I’ve had a hard day. A long, hard, soul-crushing day of plumbing.

Did you ever try plumbing? Go on. It’s ok to say yes. I’m not asking if you’ve tried cocaine or sex with a hamster, or listening to Rammstein. (Hast Du?)

The word “plumbing” has its origin in the Latin word “plumbum”, which means “lead”. No, not lead as in Lead the Dog. Lead as in Led Zeppelin. Anyway, that’s where it came from, because the Romans made their water pipes from lead: plumbum. I could point out that the origin of the phrase “plumbing the depths” has to do with a lead weight attached to the end of a line, which is used to determine how deep the water is around one. So that you don’t run your ship aground. Or your Mississippi river-boat, or whatever. Ask Mark Twain about it. Goodnight Plumb-Bob.

However, the principal use of lead, in my opinion, should be for the rapid dispatching of skobes. By some linguistic quirk, this is not known as plumbing, even though it involves high-velocity lead, which raises an interesting, if tangential, point. The people who broke into the Watergate building were known as the plumbers, weren’t they? Gordon Liddy and his guys. The great Gordon Liddy: a man who could kill with one finger and who felt no pain. Why were they called the plumbers if not because of the very things I’m pondering here? They’d be the kind of guys you’d want for serious plumbing jobs.

By another interesting circularity, it isn’t too long ago that part of the plumber’s trade was to install flashing, gutters, downpipes and related rainwater goods on roofs. Why? Because they were made of lead, and you can see where this is going, can’t you? Roofs have lead. What do skobes do? That’s right, they strip lead from roofs. And when they get up on the roof in the middle of the night, who’s going to be there waiting for them? Gordon Liddy, that’s who, hired by the Friends of the Nally Stand, and a hail of high velocity plumbum.

Oh dear sweet Jesus . . .

My plumbing today was of an entirely banal sort, and I only did it as a small protest against St Patrick’s Day. Banal, but frustrating. I started it, expecting to have it finished by about four o’clock so that I could take the Jack Russell from Hell for a walk. The Terrier of the Beast: we’ll come back to that another day, I promise. Not because I think you’d enjoy it, but because I need to tell someone. Anyone.

Where were we? Oh yes, right. I was expecting to finish about four, walk the fucking lycanthrope and maybe even sneak in a crafty pint, isn’t that right? Not a chance. It all went disastrously wrong, as these things always do, and I’m fucked if I’ll let Joe-the-Racist sneer his condescending little grin, if he ever comes back to finish the kitchen. I’m not finished long. It’s fucking ten o’clock. I’m covered in dirt, my knuckles are skinned and I’m seriously pissed off. Remember years ago, Pink Floyd had a song called “One of these days, I’m going to cut you into little pieces”? A classic of its genre, I assure you. Well that’s how I feel right now, and I would do it to the Hound of Beelzebub here beside me, except that he would instantly bite me in half if I even considered it.

I’ve been told that the Domestic Dogs of Satan can’t read your thoughts if you envelope yourself in a lead-lined cape and so I suppose I might get a plumber to knock one together for me some day.

2 thoughts on “Plumbing

  1. BOCK sex with a hamster ? Holy Shite! the auld DIY thing is rotting your head. Perhaps a FAS course or two may be in order? A trip to America on a private jet ,at State expense of course, to enlighten you on the finer arts.

  2. :)))
    I had a lot of fun reading your post. But to be more serious, sometimes calling a plumber can save you a lot of time and even a lot of money…

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