Be alarmed

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It takes a lot to get all of us out of our seats. The fire alarm that came screaming through the building yesterday morning didn't even do it, seeing as how there are tests of our fire-alarm system about three times a week. How are we going to know when there's really a fire? This question is quite frequently brought up with a resigned laugh and an eye roll. It's brought up in that manner quite frequently by me, actually. Yesterday, though, I simply popped up out of my chair, looked around, noticed the way no one was moving and said, "We're all going to meet a fiery end." Then I sat down. I'm a lot of fun. (It turned out to be a false alarm.)

Mere hours later there was a very real fire across the street on the roof of a building on 34th between Tenth and Eleventh. This is the second time in the past year that this particular building has gone up in flames, which is what nearly everyone who was pressed up against the window in this office looking at the big billowing clouds of black smoke pouring off the roof across the street was noting. Luckily, no one was hurt. A hundred firefighters were dispatched. From where we were standing, they looked like little GI Joe figurines, though I may be alone in that observation.

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