Reason No 10: You will develop an incestuous relationship with your drains…

Why is my plumber like God?

Because he knows everything, that’s why.  But more of that later.

I have had it brought home to me, in the nicest possible way (and not for the first time) that I’m an urbanite out of the urban, a pole short of a metro, a rural hick of the extra-virgin variety.

Last week awful things came up through the bathroom drain.  I know enough now to know that this means the septic tank is backing up – but not enough to fix it, so I call a plumber.

The plumber is a lovely bloke (though luxuriously pear-shaped).  He not only unblocks the toilet, but he shows me how to do it myself next time, and how to gaze into the noxious abyss that is our septic tank.  We walk to the dam, and to the vege garden, and he examines the mysterious pipes and joints left over from the previous owner, and says things like ‘hmm’ and ‘crikey’.  He even looks at my hazelnut trees and claims that – after all – they do have little nut-lets on them.’You could make hazelnut liqueur’ he suggests.  Well so I could – if I buy $100,000 worth of equipment.  And IF those nut-lets turn into nuts.  We’ll see.

THEN we talk blue line pipe and pumps and valves (that is, he talks and I nod).  He says that with a few hundred dollars and some ‘pacing out’ I could easy enough bring the dam water to the garden (where it damn well should be).  With a little more effort, I could water the nuts.  Is there anything this plumber can’t do?

We locate the fire pump (which I had no idea we had) and he shows me how to put it together so I can douse spot fires.  Which he seems to think are pretty likely, given the recent run of 40 degree days, roaring winds and the yellow-brown grass that crunches under your feet when you walk on it.

‘You won’t know which direction it’ll come from’ – he says.  ‘The fire could be 25 kilometres away and all it takes are some cinders.  Got all your key possessions ready to run?’

‘Now don’t be tempted to stay and fight’ – he goes on.  ‘Lots of people think they have to try to save the house – but that’s far too dangerous.  You could be trapped here!’

You have got to be kidding. Look at these puny city arms.  Look at this willowy city body.  I am BUILT to run (or, at least, drive).

I now know more than I did about water transportation and drainage – which is like adding ten cents to a $1.50 piggy bank stash and claiming you now have more savings.  I can start a generator (yeah that’s right. I bet YOU can’t start a generator!).  I can build a fire which works 19 out of 20 times.  I can probably work a fire pump (I’d probably better double-check that skill, before the fire comes).

But I have a Man (absent right now) and I happen to be a mistress of delegation.  What a waste of supervisory talent!  Is that sexist?

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