Firefighters in areas affected by the hosepipe ban are making a splash with their imaginative new water delivery systems. Firemen in North London were initially angry with water bosses' decisions to include the Fire Brigade in the ban, but are now relishing the challenge to extinguish fires ad lib.
"You learn hosepipe etiquette and technique on day one; after that there's little else to do", commented one fireman. "Once you've greased up your pole and polished off your engine, that's the hardest bit of the day over with. But the team are really coming together now, bashing out new ideas, debating en mass to solve the problem of the sticky mess we're in."
For small fires, the station employs Martin, County spitting champion, although it would be ridiculous to suggest fires are extinguishable with a few mouthfuls of phlegm. Rather, he does a simply heart-wrenching rendition of Candle in the Wind, and the tears of the senior officers are more than enough to engulf the flames.
Slightly larger fires require the carefully reserved brine from the lunchtime tuna tin, which also works for tempting down cats stuck in trees.
The largest fires are dealt with using the station's new, well-endowed steed. Nicknamed 'Put it out Pete', the horse is encouraged to drink water aplenty so that if a fire arises he is ready to perform. Also performing is 'Down below Dan', tasked with the aiming.
"It was particularly satisfying being called to put out a small fire at the home of the Thames Water boss with Pete", recalls Dan. "Truthfully, it was only a brine-worthy fire, but I misheard the call. Anyway, with Pete's prowess, putting that one out really was a piece of piss."
The public have generally approved of the new methods, but hysterical shouts of "put it out, put it out!" are now regularly replaced by grossed out calls to "put it away, put it away!"