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Cheese Eaters

As the constipated man says, it’s the waiting that’s the worst.

Well I’ve been waiting for flippin weeks for this war to start and there’s not been so much as an exocet fired by accident. Not even a bit of death by friendly fire. Call this a war?

Honest tradesmen like myself will obviously need to put our prices up if there is a war and we need a bit of notice to get the stationery changed. It’s a sad but inevitable consequence of global conflict but there’s always a price to be paid for freedom.

I just wish they’d hurry up and get started. We all know President Dubya is gagging to bomb the towel heads so why doesn’t he get on with it? All this pussy-footing about with the Untied Nations is just wasting time. Bomb Mustaffa Moustache and get it over with.

As for Blair, he is spending far too much time listening to the lentil-eating, cardigan-wearing, bleeding heart Guardianistas. Why listen to them when you can just run them over with tanks?

Then there’s the French. The frogs. Garlic-loving, soap-dodgers who have suddenly developed a conscience when the rest of the time they are quite happy to choke geese to death to make a starter. We bail them out of two world wars and they can’t even be bothered to let us go fight without them.

Britain and America want to make the world a safer place to buy oil and all the frogs can do is say Non. Typical, they can’t even say no properly.

We all know that the real reason they are scared to go fight in the Gulf is that the Iraqis will be able to smell them from miles away and they’d be sitting ducks a l’orange.

Okay, so the brown rice brigade want to give Saddam more time to prove that he’s evil? Fair enough. Let’s not attack him for a month or two and use the time in between to practice by fighting the French.

Dubya and Tony the Toady should declare the frogs as enemies and nuke the garlic out of them. If they ain’t for us they are agin us. Let them join the axis of evil along with Iraq, Sudan and that horrible wee Pekinese that won Crufts and bomb the bejeesus out of the lot.

It is pay back time for Sacha Distel, Allo Allo, Plastic Bertrand and Camembert cheese. Fry the French — except maybe Thierry Henry, who could then play for Scotland as he won’t have a country of his own. Pulverise Paris, obliterate the Onions Johnnies, destroy Disneyland Paris and put and end to those poncey poodles. Anyway, it’s much closer than Iraq and our boys won’t be away from home for so long.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Sort the pong and you sort the problem. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

In this case, the pong comes from the ponging French. Sort out that smell and then we can turn our attention to old Mustaffa. He’s probably a bit whiffy at the moment too.

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Tories in Trouble

I’ve been having a good think about the state of the Conservative Party in Britain. Two minutes it took me. Shower of flamin’ losers.

Lady Thatcher would be turning in her grave if she could see the mess this lot was in. If she was dead. To think that the party she led to three General Election wins can’t even organise a day’s outing to a distillery. Disgraceful.

There’s Iain Duncan-Thingy, the biggest loser since the last one. I can’t even bring myself to call him leader of the party because he wouldn’t make a lead for a dog. What was the point of getting rid of the baldy wee Yorkshire boy and replacing him with a double-barrelled baldy wet blanket? If they had just changed him over and kept the same name no-one would have noticed.

If anything, this one is even more boring than the last. Mrs Campbell in Harding Street had the telly on last week when I was backing up her waste pipe and Duncan-Thingy was droaning on and on about something or other. Next thing I knew I’d fallen asleep on the job and Mrs Campbell was far from happy. The man’s a bloody menace.

I see the Spaniard is causing trouble again. Why this Portillo bloke can’t just go back to Magaluf and be a waiter is beyond me. I’m sure he’d make a perfectly good waiter, if a little light on his feet. But oh no, first chance he gets he has to stir up the effluence. Any apprentice worth his solvent weld will tell you that if you continually stir the excrement then sooner or later you will get covered in the stuff. The sooner the better in the Spaniard’s case.

Then there’s this Theresa May who I used to think was one of those bits of tottie that the lads like looking at on page three of the Sun. Turns out this one’s a different sort altogether and we’d happily have a whip round for her to keep her gear on. Mind you, she is usually seen with some right tits. There’s that little Liam Fox chap. Five foot nothing and dandruff like a blizzard. There’s Michael Ancram. Six foot tall and dandruff like a blizzard. Then there’s… Well there’s bound to be others but I just can’t think of them. They need to bring back some of the old guard and give Blair and his cronies a kick in the Commons.

