Why Plumbers Are the Mightiest Residential Tradespeople of Them All


Rejoice! For years you have broken your hump and bought a wonderful home in which you and your family and worldly belongings and cats and dogs and hamsters and other pets of many shapes and sizes can live peacefully and with great joy and without dismay. Indeed, the universe offers rich blessings!

But there is a season for all things: a season where your toilet gets clogged or runs nonstop into the dark, dark night trying to get some damn sleep. Season for your dishwasher to hit the fritz in the morning after a truly incredible dinner where the meat and sauces and vegetables and desserts and wine flow like wine. A season when the clothes washer throws out some sort of packing and your newborn’s clothes are covered with vomit and feces of different colors and smells and remain unclean for days and days after. There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth and family rebuke.

Get on your knees and pray as if your life depended on it, or use the phone and call the plumber.

O Plumber, first among skilled traders. You who reign supreme on top of the pantheon of residential repairers. You’re awesome. Wicked great. Homeowners can slog for a week, maybe ten days, without power or heating or electric light, but just try to make it for a week without a working toilet. You alone control life-giving elements. All bend over.

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Your plumber van shows up as an old, possibly uninspected, van in dire need of a new muffler. Thou, it is verily a chariot of wonders, in which reside the mystical instruments of Thy magic. O wrench, monkey and pipe turner, owner of drain hoses, magician and controller of both comings and goings. O corrector of clogs and other drainage problems. Oh great solder of cracked copper pipes in awkward locations. We praise you.

Don’t be fooled by The Plumber’s unkempt clothing and casual understanding of terms like ‘budget’, ‘start time’ and ‘schedule’. The plumber appears in many guises and with many asses, a trick they use to separate their doubters from their worshipers.

The plumber is not just any human trader whose skills can be acquired through a YouTube tutorial, such as an electrician, cable guy, or drywall worker. The lofty plumber, whether they bear the earthly name Dan or Fitzy or Sandra or Spike or Pat, does not care about your mortal expectations. No! They walk to their own drummer. They are the custodians of the ancient knowledge of the waters on Earth, the pipes under sinks and interior walls, the Coriolis effect, and what torque to use when tightening a faucet handle so that it doesn’t wobble but still turns smoothly and shuts off completely. Such miracles abound in their presence!

The plumber’s mysteries are vast and their knowledge unknowable and you will tithe them through your ever-loving nose, no matter what amounts they charge. Without them, you will be trapped in a stinking purgatory where your family will mourn and grieve as they will rip their unwashed clothes and socks and shocking new joggers with great cruelty.

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The plumber is fickle and will beat you with great vengeance for both major and minor mistakes: a ‘major’ mistake defined here as something like standing over their shoulder and telling Them how to fix the sink drain, or their bill not pay for 30 days.

Woe to you who question the plumber’s extortionate prices, for blasphemers will be denied their great blessings. Make the plumber angry at your own great personal risk. Because while your plumbing problems may diminish today, tomorrow will bring more and more, for a thousand lives. Many a plumber has fired an unfaithful subject who fails to throw himself down enough in Their eyes. Do you really want to be that person who can’t find a reliable plumber when you need one? Be polite and grateful, and offer Them offers of Toll House cookies and Yankees tickets and house beer in a can, lest they cause you vengeful anger, including improperly repairing your dishwasher or ‘accidental’ disposal of whatever it is. it also ensures that the waste water does not flow backwards to the toilet on the ground floor. Send the plumber a card on their birthday. Maybe tip them when they are done restoring order and peace to your home. They will make you lie in green pastures above your leach field. And it will be good.

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