And this set of contenders was picked by Mame who wrote, "How about Firemen vs. Sanitation Men? I know a lot of girls (and some guys) love the men on the red trucks, but I like guys in green because they keep my city clean! I think it's time for a show down." Mame, I can't help you get a potentially smelly date with a "guy in green." But I can tell you Who's More Awesome, in a duel that's strangely appropriate for Valentine's Day, considering your love of the waste collectors.
Racing: This one's too easy. Sanitation men sit in a truck most of the day, and firemen have to run swiftly up stairs and around buildings, and when they run, it's serious shit. Basically, they're fast, or people die. If garbage men aren't fast, the street just smells a little worse. And so, point two for los bomberos.
Archery: Have you ever seen a sanitation man sling a garbage bag into the back of his truck? It's a thing of beauty, like watching a bird dive hundreds of feet and then swoop back up instantly. Or a gymnast gracefully twist around bars. Or a painter paint stuff. Artsy stuff. Anyway, the point is that anyone who can so smoothly sling bags full of paper towels, top ramen containers, and used condoms up into the air with a perfect arc and a perfect speed has the precision necessary to be an excellent archer. Two points for the people who clean up after our messes.
Swimsuit: After all those calendars they've posed for, I'd really feel bad not awarding this one to the firefighters. And if anyone needs to wear a little less clothing, it's someone inside of a fire, because fires are fucking hot! Don't they know that? Going in with those heavy jackets and what I'm pretty sure are yellow snowboarding pants. Yeah, yeah, it protects the skin, but they must be sweating like motherfuckers. If I was a fire fighter, I'd wear swim trunks...and not go into buildings that were on fire. Hey, I'd fight it from outside. I'd throw buckets on water on it, and blow on it, and try to grab little bits of it in between two fingers that I just licked to impress people at parties, but I sure as hell wouldn't run into a fire. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, swimsuits: the firefighters win this one. Point three for them.
Fighting: I don't care how many axes and high-powered hoses the firemen bring to this showdown, a truck full of garbage carrying all sorts of smells, all sorts of insects, and all sorts of diseases wins. It's the strong versus the dirty argument, and I go with the dirty, hands down, any day. If one guy won the golden gloves, but the other is throwing his poop around, the man who took his lessons from monkeys at the zoo wins every time, because Mr. Ali De La Hoya Balboa isn't going to get anywhere near a guy throwing his shit. And similarly, a firefighter would keep his distance from tons of waste. The sanitation men have their third point, tying this up.
Sorry Mame but the sanitation men just got hosed down and put out, but I'm sure the guys in green appreciate your support.
(flickr photo A Fireman In Front Of Burnt House by Kiwi NZ; http://www.flickr.com/photos/7700821@N06/476498165/)