The Plumbing Business Is Not As Glamorous As The Porn Industry DepictsCommentary • workplace • Opinion • ISSUE 36•01 • Jan 19, 2000 By Lyle Chester, Plumbers Local 178 Lyle Chester Plumbers Local 178 Plumbing is really a pretty good career, as careers go. The pay's decent, the work's steady, and you get the satisfaction of a job well done. As a tradesman, I really can't complain. But let me tell you, being a plumber isn't quite what those pornography people make it out to be. I bet you think my average "service call" involves going to a nice-looking house, ringing the bell, and having the door answered by some gorgeous, well-endowed lady in her skimpy apron. You probably think she then grabs me by the tool belt and drags me into the house, where she proceeds to tell me she needs a lot of pipe laid in her kitchen, bends over the counter to show me what she means, and... whammo! Pretty soon, she's introducing me to her neighbor, Mrs. Jones, and telling her that I have just the special tool she needs to fix her own plumbing. This is not the case. Many apprentice plumbers naively assume that the only reason horny housewives aren't asking to see their plumber's snakes is that they have yet to achieve a Master rating in their trade. "Apprenticeship is frustrating," these greenhorns no doubt say to themselves, "but one day, when I've earned my stripes, I'll ask some busty blonde about the water in her basement, and she'll say, 'Yes, it is awfully wet down there,' and the next thing you know, it's party time!" Now, I'm not saying this absolutely never happens. But it is, in fact, far less common than you've been led to believe. The incidents depicted in such classic pornos as Plumbin' In The Kitchen With Dinah and The Over-The-Sink-able Molly Brown are reportedly based on actual events. But they are wildly exaggerated in typical Hollywood style, presented in such a way as to make Joe Pipewrench's love life seem a lot more exciting than it actually is. The biggest difference between fantasy and reality is, actual horny housewives don't resemble porn-movie horny housewives as much as they do bank vaults. And they don't lead you on with hot talk about hoses or tool belts, either–in all three of my encounters with such housewives, I had to practically come right out and proposition them. But at least those ladies were game: Most of the time when you start dropping hints, your customers look at you like they don't know what you're talking about. And in the movies, they don't cry out of guilt and shame afterwards. Or worse, ask you for money. Looking back on it, I guess I started down this road for the wrong reasons. I've talked to other plumbers raised on porn, and many of them did the same thing. I don't regret the choices I've made, but I want to make sure that young men get the message: Become a plumber only if you want to plumb. Otherwise, you're better off as a pool cleaner.