Bring back Maggie and Stormin Norman, Howard and Parkinson. Bring back Selwyn-Gummer and … okay let’s not go too far. But if something works once it will work again. If I had a pound for every time I’d sorted a leaking tap with a dod of chewing gum then I’d be plumbing in the Bahamas. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Bring back Maggie. You know it makes sense. Even if she doesn’t.

Plumb on.

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Simply Not Cricket

This Cricket World Cup in South Africa is really confusing me. Well, it’s just not cricket is it?

It’s politics, it’s death threats, it’s drug taking, it’s racial slurs. It’s everything except flaming cricket.

I don’t really know what the problem is with these English lads not wanting to play in Zimbabwe. Are they afraid of getting beat or are they just a bunch of nancy boys? Okay so there’s a bit of poverty and a few people are dying but it’s Africa for God’s sake, what do they expect?

This Nasser Hussein (is he related to Saddam?) needs a good shake. You wouldn’t have had this problem if Sir Geoffrey Boycott were captain. He’d have them out there in two ticks and take whatever spears they threw at him. Of course if they had some right quick fast bowlers that would be a different matter. He’d send Gooch in first and wait till they got knackered.

All this fuss just because a few farmers are moaning about being chucked off their land. Farmers are always flaming moaning about something! If it’s not the price of milk then it’s their house being set on fire and a black man running off with their cabbages. They’re never happy.

All right so this Mugabe bloke isn’t very nice, I’ll grant you that. But the nancy boys only have to go there to play cricket not to vote for him. If they want to be all save-the-whale about it, they might as well go the whole hog and make Bob Geldof captain instead of Hussein. He’d probably get more runs anyway.

The New Zealanders are just as bad, being all girl’s blouse about going to Kenya just because they’re going to shoot them. No wonder they never won any world wars. My old gaffer always said if you took on a contract for a job then you finished it. Even if it turned out they had a dog and a granny who smelled of pee and biscuits. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Between these conshies and fat Shane Warne taking his old dear’s water tablets to lose some of that beer gut, there’s been precious little word about any actual cricket. Which is good news for any England supporters.

But there has been one little ray of sunshine. Canada beat Bangladesh in the biggest upset since I had a chicken vindaloo from Greasy Alec’s Cowboy Curry House. The Canadians won mainly thanks to fast bowler Austin Codrington who took 5 for 27.

Codrington isn’t even a full-time cricketer. He’s a plumber. Sometimes I think it’s only a matter of time before the noblest profession of all inherits the earth.

Plumb on.

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Asylum Seekers

It makes my blood boil, it really does. Who do these people think they are?

You give them the English language, teach them cricket and football, put shoes on their feet and all they want to do is come to Britain and blow us up. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they want to take money from the social while they are at it.

They call them asylum seekers but as far as I can see they are asylum assassins, towrag terrorists, traitors with tea towels, lethal leeches in our legal system. Come on, don’t tell me I’m the only one who thinks that way.

I’ve been reading my Daily Express and I know that every single one of them is a potential terrorist. I’m not suggesting that every corner shop has bombs beside the bonbons but all the Johnny-Foreigners-come-lately are likely to have semtex in their satchels.

What about this mad cleric fellow, this Abu Hamza from the Finsbury Park Mosque? You only have to look at him to see he’s a couple of warheads short of a nuclear holocaust. I’ve watched enough James Bond films to know that anyone with one eye and one hand has to be a danger to the western world. Especially if they are not white.

The mad mullah has been coining in 20 grand a year in benefits as well. Disgraceful. Just because he is a British citizen, has committed no crime and is technically entitled to these benefits, that is no reason why he should actually get them. It’s a scandal.

No wonder this country is going to the dogs when one-eyed, one-handed terrorists can put two-fingers up to the flag and get away with it.

