Joe the plumber in Pleasantville…

Up here in Canada we have the Brothers Mackenzie, Air Farce, loggers, habitants, the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks. We also have the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who now lives in the U.S.of A. We have poutine, maple syrup and Tourtiere. Alas, we do not have Joe the Plumber, who whips up our electorate as he does in the U.S.

Today I met our version of Joe the Plumber. His name is Bryan; he drives a large imposing looking white truck with his company name emblazoned on the sides. He speaks with a juicy Cockney accent, sports a gold ring in his left ear, looks like a pugilist and wields a mighty wit as well as a large wrench, with which he gesticulates to drive home plumbing truths.
You see our water main has burst, which necessitated a visit from Joe, I mean… Bryan the Plumber. He is really good at getting down to the source of the problem. He took a look at our soggy front lawn, took a few steps, whereupon the ground heaved under his feet, and pronounced the source of the leak. Fortunately for us, water hasn’t started to come into our basement.
Naturally, these sorts of things tend to happen just whenever Rumpole is away for one of his male bonding trips with Man of Science, as just happens in this instance. I am the one left alone to deal with tradesmen, not one of my favourite things to do, as I am past the age of disarming them with my charm and good looks to get a good discount. Would you give a woman who looks like Popeye’s grizzled mother a discount? I thought not!
Thus, I gritted what few teeth are left in my head and wrote out a hefty deposit cheque, for work to commence on Tuesday. Bryan summoned the municipality’s operations guy to come out and turn the water off at the main junction. My God! He actually lied to the City guy and said our basement was awash in fresh water. The lie seemed to do the trick, as in no time a municipal operations van was parked out front and disgorged a fellow wielding a metal detector. He promptly found the connection and closed it off. Whew! We are safe, for now, from having a basement double as a swimming pool.
Bryan connected us to Lookingforbeauty’s outside garden outlet, so now we have water until the reconnection is effected, this coming Tuesday. I put in a call on Rumpole’s cell phone and left him a message of outlining the ‘disaster’s specifics’ and the outlay of shekels involved. That should dampen his holiday in Bella Coola, which he was so enthusiastic about. Other people get exercised about upcoming holidays in Turkey and Egypt, the Turks and Caicos, the temples at Angkor Wat. My beloved waxes poetic about the beauties of overland travel through the bush to that hotbed of tourism, Bella Coola.
It seems to me now, that my local candidate for the recently past election might have taken a cue from Sarah Palin and John McCain’s Joe the Plumber exploitation idea. He might have used Bryan the Plumber to sing praises of the union to which he belongs, got his opinion on all matters of concern to the local electorate – the environment, the electoral reforms, resource management and the economy.
Maybe next Tuesday, when Bryan the Plumber comes to reconnect us to the municipal water mains, I shall beard him while he is thus occupied and suss out how he feels about all that. However, I don’t know what I’ll do if he expresses Conservative sympathies and demonstrates jubilation about our newly returned Conservative minority. I guess I’ll have to be subtle and keep my pinko attitudes under my hat, that is, until after he has completed the plumbing job for us. But it’ll really hurt me to write that cheque, should he be be a card-carrying Conservative.

7 Responses to “Joe the plumber in Pleasantville…”

  1. johemmant Says:

    Mmm. Food for thought. But this made me smile too. The UK gov is going to step in and run investment banks with a tight hand…….no more huge bonuses, no more disproportionate salaries……..lil miss pinko over here thinks it’s just about time. I know it’s not my country, but given the American presence in the world at large, I sure hope Obama gets in.

  2. lookingforbeauty Says:

    What a hoot! You write so well. I had to chuckle at a number of things as I read along…
    But the bill is not a hoot. It’s a real bummer.
    I’m sorry about the water main tragedy.
    I’ll bet your plumber is a card carrying trade unionist. You probably don’t need to worry about him being Conservatively leaning.
    I really don’t understand it. Pleasantville turned into Pleasantvile at the the election. Such a high percentage of Conservatives and I don’t know a single one of them.
    That’s what I get for running with the artistic crowd that goes to major galas paid for by the state. Pinko commies, the lot of them. No wonder SH is cutting off all the arts funding. Can’t be paying for pinkos at the galas!

  3. Deborah Barlow Says:

    G, good merging of the personal and the political…we’re all in a heightened state of anxiety here, south of your border, until November 4. So readable, as always.

  4. diamondsandrust Says:

    Never thought of a cockney accent as being juicy but thinking back to the Barrow Boys of London’s past,their fruit was definately was.
    A good read again.Your name is up now in orange on my new blog site,hope you don’t mind.

  5. Chris Miller Says:

    I love worrying about your leaking pipes – while I ponder my next episode with our village’s building department and my poor, leaking, leaning, garage/studio. And — of course — I love the distractions of our current election cycle — where I feel — for the first time — it’s a win-win situation – if not for national history – at least for entertainment value.

  6. christine Says:

    Your Brian sounds like the real deal when it comes to plumbers. Our Joe is actually a business man who wants to buy his boss’s company, and who hopes to earn over a quarter of a million dollars from his venture. That’s why he didn’t like Obama’s tax plan.

    To me, most conservatives are out for numero uno. They have their pile of loot – let the rest be flooded out of their homes, tan pis!

    I watch the news every night, looking for signs that ensure a victory for Obama. Like Deborah says, we wait anxiously.

  7. suburbanlife Says:

    Johemmant – I hear you and concur, heartily. Thanks for your comment and visit. G

    Lookingforbeauty – owie! And it really hust to give him the shekels afte finding out, a) he is a died-in-the-wool conservative and b) he did not exercise his citizenship opportunity to vote because “he was too busy!!!”
    I guess plumbing takes precedence over public participation in making decisions that char our course for the coming years. 😦 G

    Deborah – it is frightening what is going on in the States and what it means for civil values and philosophy responsive to all the pressures besetting us all. That is something to be truly anxious about. G

    Chris – it’s no fun to have to work in a leaky and leaning studio garage, which is probably hellish to keep warm in your vicious Chicago winters. Distraction, even though it’s entertaining in a dark humour sort of way, only goes so far, before reality whacks one in the face, full force and nasty. I hope you resolve your studio problems, because the best form of distractive engagement is one of creative endeavour. A good salve for wounds. G

    Christine – there is a lot of talk of “healthy self-interest” one of the key pillars of conservatism, which really means “every man for himself, let him sink or swim, and let me compound my own gatherings in the meanwhile”, sort of an every man is an island philosophy, only it is most distructive of the common good – we all breathe the same air, etc.
    Bryan was very efficient, did his job, took the money and scarpered off. We have running potable water. Fair trade. G

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