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‘Firefighter Man’: If Billy Joel was a probie

A life of fetching coffee and listening to the nozzleman complain


Musician Billy Joel performs during his 100th lifetime performance at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in New York.

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular shift shuffles in
There’s an old man sittin’ next to me
Makin’ love to his mustache and chin

He says, “Son can you get me a coffee?
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man’s bunker gear”

La, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum

Get us a coffee, you’re the probie man
Get us a coffee tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for some caffeine
And you’ve got us feelin’ kinda weird

Now John at the bar is a nozzleman
He gets angry with me for free
And he’s quick with a joke, or to throw a water at you
But there’s some door that he’d rather be going through

He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me”
As a smile ran away from his face
“Well, I’m sure that I could be a truckie
If I could get out of this place”

Oh, la, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum

James Pribyl is a captain with Turkey Creek Fire Rescue in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, and has served with the department for 5.5 years. He is also a retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3.