The Express tells me that Hamza stands accused of being a terrorist, a serial rapist, being rude to nuns, not washing his hand after going to the toilet, kidnapping the Lindbergh baby, killing Maxine Healey and grievously wounding Emily Bishop, cheating at snap and of being black. None of these charges have been proven yet — except him being black — but it’s only a matter of time.

An old boss of mine used to say that if a pipe was going to break, and you knew it was going to break then there was no harm in giving it a wee twist until it snaps. Okay so you have to charge the punter £100 for a new pipe but it saves them money in the long run. If you wait until everything goes to pot then you’ll have all sorts of crap on your hands. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Lock up the traitors with tea towels now, I say. Don’t wait till they blow up the House of Commons first. Well, okay maybe let them do that but not anything else.

We’ve already lost the Empire, let’s not lose the corner shops as well.

Plumb on.

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Review of 2002

YEARS ARE like pipes – you can look back at them, up them, down them or  along them but you can’t change the crap that was in them. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

In January, Johnny Foreigner and his continental cousins threw away their money and started spending this new Euro thingy instead. Quite right too, I say. If we have to go to their hot and smelly countries on holiday then there’s less chance of us being confused by all the different funny money they used to have. Just don’t try the same with the pound, Johnny!

Then in February, the nation was gripped by curlers for the first time since Hilda Ogden went to that great corner shop in the sky. If only Rhona Martin hadn’t looked like Lily Savage’s harder sister then she’d have made a fortune.

All in all, 2002 was a good year to be a friend of Dorothy. Paul Burrell didn’t get knicked for thieving Diana’s gear, Will Young had his first number one and Michael Barrymore learned to swim. Sadly, it was the year of the queens but not the Queen’s year.

After 50 years on the throne (a plumber’s nightmare if ever I heard one) her Maj and the rest of the nation were in mourning in March for the dear old, darling Queen Mum, cruelly taken from us in her prime. Never again will those lovely yellow teeth light up our lives. Never again will the smell of
stale biscuits waft down the Mall in the morning. It was the annus horribilus to end all annuses. Oh and Princess Margaret died too.

In April Little Lord Beckham broke a bone in his foot and suddenly the metatarsal was the country’s most famous bone since Linford Christie retired. There is clearly some link between bones, dogs and South Korea that runs alongside metatarsal, Victoria Beckham and the World Cup but it’s beyond me.

In May, Roy Keane left the Irish World Cup camp in the huff. It left Mick McCarthy without a pyschotic, leg-breaking midfielder but he failed in a last gasp bid to call up Martin McGuinness as a replacement. By June the World Cup and the Jubilee were in full swing and flags of St George were
selling like pillow cases at a Ku Klux Klan convention.

In July a man waved a fake gun at Hear’Say at a motorway service station. Fake pop band, fake gun, seems fair enough. Next thing you know someone will be waving an arse at Robbie Williams.

Guns were in the news again in August and September when America was terrorised by the Washington sniper, or George W Bush as he is known. George has disproved the myth that any American boy can grow up to be President. Now you don’t even have to grow up.

One of the most tragic moments of the year was in October when 128 people died after the siege of a Moscow theatre. The biggest tragedy was that Will and Gareth hadn’t been on a tour of eastern Europe at the time.

In November our brave, heroic firefighters bravely and heroically laid down their poker hands to stand bravely and heroically on the picket line to demand a 40 per cent pay rise, a new cue for the pool table and an ACAS agreement on whether one-eyed jacks should count as floaters.

In December Cherie Blair got into bother over her involvement with a lying conman. She was also in trouble for her relationship with Australian fraudster Peter Foster. Lady Macbeth was also shocked by reports that Osama bin Laden wore a Cherie Blair mask for Halloween.

When we look back on 2002 and remember floods and fires, lost jobs and lost Royals, we shouldn’t be too gloomy. Don’t think of 2002 as the year of economic and environmental disasters, instead remember it as the year Jeffrey Archer spent in jail. Wasn’t so bad after all, was it?

Plumb on

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Cherie Oh Baby

Who amongst us hasn’t enlisted the help of the convicted fraudster boyfriend of your former soft-porn actress best friend in order to save a few quid on a house? No, me neither.

