Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Plumber

I liked the plumber; he was a chubby, avuncular man, almost like a fully grown baby with those pinchable chubby cheeks. The neat, greying beard kind of limited the baby comparison but he was still a lovely man. He had been to the house a few times before to help us out with minor plumbing questions. The reason we used him was because he had done all the plumbing when the house was built, he was familiar with the layout of the pipes and the idiosyncrasies of the house.
Despite this familiarity with the house and its plumbing and increasingly me and the husband and the two noisy kids, he was consistently polite. He always asked permission to enter the bathrooms or go up the stairs, even if we were cooking dinner or berating the children for their noise and chaos. He always checked that we were ok with him wandering around; he was old school chivalrous that way.
The last time he visited, the husband was at work and the kids at school. The plumber had been checking all the taps in the house because the water pressure had been down. He´d adjusted the water pump and now, with his usual thoroughness, he was checking the water flow upstairs and down, making sure the whole house was ok, conscientious and chivalrous. He was a great workman, so I was really quite sad about what happened.
The upstairs bathroom, primarily used by my children, had its door closed. The plumber, with his usual politeness, asked if he could go in. I said of course, but to watch out for the monsters that were sometimes left in there by the children.
He laughed as he opened the door and then his head was bitten off by the monster inside.

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