It was circa 1999 and I had just moved to Atlanta to attend the Art Institute. A childhood friend of mine was passing through and asked if I wanted to catch up over a few adult beverages. I was excited to see someone from back home so he came by the apartment and we were quickly off to a bar for some “day drinkin.” Ahh, college days.
After a few hours of catching up, we exit the establishment and it’s still day light out. I’m not sure if you’ve ever done day drinkin but when you leave a bar and it’s still light out, it’s kinda like a vampire getting exposed to the morning sun, it burns!
Before heading home, a small construction site caught my eye. It looked like they were working on the water lines. In this mess of mud and debris, there laid a fire hydrant on its side and I thought to myself, “I must have it.”
I asked the onsite foreman if it was okay to take it and in my best Boss Hog accent he said “Son, we were sposed to take it back to the shop and recycle it (they had already installed the new one) but if you can move it, you can take it!”
I tried to lift it but it was HEAVY! This thing probably weighed between 250-300 lbs but my friend could see the drunken insanity in my eyes and knew that I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
So after nearly giving friend a hernia, smashing my hand between the trunk and the hydrant, AND working up a solid sweat in the hot Georgia sun…we got it. We somehow got this friggin fire hydrant in the trunk of my 89 Camry. I’m sure we did considerable damage to my shocks and with the hydrant in
my trunk, there was barely enough room between the wheel well and tire for the car to move but we did it!
I got the hydrant home and over time, I wire brushed it down to the iron, and gave it a new technicolor paint job. It’s been with us ever since.
One last part of the weird story is that once the fire hydrant was cleaned up, painted and being used a decoration in our apartment, we realized that “Fire hydrant” was just too much to say. I’m not sure how this came to me (probably alcohol again) but we decided to name our fire hydrant “Roy.” So, for the last 16 years, we’ve had a fire hydrant named Roy. True story.