Looking for a Flush – Part Deux

The plumber, whose name (I swear – I’m not making this up) is John, is sitting with Michael at the kitchen table when I get home from work.

Michael had already gotten a receipt. I know, from previous experiences, that this exchange usually takes place after the work is done. So, when John all too cheerily blurted out, “Hi there. Your toilet’s broken,” it was difficult not to say, “Gee, this is awkward – I thought you were the plumber.” Instead, I simply said, “Yeah, I was the one who called.” Then I put down the groceries I had brought in and went back out to the car for another load. It was on this trip out to the car that I noticed the toilet which, to my knowledge, had never lived in our garage before, but which was now sitting there proud as you please. If it had been a snake or a shark or even a lamb on Valium, it might have bitten me – that’s how close I was to it when I had walked by it the first time. My powers of observation are keen indeed.

Immediately humbled and sorry for wrongly thinking before that John might well be a moron, I grabbed more groceries from the trunk, and upon re-entering the kitchen, asked him, “So what’s up?”

John explained to me that he was busying himself tightening the thingamabobber on the toilet which used to reside in the master bath when the tank cracked right down the side.

Having noticed that my eyes were none too sharp and that he was, in all likelihood, dealing with a moron, he pointed in the direction of the toilet in question to better illustrate his meaning.

So, that evening, after John had gone on his merry way, we made a family outing to Lowe’s and bought a brand- spanking-new toilet, which John would install for us the very next day. Michael said that from now on when we had plumbing jobs, John wanted us to call him directly instead of phoning the company.

No doubt, Michael is a plumber’s wet-dream. So, whenever I think about that conversation taking place, I can’t help but visualize Michael and John the Plumber happily running toward each other over a field of flowers – Michael with a wad of money in hand and John with his plunger.

The next day, John made good on his word. He fixed the toilet at a reasonable rate, and finished the job before I got home from work. He also told Michael a story, which, in my opinion, is as good a story as you’ll ever hear. If it’s not true, I don’t care, because the way I see it, I’m getting in on the ground floor of what’s sure to be an urban legend.

A Plumber’s Tale

John is using a snake to clear a clog in a toilet drain for a guy. They guy is hanging out with him and watching him work. John keeps pulling condoms one by one out of the drain pipe. After watching John pull about thirty of them out of there, the guy asks, “So, what are those things you keep finding?” John answers back, “Well, they’re condoms, sir.” The guy looks stunned, goes suddenly pale, and tells John that he’s had a vasectomy for fifteen years.

Not surprisingly, he also murmurs something about divorce.

My first instinct when Michael told me that story was to be pissed off.

See, I’ve had dealings with John in the past and he never got chummy enough with me to tell me any cool plumber stories. Nor, for that matter, had he ever offered to do any work for me on the “down low.” “What”, I thought, “is that about? Am I not good enough to tell your stories to, Plumber Man?”

Then it occurred to me what must’ve happened.

See, Michael doesn’t talk to people. Sometimes, if they’re lucky, he’ll answer them. But, he never attempts to make small talk. He’s not a social person.

Socially, Michael tends to totter between being either incredibly rude or shy to the point of dysfunction… Let’s just say, he can make people uncomfortable.

Let’s also say, he’s the type of person who will stare at you while you fix his toilet.

While we’re saying those things, we might also say that Nazis confessed to countless atrocities under only slightly less pressure than poor John the plumber was under the day he told that story to Michael. In fact, I’ve often thought that if we could force suspected terrorists to hang out alone with my husband for a couple of hours, the bastards would talk. Oh, they’d talk alright.

So, now you understand (as I do) that John the plumber doesn’t like Michael better than he does me. He doesn’t. I’m not jealous. There’s no need to be. Shut up. You don’t know him at all. I’m outta here.

Comments 17

  • I don’t understand it, but Hubby can ‘talk the talk’ with these people, too. I learned a lot more about it when we built the house – he turned it ALL over to me. He told all the workmen to talk to me about everything. I got lots better at those little chats! I assume everything is now flushing happily? Nothing like a bad crapper. – oh, and again, welcome back! Missed ya!

  • The crack was probably caused by overtightening the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. Just say no to crack, as they say.

    “Do you have poker in your life”
    Snort. “Is your house full or are you flush?”

  • Listening to the muzak while waiting for you to blog again… (MAN I hate muzak…)

  • Hey DEBBIE! knocks on blog-door

    Yo, you bloggin’ any time soon, or what?

    I miss your witty blogs, girl!

  • I’m telling folks on my Blogroll I’m going off line for a few weeks. So don’t post until the end of the month! Now you can blame me if anyone is complaining about new posts (I like to think you’re busy because you’re writing the next Great American novel).

  • That was incredibly fun to read!

  • have you forgot how to blog it has been a long time don’t tell me your to busy at work. lookin foreward to you nexy bit of WHIT steve

  • This is a very funny entry! And very well-written…. I can actually imagine myself sitting there while all this is going on! hehe.

  • You just call your old Mother-in-Law next time you have toilet trouble. I purchased “The Secret” from QVC and I am not ashamed to say I shopped there. It really is called The Secret put out by the “this old house guy on TV”. Anyway it has a can of something, never have figured out what, attached to a strange device. For 9 years now (but of course I will now jix myself)I have fixed all stop ups with my toilet, bathtub and kitchen sink with it. Yes, I would say the plummer cracked the toilet so I hope he gave you a very good deal. But now you have a new one that no butt has touched – unless tried out at the store.

  • By the way shouldn’t your husband carry in the groceries since his sweet wife went to the store.

  • sigh… I think the toilet got the best of her.

  • Whats your email address. I want to send you an invitation to a Louisville Blogger opportunity.

  • Being as that I am a Plumber’s daughter, I know ALL the plumbers stories – eww. Tell Michael to keep the staring going if it’ll work to get John in on some side work 😉 Also wanted to say that I hate poker and I hate watching it but my 4 year old is the Family poker champ and there are pictures at my site to prove it!

  • Hey Debbie, your fan base misses your witty repartee. (We’re also worried about you.)

  • yeah.

    where the heck ARE you?!

  • st can’t believe these stories about toilets plugged up with condoms. I always flush my used rubbers and never have had any problems.

  • I heard that plumber story since the 1980s but around here (Indiana) it’s with a septic system being backed up and the guy pumps it and there are like 1000 condoms, guy’s got a vasectomy. Of course the proper telling includes that the wife didn’t understand they were on septic, or what that means.

    So yeah, you’re on the 1000th floor sorry to say…

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