Sucks To Be Him, Right?

parrot plumber

“It’s the plumber. I’ve come to fix the sink.” In case you’re not familiar with the joke, this goes back and forth for a very long time, long enough for the plumber to die from sheer exasperation on the front porch. When the homeowner returns to ask, “Who is it?” meaning the dead man on the porch. The competent parrot repeats the words of the plumber. “It’s the plumber. I’ve come to fix the sink.”

He slid his dry tongue against the bottom of his top jagged teeth, and, of course, it bled, and it obviously tasted like it. Truth is, this was a daily ritual, something about how hope springs eternal with your own fluids in your mouth. It’s an archaic German expression, so it doesn’t matter. For the first time in the last hour, Emile Prattwell stopped everything. He was discombobulated by the apparent elephant in the room question: Would this be a completely different experience if he was a cannibal?


He found it necessary to shiver before proceeding with the job at hand, which according to him, was a living without any benefits, and God forbid, an early grave. He would always punctuate that with a half cough/laugh. More often than not, he would spit bile that only crusty sailors sang about, some shanty about a hairy hocker in Davy Jones’ locker.

By day, Emile was a licensed plumber, and at night, he was also a vigilante plumber to help pay for his eldest son, Ensile’s college tuition. He had a lot of catching up to do. What, with doing time for assault and battery at a “plumber’s convention” which was in reality, a kitchenware convention; his debts had debts. To further compound his woes, some stupid kid was currently stealing his truck, which he had just paid off two weeks ago. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the tools.

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