When my Argentinian friend asked what was my next post about, I genuinely answered “the plumber”. With the complicity of a couple of glasses, he quickly responded that in most of the movies from his teenage years, there was a plumber. From the kick his girlfriend gave him under the table, I can only imagine at what kind of cinematographic masterpieces he was referring.
Anyway, this post won’t talk about “that kind of plumber”.
Our Plumber, Mr M., is a very nice guy and he is with us since we moved into this house.
According to the family tradition, that wants us to have heating problems in every single house we move, the very same day we stepped into this house, we realised that the lid of the oil tank was misplaced, and there was a high risk that some rainwater had mixed with the leftover fuel.
Coming from a family who had always been in the oil business, I well knew the potential danger for the boiler, of mixing oil and water. We needed an expert, but we knew nobody in the area, plus it was Saturday. Our only option was to ring the number of the plumber indicated by the oil company on the tank.
The travelling husband dialled the number, Mr M. answered, and that was the beginning of their “special” relationship.
” A Special Relationship” in the way that it is purely telephonic but durable. The traveling husband and Mr M. never met. They only occasionally spoke on the phone, but for some reason, every time Mr M. is called around the house, he never fails to inquire about my husband and never forgets to send him his regards. Of course, in the same way, he sends his apologies to not taking my calls too. It must be some sense of brotherhood he holds deep inside him. Still, I am always tempted to remind him that since I am the one he has to deal with, and most importantly I am the one who pays him, he better worries about me and how much he can piss me off instead!
Anyway, once you know what you are dealing with, you act accordingly, and when Mr M. doesn’t pick up the phone, I keep calling over and over again. I keep hoping he will never get involved in any suspicious accident too, because the first person the guards will go to it will be me, thinking I was stalking him.
If you think that Mr M. is not actually as lovely as I say, you must know that if you are really in trouble and your call is urgent, he will show up at your doorstep in no time. Unfortunately, if your request doesn’t qualify as critical, then better you sit back, relax and prepare for a long wait. How long? Who knows!
Now you are probably wondering why sticking with him; I mean, there must be someone in between right? Not really. I had tried a couple of other plumbers for minors job, but it didn’t work. First of all, I felt like I was cheating on Mr M.; and second, but most important, he is the only one who devotedly removed his shoes before stepping on my white carpet. To me, that gesture worths the wait! And that, it is precisely what had happened with my kitchen tap: we waited from November 2018 to March 2019 to have it replaced.
One morning, last November, the travelling husband went downstairs first and found the kitchen island covered in water.
The tap had leaked non-stop for the entire night. We immediately called Mr M., and he promptly came. Thankfully he considered the waste of all that water an urgent matter. So now we know another virtue of his: he is sensitive to the environment.
Unfortunately, not sensitive enough to keep considering my tap an urgent job even after he slowed down the spillage and suggested to wrap a towel around the base of the valve to protect the counter.
It was winter, and the tap with the scarf was cute, for a couple of weeks, but then it started to annoys me every time I looked at it.
In fairness, my annoyance was not only with Mr M. The travelling husband contributed too. In the beginning, it seemed, in fact, essential for him to come with me tap shopping. Then after we went to a couple of shops, suddenly I could go on my own, but the tap had to be a pull out one, because much handier. Now you don’t think that to find a tap that is extendable and filters the water is easy.
Weeks of researches and boring trips from shop to shop paid out, and I had it. Except the pullout was not a good idea anymore. Too many clumsy hands in our house: “it won’t last”. Thank God I am a resourceful person and I had my back up plan ready.
Not even a week later the new tap arrived.
I didnt waste time and rang Mr M. on the very same day: “Brilliant”, he said. “I might make it to you tomorrow late afternoon”.
That conditional verb should have rung a bell in my head because it was only seven weeks and multiple phone calls a day later, that Mr M. ‘s van eventually pulled over in front of my house.
Before opening the door, I rushed to put a bottle of champagne in the fridge for the husband and me to open that night.( Let’s face it: the event deserved a proper celebration. ).
While doing so, my eyes fell on the tap’s box , that was still sitting in my utility routine unopened. A shiver of pure panic ran through my spine: what if it was the wrong tap?!?.
Like he had telepathic superpowers, the travelling husband phoned me to check if Mr M. had shown up. The lack of enthusiasm in my voice raised his suspicions, and I had to share my concerns.
“No matter how wrong it is…we will have it fitted in, even if it is the ugliest of the taps. If we lose this chance, only God knows when we will get another one”.
Pragmatical as always, the travelling husband was right, but I didnt feel any better.
“I don’t want a fecking ugly tap. I want the stylish, funky one I carefully picked.”, I mumbled on my way to open the door to the plumber.
Lucky us, it was the right tap, and I love it!
The morning after Mr M. came to replace the kitchen tap, a quite annoying noise coming from the ensuite of our bedroom, woke us up: “ti,tic tic….”
I could not believe my eyes; the bathroom sink’s tap was now leaking.
To be continued……when , Only Mr M. can say!