Does Mrs Blair really believe we will all fall for that quivering lower lip, I’m just a girlie, don’t really understand business, my poor son is leaving home, Tony is too full of the milk of human kindness, yada yada yada sob story? I should cocoa.

I can see why she would want to avoid putting cash into Gordon Brown’s pockets seeing as her old man hates him but when you wait on nature’s mischief you get yourself in a heap of soapy bubble.

Let’s face it, hell is nowhere near as murky as the spinning cesspool of doo doo created by Alastair Campbell and his spin liars. If they think they are going to get a plumber to clean up this mess then they can think again. This plumber’s not for churning.

Can you believe that the chiselling Cherie even has the cheek to suggest that she is getting a hard time because she is a woman? Unsex me here, she cries. No thanks love, you appear to be chewing a bag of spanners and that’s not a particularly attractive look.

The brazen barrister even thinks it’s okay to nobble judges to stop this crook being chucked out of the country. I don’t know how much it costs to bribe the bench these days but it will be a pretty penny. Has she pinched that money off Mr Brown as well? We should be told.

Anyway, what’s the world coming to when Australia start sending us their convicts instead of the other way round? This Peter Foster bloke has been up before more judges than… well, Cherie Blair. Yet who would have thought the man had so much dirt on him? Not Cherie obviously. If only she’d had some knowledge of the law she might have been okay.

As I always say, if you can’t stand the crap then get out of the bathroom. And, as we all know, if it is true in plumbing then it is true in life.

Out, out damn Cherie! Out, I say!

Plumb On

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Now I’m the last man to stand in the way of someone earning a decent wage but those firefighters are getting right up my hooter.

How can they honestly expect a 40 per cent pay rise for sitting around playing pool all week and rescuing cats from trees? The odd chip pan fire and the occasional terrorist bombing hardly justifies 30 grand a year now does it?

Your average fireman’s average week may make him an expert at 13-card brag but it doesn’t make him a proper tradesman

Sparkies, chippies, builders and God’s own plumbers are time-served craftsmen who have honed their art over years of slavish public devotion and commitment to their art. Firemen are labourers. Admittedly they are labourers that I would be happy to call on in the unlikely event of my gaffe being on fire but essentially they are navvies in uniform.

Yet because they have mastered the art of turning on a hose and pointing foam at a fire they think they can hold the country to ransom. You’re not on, Fireman Sam.

And that’s another thing, name me a famous fireman. Go on. If you’ve come up with anyone other than Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb then chances are you are a fireman and you don’t count. Firemen aren’t famous because manual workers are ten a penny not 30 grand a year. Could they re-route an ABS sweep while no-hub clamping the outlet of the sweep to a drainage system? No way. Could I interrupt a game of rummy to turn on a hose? Oh yes, I think so.

My old gaffer always said to me that if you hired monkeys then it was perfectly okay to pay them peanuts. He knew there was no need to have a time-served artist stick his arm down the pan when there was an apprentice happy to get shite on his hands for £3.60 an hour. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

If Fireman Sam and his poker-playing pals want to retrain as surgeons or computer programmers then they’ll be entitled to whatever they can earn. But oh no, they cant on account of the fact that they are too thick. And more importantly it would mean giving up the brag school and not using lines about shiny helmets, poles and long hoses to women stupid enough to fall for anything in a uniform.

Anyway, personally I’ve always thought a well-ironed set of overalls much more fetching than any uniform.

Plumb on.

Peter Plumb

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The Burrell Collection

Having previously written about Mr Paul Burrell, former butler to the blessed Diana, and suggested that he was a thieving git who should be executed, I now discover I was wrong.

Mr Burrell is in fact not a thief. He told her Maj the Queen that he was going to ‘safeguard’ a few items of Diana’s things and therefore was quite entitled to take 284 personal items and hide them in his loft. Her Maj’s memory isn’t quite what it was and her recall was only jogged by the prospect of some dirty royal linen being laundered in public. God bless her.

