway I died in a house fire.