Friday, 25 November 2011

Problems Big, Problems Small, They All Need Sorting.

The Arab spring rolls on. Governments are shooting their own people on the streets. Iran is on the verge, apparently, of building a nuclear bomb. Israel threatens to strike the first blow. In Africa, whole populations are starving. Afghanistan, is still a war zone. Several countries in Europe are completely bankrupt. Britain, struggling with a recession, has a general strike planned for next Wednesday. In Tricia's bathroom, a tap is leaking under the basin.

Can things get any worse? The answer, I am sorry to say, is yes they can. The leaking water has made it's way into the next door property. Which is bad enough. But just to make things even more complicated, it has found it's way to their electricity meter,and blown the fuses.

The emergency, 24 hour call out, no job too small, plumber, has been and assessed the work required. This entailed sticking his head into the cupboard under the basin. As he bends down his arse does it's best to escape from the dark confines of his trousers. I wince at this revolting image, and look away.
He reappears, and, grunting with the effort, gets painfully to his feet. There is the sound of sharp intakes of breath and tutting noises, combined with head shaking and teeth sucking. He has noticed the lead piping.

"That's not good. That is bleeding ancient mate. I'm gonna 'ave to cut into that. What you need is a lead lock mate. Not easy to find, lead locks. Dunno if you can get 'em. Your plumbing is bleeding prehistoric mate."

Doing my best to ignore his gloomy prognosis I ask if he can do the job. This sets him off again. The teeth sucking gets louder. I worry for his gums.

"Those taps are gonna need changing," he says sucking rapidly, "they came outta the bleeding ark they did. Ain't seen taps like that for bleeding donkeys years. Gonna be a bastard to get 'em off, without cracking the basin, mate. Might 'ave to 'ave a new basin. Might as well do. Get the job done proper. Them bath taps is gonna go soon by the look of 'em. I could do 'em at the same time, save you a bit of money there. You got any more old taps need sorting out? Alright if I smoke mate? I'll 'ave to find a lead lock somewhere, to stop that leak. Gaw'd knows where. Can't do it this week anyway, mate, I'm bleeding snowed under wiv work."

While he fills his lungs with tobacco smoke, I take the opportunity to point out that he advertises himself as a 24 hour emergency call out plumber.

"I'm 'ere ain't I mate. It ain't leaking no more is it? 'mergency bleeding sorted, right?"

I then point out that the leak has stopped because I turned the main stopcock off myself, before he arrived.

"Yes mate, I know that, but you did call me out on a 'mergency, didn't you, and I came didn't I? I am 'ere ain't I? Stood in your bleeding bathroom."

Normally, I am an easy going chap, but his condescending attitude has got me riled, and I have decided he will not be getting the job. I show him to the door, telling him I'll let him know. I think he gets the message.

He has a parting shot, "What about my call out charge?"

I tell him to send me the bill.

The next plumber I call, is here, and gone, within a couple of hours, having fixed the leak.

The worlds problems go on, but Tricia's leaking tap is one less to worry about.


  1. Glad you managed to fix your leak!

  2. Reminds me of my saga of trying to fix the stove last summer. What a zoo. That guy is never coming through the doors of my house again.

  3. You make me laugh. Thanks for that. B

  4. That plumber sounds like he was out to make the money for a fine vacation on the plumbing. Doesn't he realize that return customers are where the real money is?

  5. OMG I have so had this experience with call-out plumbers. Another fabulous piece of writing. When is the book coming out?

  6. Thanks! I sleep soundlessly tonight knowing this. hahaha

  7. As the co owner of a plumbing company, I feel your pain...Hahaaa...Wonder if the first one had a license...
    Glad it's fixed...

  8. I've had similar problems with guys like your plumber too many times. I'd love to say I've handled them as well as you did every time, but it takes a few times before a person learns the right way.

  9. At least you had the sense to turn the water off. Several years ago we had a leak in a basement bedroom and I traced it up to the kitchen sink. Instead of turning the water off we just tied a rag around the dripping pipe downstairs and all night it dripped and soaked up in the carpet until a plumber could come. When he turned the water off to fix the pipe, It dawned on me I could have done the same thing. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  10. Glad all went well but love the way you wrote the post make it sound funny and interesting. Never bored reading your post, I should learn more from you when it some to writing. Happy Blogging Sir

  11. Yep there are more cowboys here than there ever were in the wild west.

  12. You should see what an enterprise it is to get a plumber here in Rome! And how much they charge! By the way, I love Charles Dickens too, I've read all his books, my favorite is David Copperfield. I am following you from Rome, Italy but I am Sicilian. If you like food, I've got plenty:)

  13. Hi Francesca, thank you for being follower number 50. Quite a milestone for me.
    I think Dickens is a marvellous writer. I love his descriptions of people and places.
    Best wishes, John.