Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rusty Pipes

Mag #27:

“Wow! You’ve got some serious rust and corrosion goin’ on here!” The chunky plumber exclaimed.

The two-bedroom, 1,000 square foot basement walkout we rented near East High School in Salt Lake City turned out to be a plumber’s dream and my nightmare. The sump pump, which pushed our dirty water and sewage up the hill to the sewer line in the street above us, had quit working. Also many of the pipes were leaky and needed to be replaced. Luckily we rented. The owners were responsible for paying for this mess, not us. I watched dumbstruck as the plumber pointed out the rest of the problems with the plumbing. It was a post-World War II home, so it was bound to have some small issues I thought, but I had no idea about this mess.

The plumber climbed back out of the small, closet-like room where the sump pump was set up. Where they had found this guy, I don’t know. He seemed honest enough though. He was married (wearing a wedding ring), tall, plump, and big-boned. He had a small town accent. I figured he was from one of the small towns outside of Salt Lake. Being a nosy woman, I asked him.

Turned out he was from Copperton, Utah, out by the Kennecott copper mine. When I asked him why he chose to become a plumber he smiled.

“When I was a kid my brother, friend, and I used to swim in the tailing ponds out near the copper mine. We didn’t know the water was contaminated. Hell, THEY (meaning the copper mine owners) didn’t know what was in that water. One day I lost my sense of taste and smell and it never came back. What better qualifications could a plumber have?”

Made sense to me.

P.S. True story!!!
Photo credit: Willow @


  1. sounds like the perfect guy for his line of work. great writing and entertaining as well. like the setting (Salt Lake City) I totally have a bunch of family out there and have been to the copper mines, they're pretty cool.

  2. This is one funny story .... sorry the plump plumber lost his sense of taste though. I love his first quote ~ priceless!

  3. Makes sense to me too! Why else would a plumber plumb? Great simple short story. Loved it!

  4. Thanks. I felt so bad for that guy, but then in his line of work, he had a great disability. ;o)

  5. ha. nice magpie...if i was a plumber i think i might want to be just the same...smiles.

  6. I remember the ceiling raining in the basement apartment we had in Provo. The owners didn't believe in preventive maintenance, until they kicked us out in favor of their own child.
    Good thing your plumber didn't want to be a chef!

  7. Ha ha! Note to self: NEVER go swimming in Copperton. Unless of course, I start teaching Junior High.

  8. Makes perfectly good sense to me, too!

  9. oh man, how horrible for him! i can't imagine a fate like that.

    but he sure took it well, excellent magging.

  10. That is fantastic! At least he was looking at the bright side of things!