If the unnamed siren who flirted with a Venice fire crew 13 years ago had been as good at covering her chest as Fire Chief Brian Cummings is at covering his derriere, the chief might be able to spend as much time putting out real fires as metaphorical ones. But boys will be boys, and sometimes girls will go wild.
We probably could have lived without knowing that, in 1998, a bikini-clad woman on the Venice boardwalk approached a firetruck manned by a four-man crew led by Cummings, and the firefighters asked if she would pose for pictures with them. According to the bizarre confession staged last week by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office, in which Cummings held one-on-one media interviews to enumerate his less-than-cardinal sins, the firefighters were subsequently shocked, shocked to see her take off her bikini top while posing in front of the truck. But not too shocked to stop taking pictures.
So why did Cummings feel the need to tell us this? Because L.A. hook-and-ladder rigs are suddenly very much in the news. Last month, NBC4 LA reported that personnel at two fire stations — in Hollywood and, coincidentally, in Venice — had allowed their trucks to be used in pornographic film shoots. In the Venice shoot, an actress climbed onto a firetruck and disrobed, in a sequence similar to the Cummings incident in 1998. This shows that despite all evidence to the contrary, porn imitates life.