Sparky at WalMart

Meet Sparky.

Mark and I had to make a trip to WalMart this afternoon while Ben was attending a (mandatory for young people under the age of 16)  snowmobile safety course.  While looking over the goodies sold in the automotive department,  I kept hearing this very strange voice.  At first, I was sure Santa was in the store and one of his elves was speaking.  The voice was greatly distorted and high pitched….as one might suspect an elf would sound.

While Mark was looking at some items,  I took a little stroll to see where the noise was located.  That was when I saw Sparky.  This little dog was amazing.  What I discovered was that a fireman was wearing a headset and speaking into a microphone. As he spoke, his voice was distorted and the animated firedog’s mouth moved like he was talking.  The real fireman stood in an aisle where children couldn’t see him but he could observe them.

As children approached the cute little remote controlled firetruck,  Sparky would greet both children and their parents.  He would ask if they knew what day it was,  then advise them it is “change your clock, change your battery day”. This was in reference to the change to daylight savings and the fire departments realized it isa great time to also alert folks to change the battery in their smoke detector to make sure it is functioning optimally.

As Sparky spoke to the children, he showed them the flashing red lights on his firetruck and also revved the engine a bit.  He then sheepishly told the kids not to report him or the captain would put him “in the doghouse”!  Very cute. I find it interesting how organizations come up with such ingenious inventions to help children learn about fire safety.

And I just bet there are kids somewhere who have seen Sparky and reminded their parents to change the battery!