Plumb Line


I’m troubled by all this talk of war in Iraq. No other phrase for it. I’m troubled.

It’s not just the increased probability of a global religious conflict, millions of lives being lost and the threat of nuclear Armageddon. It’s how much Saddam Hussein looks like Super Mario.

I’m troubled that the image of plumbing and plumbers everywhere will be irreparably damaged by the uncanny resemblance between Saddam and the patron saint of plumbers.

Okay so one is a comic figure who plays silly games, loses lives and blows things up for no good reason and the other is Super Mario but you can see how people could get confused.

This Hussein chap looks like the kind of plumber who would estimate 20 quid for fitting a new ballcock then haul the intestines out of your system and tell you its five grand guv or I can’t guarantee your house won’t fall down. And that’s just bad for business.

It doesn’t help either that President Dubya carries off a passable impersonation of Marshall P Knutt. Carry on cowboy? I should cocoa. I wouldn’t trust him to put a washer on the right way up.

President P Knutt is just spoiling for a fight because his daddy was made to look bad. Blow up Baghdad dad? Okey dokey. Where is it anyway?

If we leave it to these two clowns then the world will be blown to bits and plumbers will end up losing out. We’re stuck between Iraq and a hard place and I’m troubled.

What the UN needs to do is forget about sending in weapons inspectors and send in a team of plumbers instead.

Apart from the silly moustache (with apologies to St Mario’s mouser) have you noticed how Mr Saddam always looks like he’s got a bad smell under his nose? I’ll bet my best wrench that he’s got problems with sewage.

It’s not chemical weapons at all, it’s a serious dose of industrial strength Domestos to deal with the awful pong from his blocked pipes. No wonder he’s mad. You wouldn’t be very happy if you had to put up with the stink from the khazi of Baghdad.

I always tell my apprentices, sort out the pong and you sort out the problem. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

As for President P Knutt, his problem is all down to not having as big a plunger as his daddy. You can’t just turn that self-esteem issue off like a tap.

Tell him size isn’t everything, that Baghdad is in Arkansas and that the Midnight Plumbers have sorted out Saddam. Problem solved. Kofi Annan eat your heart out.

Plumb on.

Plumb Line

Traffic Jams

Poor old Stephen Byers. You’ve just got feel sorry for him, haven’t you? As if it wasn’t bad enough that he had to sort out the old transport mess, he had to work with that strange-looking Jo Moore woman as well. Is it any wonder he always looked as if he was about to start crying? Then he was accused of lying when all he had done was give an estimate that didn’t turn out to be entirely accurate. Who amongst us hasn’t done that, eh? My own rule of thumb on estimates is to suggest one third more than you think they expect and cough while you say it. Mr Byers clearly forgot to cough. The poor, simple fool has lost his job just because they crashed a few trains, there’s been some traffic jams and one strange-looking woman couldn’t keep her trap shut.

Now they’ve given the position to Alastair Darling – presumably because his hair is white to start with so nobody will notice when the job drives him crackers. It strikes me that the solution to the transport crisis is really quite simple – better plumbing. For a start we need less bends. Any apprentice who knows his armitage shanks from his elbow knows that the more bends the more problems. As I always say, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life. And there’s too much through flow. It’s a basic rule of plumbing that too much traffic puts pressure on the twist valves and the whole system clogs up. That inevitably leads to overheating and before you know it you’ve got trouble on your hands. We need a structure based on the old Roman plumbing system. Lots more public provision and fewer hang-ups about sharing with your neighbour. Okay, sometimes they got a bit more lead in their pencil than they bargained for but that’s a small price to pay for regular ablutions. So there you are Mr Darling – less bends, less nuts and more public baths. That’s the answer. And you can have that idea on me for free.

Plumb on