The law of the land has ruled that Mr Burrell was entitled to get his hands on Diana’s bits and bobs and therefore it must be true. If the gaffer says it’s Friday then don’t bother trying to tell him it’s Falkirk. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Paul Burrell is not a thieving git. However he is a hypocritical, money-grabbing traitor who won’t spill the beans in court but is happy to do so in a tabloid newspaper for £300,00. Is that still a hanging offence?

Plumb on

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Posh Kidnap

What a rumpus about that so-called kidnap attempt on Mrs Posh Beckham by a gang of crazed Romanian gypsies. As usual the newspapers got it all wrong.

Fair enough, it wasn’t nice that the gypos wanted to abduct Lady Victoria, hold her for a £5m ransom and threaten to chop her up into tiny pieces. That kind of behaviour just isn’t called for.

But everybody seemed to miss the point. If a gang of hooligans is going to kidnap your high-profile celebrities, why do we need cheap overseas labour to do it?

There are plenty of kidnappers in the UK who could have done the job just as well. In fact they could have done it a whole lot better. How difficult can it be to get an Essex girl into the back of a van?

But oh no, forget the fact that there’s shedloads of honest, tax-paying British villains who would kill for a chance to kidnap the Beckhams. Instead just get some scab Johnny Foreigner labour to do the job for half the price. No wonder this country’s going to the dogs.

And at the end of the day we all pay the price. Do you think that Albanian assassins pay their stamp? No and neither do Polish plumbers, Kosovan carpenters or Namibian navvies.

Scabs the lot of them, prepared to work for washers and do your honest, local tradesman out of a job. Okay we may charge a bit over the odds and change a perfectly good u-bend for no reason, but that’s what living in a democracy is all about.

Put it this way, if you get an Afghan asylum seeker round to sort your cistern and tell him your ballcock needs twisted back into position then you better make damn sure he speaks the proper lingo.

I always tell my apprentices that it doesn’t pay to put a two bob washer on a ten quid tap. And, as we all know, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys, you pay scab labour and you get scabs. Simple law of physics.

Mr David Beckham should just be grateful that it wasn’t a gang of proper, registered, time-served British kidnappers that were after Mrs Posh. She’d have been sliced into thin (even thinner) pieces and popped through his letter-box before you could say Dago Forlan.

Buy British, pay for proper plumbers and save celebrities from assassination. You know it makes sense.

Plumb on.

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Diana and Burrell

Is there no end to the indignities that poor Princess Diana must suffer?

It’s bad enough that she is being portrayed as a slapper whose ex husband is cavorting around with an elderly horse-faced woman. Now we are told that her butler has been knicking all her best gear.

First of all, just because the lovely Diana had personal relations with various members of the armed forces, society high-flyers and the England Rugby Union team doesn’t make her a slapper. It wasn’t the whole team.

Secondly, Mr Paul Burrell has not yet been convicted in a court of law so he remains innocent until proven guilty. The thieving git has yet to be judged by a jury of his betters and we need to wait till he’s banged up till we officially shout The Butler Did It. But I ask you, what kind of man would take 284 bits of gear from the blessed Diana’s house and make off with them into the night. A thief that’s what kind. A desperate thief with little taste in fact. Among the stuff he half-inched was a Leo Sayer album and a Cliff Richard cassette. That poor woman.

Being a plumber you get to access all areas when the client lets you in for a job. Who amongst us hasn’t taken a peek in the cupboards or had a look under the duvet. Or is that just me? But I’ve never pinched anything. Well apart from Mrs McDougall in Glebe Street and she didn’t complain.

If I’d got the call to plug Diana’s cistern then she could have rested easy in her grave that her Chris de Burgh CDs would have lain untouched. It’s all a matter of trust. As I always say, there’s no point in having a good washer fitted by a bad plumber. And if it’s true in plumbing it’s true in life. You can’t just go round lifting Versace dresses when you feel like it. Where would plumbers be if they helped themselves to a Cartier clock or a Sassoon coat every time they fitted an s-bend? It would be bad for business. Treason is still a capital offence so they should hang the traitor Burrell. String him up while playing Leo Sayers Endless Flight and make him listen to the whole thing before they open the trapdoor.

If he’s guilty.

Plumb On