Plumb Line

One Law for the Rich

There’s an old newspaper saying that Man Bites Dog is not a story. Dog Bites Man, now that’s different. So why is it when an out of control bull terrier belonging to our beloved Princess Anne savages two young children is it suddenly news? It’s just another example of media bias against our Royal Family that’s what.

Now they are demanding that the Princess Royal and the honourable Commodore Tim Laurence appear in court. In court! A public court is the place for the unwashed asylum seekers and drug-frenzied youth of this fallen nation – not the noble, blue-blooded stock which put the Great into United Kingdom.

I’m only a simple plumber and apart from a misunderstanding about a consignment of mixer taps I have never had a brush with the constabulary. Yet I know that public court is inevitably the place for the likes of me. I tell my apprentices, you can take the piss out of the toilet but you can’t take the scum out of the gutter. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing it’s true in life.

But sadly it seems that Tony Blair’s town council, cloth-capped, champagne cronies have control of our sacred judiciary as well as every other sector of this once hallowed land.

How else can you explain the inexplicable decision to have the lovely Anne and the decent Tim dirty their brogues in the undignified squalor of the magistrates court. It is a slap in the face to the family which has led this country through two world wars and the Royal It’s a Knockout Tournament.

What on earth were those children doing gamboling in Windsor Great Park in the first place? They were just asking to be savaged. Personally, I blame the parents.

Moreover the incident in question took place only two days after the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, God rest her soul. The poor dog was almost certainly out its mind with grief and could not be expected to be thinking straight.

Sadly the savaging, however innocent, has only served to feed the frenzy of the anti-monarchist rabble who claim our splendid Royals are merely descendants of robber barons and take money from the mouths of impoverished foundlings to fund skiing weekends in Kloisters.

Don’t you find that people’s views on the Royals are matched by their bathroom facilities? Your decent working class type with matching pan and basin know their place and worship the ground that Diana slept on. Then there’s your upwardly mobiles that keep pot plants in their bidets – they can be a bit bolshie but aspire to a bit of four-poster themselves. The real rabble-rousers are your middle class intellectuals who actually use their bidets for their bits and bobs. They’re the troublemakers.

So I say no your honour. Magistrates court is not for the likes of Anne and Tim. Don’t give in to the republican rabble. Free the Windsor two.

Plumb on.

Plumb Line

Major Major

Old John Major, eh? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more.

Who would have believed that the old grey man and the egg lady had been going through the yes lobby together all these years? Mrs Thatcher must be turning in her grave.

And yet Mr Major’s episode of shame could so easily have been avoided if he had remembered the plumber’s code.

If I have one golden rule it’s never lend someone your tool unless you are sure they will look after it. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing, it’s true in life.

Mr Major clearly forgot this rule and gave Ms Edwina his tool without a thought to the consequences.

Now his reputation’s gone down the plughole. Or has it?

I reckon if he decided to run again as Tory leader then he’d be a skoosh to get back into Number 10. Phoney Tony’s cap would be on a shoogly cistern if there was any half decent opposition. That clearly doesn’t apply to Ian Duncan Thingy but the new dynamic Johnny Major would be right in there. Okay, the Downing Street caterers would have to run for cover but that’s a small price to pay.

As for Ms Edwina, well she’s a womanly wench isn’t she? Or should that be a womanly wrench? The kind that once it gets a good grip on your nuts it never lets go.

We all know her type. Gold taps and no washers as my old gaffer would say. She’s the kind who you would give a good deal on fitting a new bidet as long as she kept it quiet and then before you know it she’s told the whole street.

How Johnny must regret all those nights he told Norma not to bother with dinner because he’d be getting stuck into a curry at the office.

Plumb on.

Plumb Line

Strike It Lucky

I’ve been called out to fix a few swimming pools in my time. Rich nobs with more money than sense leave something floating in their pools that gum up the works. Lilos, towels, hair, rubber items of various uses, you name it I’ve had to retrieve it from the filtration system.

But I have to admit in all my days I’ve never found a dead body bunging up the drain. How unlucky is that. That poor Michael Barrymore. He didn’t exactly strike it lucky, did he?

You invite a few friends around for a swim and a cup of tea and next thing you know the police are ruining your lawn. How was Barrymore to know that young man couldn’t swim while unconscious?

I’m sure Michael called out “All right?” a few times and would have responded immediately if told help was required. He couldn’t have jumped in to save him though because, as Mr Barrymore says,
he can’t swim. We just have to accept that he is telling the truth about that. Michael, president of his local swimming club, has no reason to lie.

Other than the fear of going to jail for a very long time. It strikes me that people are giving Barrymore a hard time just because he is manosexual. They really should get off his back.

Although I must admit to being confused when Barrymore talks about “My kind of people”. Does he mean woofters or drug addicts? My only gripe with Mr Barrymore is not that he is a friend of Dorothy but that he is a shite entertainer. He always reminded me of that early review of Fred Astaire. “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.” The only difference is that Mr Barrymore can’t dance. My other grumble is that no-one is thinking of the poor plumber in all this. Sure they are sorry for the boy and his family and there’s a few tears for Michael but who has worried about the tradesman? He’s the one who has to backwash the filter. I wish people would learn that there is no only so much strain that a strainer basket can take. They are just not designed to handle corpses.

What was needed here was a bit of forward planning. The good homeowner calls in his plumber before there’s a problem. The bad homeowner calls the plumber in after it’s all gone to buggery. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Next time Michael, call in the plumber before the body clogs up your pool. The strainer basket will be eternally grateful.

Plumb on.

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