Every December in Saint Jean de Sixt, the local pompiers (firemen and women) knock on the doors of homes all over the village to sell their calendars.
Given that these are the people that will save you from a burning mess should a fire break out in your home, it’s wise to buy a calendar. But here’s the hard part: it’s by donation. Will they act as quickly if they receive a call from someone who needs their help but who scrimped on the donation? Probably not, but who can be sure?
This year’s calendar is a major improvement over last year’s calendar. I’m pretty sure the photos in the 2012 calendar were taken by the young kids of the pompiers. Thankfully, this year’s calendar contains just this one blurry photo, as shown above. I guess the other kids grew up enough to take photos without blurring the results. Seriously, how hard is it to take a group photo with a modern digital camera, in good light, and check that it’s not blurry before thanking the group of their time and sending them away?
Still, it’s obvious why the pompiers go door-to-door selling: if these calendars were hanging in a shop, nobody would buy them!
I suspect they’re under no illusion about this, which is why they spend so many hours knocking on doors and chatting to occupants to figure out who lives where. My friend Jayne was celebrating her birthday when the knock came: she invited the firemen in and now has photos of her with them. Her drunken photo is clearer than the calendar photo above. In fact, I’d prefer to see a calendar full of photos of firemen with drunk people at parties than seeing them sitting in gardens or at a fake café that sadly doesn’t even exist anymore.
If you’re wondering how much I paid, I donated 10€. They then enquired if I was on holiday, presumably because of my accent. By the time they left, I’m pretty sure they were under the misguided impression that I was a lesbian from New Zealand, but that’s another story.