FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!

In the late 1980s Canasta scene in Peterborough, Ontario of which I was an active member, it was tradition to believe that it was required to say “partner, may I please go out,” when ready to do so. The definitive The Complete Canasta suggests a slightly less formal “Shall I go out?”, so I’m not sure from where we derived the wordier version, but it persevered.

Excerpt from The Complete Canasta - With The Official Rules and Play

We certainly played more than our fair share of Canasta during the summer of 1987, and it remains the primary waypoint by which I mark that heady season.

I thought of “partner, may I please go out?” when I spotted this sign posted on the wall of the Queen Charlotte Armoury while attending its New Year’s Levee:

Fire sign from Queen Charlotte Armouries

I appreciate the formality of the requirement to shout “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!”, and also the seemingly strange suggestion–perhaps because this is a military installation where people have skills–that in step three  one should “proceed to fight the fire” (standard civilian signage practice is, I believe, something more akin to “retire to a safe distance and allow professionals to put out the fire”).