A Plumber's Job is Never Boring
I dedicate this hub to our local plumber.
The plumber...a person that is not appreciated until needed. The one person who is brain-sick enough to wade through human waste to conquer plumbing issues.
I was having coffee one morning with my cousin when our local plumber walked in. I'll call him De. De is an easy going guy that loves to shoot the breeze with his fellow mates. This particular morning he was in a bit earlier than his usual time. I was trying to come up with ideas for my next killer hub, when he joined me at my table.
Instead of sitting in an awkward silence, I decided to ask him about some of his plumbing woes when dealing with the public. What I didn't expect, was to walk away knowing a thing or two about plumbing don'ts.
These don't look like they could do that much damage.
Look out for the dentures!
“I was called to this elderly ladies house one day. Her toilet was clogged. No big deal, I tell her. I dug out my snake and shoved it through the sewer line to see if maybe it was a tree root plugging it. Not such luck. I swabbed the rest of the plumbing until I had the plugged tracked back to the toilet. I drained the water, cleared the toilet, and unhooked it from its resting place. What I found was a bit unusual from the normal stuff plugging the toilet. You know...Lego's, hot wheels, diaper wipes, lady's lipstick. Nope, I pulled out the culprit clogging the throne and put her back together. Then I placed the ladies dainties back on the back of the toilet and asked her to come in. While she was standing there in the doorway, I asked if anything was missing off the toilet. She browsed her items and said, “I'll be...my dentures!” I handed her back her dentures, packed my stuff, and never thought more about it. She went into the kitchen. Next thing I knew, she had boiled her dentures and put them back in her mouth! I can never look at dentures the same way again.”
I was bored through most of the telling of this story. Tapping away at my keyboards. Until the end, when the idea hit me. I couldn't help but ask... “What was your most embarrassing moment?”
This turds for you
“I was called to this couple's house. Their plumbing was one that the sewer dumped over a crick bed when the septic was full. I went to see what the problem was and why the lines were plugged. I swear these people are the only ones I know that have floating turds. Their problem was that since their turds floated, it plugged up the lines to the crick bank instead of sinking. Try explaining that one...hehe. But, that wasn't my most embarrassing one.”
Note to men: Don't flush the condom!
Just press the lever please!
Did you know that flushing condoms down a toilet will cause a toilet to back up?
Don't flush the condom!
I was hooked now. My hands poised above my keys.
“I was called to a prominent banker's house. They don't live here any longer. I wouldn't either after this incident. They were the kind of people that image was everything. But, ya know, bankers have plumbing problems too. Well, this guy's toilet was clogged. He figured it had to do with his wife's female stuff. You know how the box claim that some are flushable? Well, I dug in figuring he was probably right. As I was pulling out the line, he came in to ask if it was her stuffing. I told him nope, it was condoms this time. He looked me straight in the eye and said “I don't use condoms.” I was sweating bullets. He went to confront his wife. She was having an affair. To hid the evidence, the condoms were flushed. They are divorced now.”
De leaned back in his chair and took a sip of his coffee, as my fingers flew over my keyboard. I felt a story coming on.
"The dumbest thing I ever saw...", De said.
“The dumbest thing I have seen done was when a guy used silicone to fill the hole around the toilet instead of beeswax. Do you know how hard it is to pry that stuff off? Lets see, oh ya, I was working late on a job and wanted to hurry to finish it. I was changing a hot water tank. Tired, I didn't pay attention to the layout of the pipes. I just glued them and slapped them together. Next morning I get a call, the lady told me she though I had hooked up an outgoing pipe to the hot water heater. I asked her what gave her the idea. She said, the birds. Intrigued, I drove out and sure enough. A flock of birds were resting on the outside hydrant. They were having a steam bath in the fall air. The hot water line was attached to the outside hydrant, which created steam in the cool air and the birds were attracted to it.”
The modern outhouse
My Scariest Moment...
De took a sip of coffee again...I was beginning to believe he was an addict...before continuing his tall tale.
"My scariest moment was when I encountered a copper head under the house. I hate snakes. Snakes and spiders...but you have to face your fears when plumbing. I couldn't have faced mine any closer if I tried. I was so frightened coming nose to nose with this copper head, I started clubbing him with my flashlight. Suddenly my flashlight broke and it was pitch black! Just me and the snake! I wiggled back out and got me another flashlight.
There ya have it! You can say a plumber's job is never boring."
De was right! My fingers flew over the keyboards, as I thought of a few of my dad's plumbing stories. I laughed to myself as I thought back to those times my sister always asked my dad..."Do you know crack kills?" It would take Dad a moment to figure out what she meant.
After listening to De's tales, I pondered to myself...maybe an outhouse would be easier to deal with deal with...less plumbing!