Ed, the plumber
The best part about this whole awful process has been the people I meet on site—salt of the earth types, like Ed the plumber. He’s from Newfoundland and is a real rock-and-roller (well, kind of like a caged bear in sweatpants, with long flowing locks and a trucker cap on backwards). He’s a great guy and a hell of a plumber. He’s got a thing about straight pipes; he just cares. When I asked him if getting a sink in some spot was possible, he said, “Oh yeah, anything’s possible. There ain’t no money in fucking around.” Or, when he got in the crawl space to lay some pipes, he said, “Ah, I hope there aren’t any Christians above me because I’m going to be cursing something awful down here.”
So when he cleaned up the lines and the tenant upstairs still didn’t have hot water, I felt bad for him because I knew it was going to bother the hell out of him. We couldn’t get upstairs to check the tenant’s taps, so we stayed late, rerouting and making sure the lines weren’t clogged. Well, Ed did at least; I just stood with a beer in my hand, asking him if he wanted one. “Not yet,” he said. We talked about winning the lottery and how it messes people up. Ed summed it up pretty good: “Well, you weren’t an asshole before, so why the hell are you now?” He went on to tell me that if he ever wins, he wants to buy a place and do the plumbing his way, without constrictions and landlords and tenants. Waterfalls coming down walls and fountains in every room. A perfect symphony of pipes flowing and humming with water. You gotta love it.