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V.F.D. Heart-shaped Balloon

A volunteer

One volunteer

The Volunteers Fighting Disease (unrelated to the Volunteer Fire Department) are a group of cheerful people who travel to Heimlich Hospital in an attempt to cure the patients with their cheerful moods.

Unfortunately, they never provide patients with anything legitimately helpful such as medicine, although some people believe that someone's morale is more powerful than a placebo effect. For example, a man asks a nurse to be called for painkillers, while a woman requests a glass of water. One volunteer declines claiming they don't have time, while another says, "a cheerful attitude is a more effective way of fighting illness than painkillers, or a glass of water. So cheer up, and enjoy your balloon."

They first make their appearance in Book the Eighth: The Hostile Hospital. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny disguise themselves as volunteers, in the hope of finding a lead to the mystery surrounding their family. It is believed that all of the Volunteers Fighting Disease survived the fire which destroyed Heimlich Hospital.

Organization

The Volunteers, led by a bearded man with a guitar, travel, and presumably live, in a square, gray van with the letters "V.F.D." printed on its side.

Names are not used among the Volunteers Fighting Disease. Rather, volunteers call each other "brother" and "sister."

It is generally accepted in the group that the news is always depressing, as their motto is "no news is good news," and so none of the volunteers read The Daily Punctilio.

Two known members in the TV series are the bearded man and perky volunteer.

Activity

At Heimlich Hospital, the volunteers go from room to room, handing out pink, heart-shaped balloons to sick patients with the belief that their cheerful attitudes can heal the sick. Led by the bearded man and his guitar, they sing the following song:

We are Volunteers Fighting Disease
And we're cheerful all day long
If someone said that we were sad
That person would be wrong
We visit people who are sick
And try to make them smile
Even if their noses bleed
Or if they cough up bile
Tra la la, Fiddle dee dee
Hope you get well soon
Ho ho ho, hee hee hee
Have a heart-shaped balloon
We visit people who are ill
And try to make them laugh
Even when the doctor says
He must saw them in half
We sing and sing all night and day
And then we sing some more
We sing to boys with broken bones
And girls whose throats are sore
Tra la la, Fiddle dee dee
Hope you get well soon
Ho ho ho, hee hee hee
Have a heart-shaped balloon
We sing to men with measles
And to women with the flu
And if you breathe in deadly germs
We'll probably sing to you
Tra la la, Fiddle dee dee
Hope you get well soon
Ho ho ho, hee hee hee
Have a heart-shaped balloon

In the TV series, they sing this when Klaus takes a balloon:

We visit patients in their beds
And get them to cheer up
Even when they donate blood
Or pee into a cup

In the TV series, they sing this while visiting patients:

We visit victims everywhere
And try to calm them down
Even when their raw red throats
Make their faces frown
We sing and sing and sing and sing
You cannot turn us off
The cheerful lyrics work like pills
And might improve your cough
We visit people with bad mouths
Whose tongues swell up with sores
Our songs bring lots of sunshine in
Although they're stuck indoors

In the TV series, they sing a verse about leprosy:

We visit folks with leprosy
And sing them songs as such
We're careful not to touch them, though
Or breathe in very much

In the TV series, they sing this in a hallway:

We sing while walking down the hall
And then consult our list
To see the names of anyone
Who just might have a cyst

In the TV series, they sing this extra part when the hospital is burning:

The hospital is burning down
It really is a shame
And the worst part is
The Baudelaires are totally to blame

When the Baudelaires are in the storeroom, they sing this (the first part is difficult to hear):

...and soon it will be ashes
All the patients have to leave
Even those with rashes

Appearances

Sources

Gallery