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Why a fire engine is red...

I'd like to share a very convoluted reason as to why fire engines (fire trucks to you Americans) are red in colour.

But first, here are some cool links I came across today worth sharing (thanx to Linky & Dinky):
  • Play 20 questions. Topic = TV Shows. I tried Star Trek: Enterprise, and it got it on the 2nd try. Very simple set-up, and mildly entertaining...

  • This I am afraid to check out too deeply:, a place where fans create their own episodes of their favourite shows.... As I type this, Babylon 5 has 616 entries... I tried to look for which had the most submissions: i saw a few at 2000+, one at 4000+, but guess who's way out in front? Buffy the Vampire Slayer at 28,082! Oh my....!

And now for the feature presentation: Why is a fire engine red?
A fire engine has four firemen and eight wheels
Four and eight is twelve
Twelve inches make a foot
A foot is a ruler
A ruler was Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I knighted Sir Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake sailed the seven seas
In the sea there are fish
Fish have fins
Finns live in Finland
Finland is next to Russia
And the Russian flag is red

so THAT's why a fire engine is red.

In case you were wondering, this is something I memorised / remembered ever since primary school, maybe ~1983 or so. Yes, even then I was already intrigued by unusual connections and plays on words... :-)


  1. Wow,you were memorizing that? Reminds me of the memorization thingie we were required to do for multiplication in our Chinese class in elemantary,lol! :D

  2. When I was younger, a friend and I came up with "Objectif P" (in french dans le texte). It was used to describe a girls' striking blue eyes.
    There was the same kind of convoluted logic that was used to arrive at that. The aim was of course to be able to point out to the other but in a way that no one else would understand. BUT neither of us can remember WHAT logic and HOW we came to that result... :-( All that's left is "Objectif P".
    Those were the good old days

  3. Lol, I still remember the one we used to use every time someone called us gals a bitch. It went:

    Bitch is a dog,
    Dogs Bark
    Bark's tree,
    Tree's nature,
    Nature's beautiful.

    Thanks for the compliment lol. Strange how easy these things are to remember sometimes.

  4. HAhA! so original la... u mean u ACTUALLY HAD 2 memorise that?? HhRrMmm... interesting... y not just...

    fire is red,
    red light means stop,
    when u c a fire engine, u stop on d side of d road 2 let it pass,
    so that's y fire engines/trucks r red?


  5. Wow. I never heard that and we have firemen in our family LOL :)

    Merry Christmas!

  6. just to clarify: i didn't *have* to memorise the fire engine thingy: I *chose* to memorise it. And it was something I picked up in a book somewhere, it was not school/education-related at all! Just me manifesting my off-the-wall taste from very young :-D


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