A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I needed the services of a plumber. I had the sneaking suspicion that SOMETHING that was not supposed to be leaking in my basement WAS leaking. So one morning, I called a local Laurel plumber–one I had used a number of times before. We set up a time for the next morning, and at that time, Joe appeared on my front porch. After surveying the situation in the bathroom and in the basement, he announced that I had not made the problem up. The wax seal on the toilet had deteriorated, was leaking, and needed to be replaced. I left Joe to his work, and went into the next room to work on my computer.
A few minutes later, I heard the sound of Andrea Bocelli, singing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s opera Turandot. Then I heard Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen. I was puzzled. P was sitting in a nearby room, so I thought, “Well, maybe she’s listening to some shared post from someone on Facebook.” So I walked out of the office, then stopped abruptly in front of the bathroom door. There, on the side of the bathtub, was Joe’s cell phone. He was working steadily on the misbehaving toilet, while opera and other classical music serenaded us all.
My mouth dropped open. A plumber named Joe (I swear, I am not making this up) was listening to opera? Opera? Really? I said, “Wow, opera. How wonderful!’ He turned around and grinned.
“I love opera,” he said. “You know, opera touches you here [here, he touched his head], and here [he touched his heart.] “I love all kinds of music. Years ago, when I was a kid, my dad would take me to bars–you could do that back then–and we would hear Earl Flatt and Lester Scruggs play. I like bluegrass, too. I like all kinds of music.” Then he turned back to work on his project. And as long as he worked, a variety of music played from his cell phone. Soon, he was finished, judged the work to be successful, collected a check, and bid me a good day as he left.
Once again, I was reminded that appearances are deceiving. I should never judge someone by the way they look, or present themselves initially. The old adage “don’t just a book by its cover” was apt here.
An annoying plumbing issue was resolved that morning, I enjoyed some of my favorite music, and I re-learned an important lesson. Win-win-win. Bless you, Joe the plumber.
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