Plumbing the depths

There’s one area of life that breaks the “there’s always one” rule. In plumbing, there’s always more than one.

Of all the jobs I have to do, there’s one that is the worst.
Success eludes me every time; my efforts are all cursed.
I DIY with the best of them and manage pretty well,
Except when it comes to pipes and joints. That’s plumbing, and it’s hell.

I find it all confusing, and books don’t help because
They make it seem so easy. Oh, how I wish it was!
The tools you need are chunky: huge spanners, Stilsons, Moles;
Blow-lamps, plungers, drain rods, for use by sturdy souls.

There’s 15-mil and 22, and half-inch BSP;
There’s elbows, olives, O-rings, glands and taped PTFE;
Compression, Yorkshire, push-fit joints; P-traps, U-bends, drain cocks.
A nightmare mix of bits and bobs that’s cracking up my brain-box.

Electrics are more flexible and easier to mend;
But pipes are unforgiving and a pain to join or bend.
You drain them dry to fix a drip by tightening and tweaking;
But when you fill the system up, the darn thing keeps on leaking.

Why can’t it all be easier? Why must I get so fraught?
Why can’t things fit together much more simply, as they ought?
There’s no hope of improvement, as far as I can tell;
It looks as if I’m stuck with it. That’s plumbing, and it’s hell!

[Cartoon: Ham Radio Secrets (from]
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