Tag Archives: plumber

1884. How to succeed

(Apologies today for two postings; this monologue here, and then a poem in an hour’s time. I normally like to do only one posting a day, but I’m “slightly” neurotic about not messing up my story numbering system and wanted to get the poem out of my head… anyway… thanks for your patience!)

You can’t pamper to everyone’s needs. You can’t pussyfoot around. You’ve got to be bloody-minded and go for it. Remember, if you want to make money, you’re number one.

Let me illustrate this with a story. There was this guy I knew called Dale. He was a plumber. He came to me and said, “Look Lincoln,” he said, “I’ve got this little old lady who’s not getting any hot water in the house. Probably she has accidentally flicked a switch off or something. She asked if I could come and look at it, but she said she couldn’t pay until next week when the pension comes in. What should I do?”

I said to him, to this guy Dale, you tell her to jump in the lake. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and if she can’t cough up then she can’t get the job done.

Later my mate, Dale, he said he did just that and she went for a week without hot water. And when the pension came in he contacted the lady to ask if she still needed the job getting done. She said it was getting urgent so he went round to her place two days later and charged her double for hounding him. Of course he didn’t say the hounding bit; he said he was charging double because the job was urgent. Also, it was just the switch turned off but he wasn’t going to tell her that. So he fiddled around for a while with some tools.

That’s the way to go about things if you want to earn a living – in fact more than a living – that’s the way to go about things if you want to live reasonably comfortably.

My motto for my business is KINDNESS LIVES HERE. People love it.

1689. Gadgetry

Alva was one of those slightly past-middle-age rich people who lived alone and entertained themselves with every new gadget that came on the market. Her garden gate opened by remote control just by pressing a button on her diamond watch. The front and back doors to the house had locks with number pads. Her television on the wall could turn slightly to the left and right depending on where she was in the house. For example, if she was in the kitchen the television screen could turn slightly to the left. Gadget after gadget…

Alva had a large house which she shared with a lodger called Howard. Howard was a promising plumber. He had an apprenticeship. A practical hands-on job with some mathematics suited Howard down to the ground. Alva let him stay for a song. It was her way of helping someone young get a start in life. Of course, Howard the Plumber was as into gadgetry as Alva – and a handy gadget fixer as well!

“What I dislike most of all about modern things,” said Howard to Alva, “is having to remember all these different passwords and pin numbers.”

“Oh, I just use the same one for everything,” said Alva.

“That’s a good idea,” said Howard.

A week later, Howard had a brand new car, and Alva had no money in her bank account.

1504: Prenuptial agreement

It was the ravishing, rich film star who insisted on a prenuptial agreement. I’m not having an ordinary plumber, such as the person I’m engaged to, running off with most of my money just because he married into wealth, said the ravishing, rich film star. As far as I’m concerned he can keep the car and boat, and get quarter of the cash. The rest will be mine.

The plumber was not at all happy with the prospect of a prenuptial agreement. It implies, he said, that you don’t think the marriage will last. I’d prefer to get nothing at all in the unlikely event of a divorce, rather than have a prenuptial agreement.

But the ravishing, rich film star had her way. Ten months later, when the marriage collapsed in a heap of rubble, the plumber (whose name was Jack) got the car, the boat, and quarter of the cash.

Fair is fair, said the ravishing, rich film star. What she didn’t know was that before the marriage the plumber had piles and piles of filthy lucre. He was ten times richer than the ravishing, rich film star. The difference was, he’d never thought to tell the ravishing, rich film star.

It was the plumber’s fourth marriage.