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.