Avant-garde plumbing

The idea here would be to produce a series of short, neo-Dadaist plays about a self-professed avant-garde plumber. He shows up at your flat, taps the walls, gets some tools out – and within five minutes you're getting water from the Nile. You have no idea how he's done it; he's good like that.
He's an avant-garde plumber.
Along those lines, I was reading last week in the stimulating, if over-detailed, Maximum City, by Suketu Mehta, about Mumbai's freelance plumbing repairs economy.
Mehta, here, introduces us to his plumber: "I want to assassinate him. He is a low, evil sort of fellow," who "pits the occupants of the flats against one another, telling the people above and below me that I should pay to fix numerous leaks coming into and going out of my bathrooms, then telling me I should convince them to pay."
Pay for what?
"All the pipes in this building are fucked," we're told. "The drainage pipes that were meant to be on the outside have been enclosed. The residents make their own alterations, and they don't let the building plumber in to fix the leaks. The pipes in the building don't run straight; every time people make renovations, which is a continuous process, they get freelance plumbers to move the pipes out of the way when they're inconvenient. This blocks the natural flow of sewage and clean water, mixing them up. So if you were to follow the progress of drainwater from the twentieth floor to the first, it would make as many zigs and zags and diversions as a crazy mountain road."
These "zigs and zags and diversions" are referred to as "unauthorized alterations" – they are, in other words, avant-garde plumbing.
Instead of water, you get cherry tomatoes. Pipes that were there five minutes ago have completely disappeared – and when you wake up in the morning your sink's moved ten feet.
The pipes keep you up at night; they're tuning themselves to middle C.
You've been burgled by an avant-garde plumber.

Comments are moderated for spam only.






0 Comments:

Post a Comment