Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Ode to my plumber, Poncho.

Oh, Poncho, how cool are you! Let me count the ways. How awesome are you! Let me say it now!
Most of you don't know, but Poncho is my plumber. And here are some examples of what makes him the most awesome plumber EVER!
A while back, we had to call Poncho (he's not Mexican-American, even though from his name, most people seem to think so. He's a southern boy).

I had tried without any success to stop a leak coming from the pipes under the kitchen sink. I am really retarded in the role of handyman. So, Poncho to the rescue! 

Poncho shows up and 3-min. later, he says, "All done!" 
"What??!!" I said, "You're done already?" thinking about how this is really going to kill my manhood. Whatever was wrong took him only 3-minutes to fix. 
"Yep. It was just a loose pipe that needed tightening...that's all!"
 So I ask, "Well, how much do we owe you?" thinking that we're going to pay a minimum of $80-100. just because he walked through our front door. At that very moment, I'm having a flashback to a Friday night about 20 yrs. ago, when we called a recommended plumber who shows up in his Mercedes-Benz (always a scary sight because you know you're going to be helping to finance that Mercedes with this one emergency call. Sure enough, 30 minutes later and $250 poorer, you've made your contribution to the Mercedes fund).
 "Five-dollars." "Five-dollars??!! Are you sure." 
 "Yeah, he says, I'd feel guilty charging you any more for something that just needed tightening. 

Another time, Poncho shows up and doesn't charge us anything and says he'll get us next time around.

Most recently, about 2 wks ago, we had a backed up sewer with sewage coming up in the bathtub and around the toilet. This looked and smelled like a job for Poncho. There's nothing in my Reader's Digest Do-It-Yourself Manual about a backed-up sewer.
Poncho shows up for his appointment 20-min. early along with his daughter, a lovely girl who is in college studying to be an accountant. She doesn't much care for the plumbing business, but she loves her father and she knows which side of the bread is buttered, so for now, she's his part-time assistant.

During the next 80-minutes, Poncho cleans out our sewer in the back of our house, removes a brick from the sewer pipe at the side of the house which I inadvertently knocked down it one day while mowing the lawn. Finally, also unclogs a pipe in the bathroom, and installs a flapper valve in a toilet in another bathroom. Before he leaves, he gives me a helpful hint on what I can do to unstop drains using vinegar and baking soda. This will also keep me from having to call him out to my house. Unbelievable! He's telling me what I can do so I won't have to call him up for a simple stopped up drain. Amazing!!

But, even more incredible is the fact that he only charged us $100. for his 80-min. visit. If you're in NY or NJ and call out a plumber to do everything that Poncho did in 80-min, you'd easily pay $3-400. or more!

When I ask him, "Why do you do it? Why are you so unbelievably reasonable, almost to the point of giving away your service?" He says, "Well, it's because God has blessed me and I don't need much, so if I can bless other people by helping them with their plumbing needs, I want to do it. God's been good to me and I want to pass it on to others." 

Here's what I know...we need more Ponchos in this world. I'm just thankful that I get to see Poncho from time to time because he is always a blessing to me and my family! 


  1. Wow! Poncho seems like a really reasonable guy -- he even gave you a few pointers to help you the next time you experience a clogged drainage! It’s always nice to know that there are still people like Poncho who don’t take advantage of others’ problems. I also know a thing or two about plumbing, and when my neighbors ask for help, I don’t usually ask for payment especially if the problem is only simple. I instead empower them on the things they can do to fix their plumbing issues on their own.

    Darryl Lorio

  2. Darryl, you sound like a great neighbor to have living next door. I like how you want to empower people so they can fix their own plumbing issues on their own. I've known friends who would try to "empower" me by teaching me so I could do it the next time on my own. Sometimes that worked and other times, it didn't because they were gifted in an area (like carpentry) and I wasn't. I would be a good go-fer, but to construct something from foundation up, I seriously doubt it.