“The 2011 Plumbers Calendar”
by Vanessa Weibler Paris
“Oh, no, ma’am; it’s not a ‘plumber calendar.’ It’s the 2011 Men of PCHI. A calendar featuring many fine gentlemen of the plumbing, cooling and heating industries, including myself. I understand and appreciate that you’re busy, but if I could have just a moment of your time, perhaps two moments, I could explain the difference.
“As you’ll see, we’re more than just a dozen hairy cracks. Let me show you Mr. January, my friend Frederick. He’s a licensed plumber, but he’s also pursuing an advanced degree in art history. Frederick dropped a few pounds and skipped his back-waxing appointments for several weeks prior to the shoot to ensure the necessary effect. We find that women are counting on that glimpse of skin in the back. They’re disappointed if our shirts are tucked in; they like an inch or two of curve and crease. Three may be a bit too much! But Frederick is a fan favorite.
“Now, there are several reasons our price point is a bit higher than, say, the firefighters’ and the police officers’ calendars. For instance, we use only top-notch expert photography. Take May: There’s a total solar eclipse in May, so we allowed for a bit more crack to show. Mr. May is an African-American gentleman, Jerome, and we backlit his rear as a respectful nod to the eclipse. The firefighters don’t put nearly as much thought into casting; they usually just choose their birthday month and leave it at that.
“Our calendar also provides education and savings. Take a look here at my apprentice Ross Moore, who is Mr. July. Not only does his pose demonstrate the proper plunger handgrips, he includes his top five tips for effective plunging. And he’s also provided a perforated coupon for twenty percent off any plunging service throughout the month. Which has thirty-one days.
“Skipping ahead to September, you’ll see my colleagues Michael and Mark, working together to install a new commercial piping system. See how their movements are choreographed and precise, as though they’re performing a synchronized swimming routine?
“And – yes, I know time is getting short – here’s December. And yes, you’re correct–that is I. As you’ll see, I’m the only PCHI gentleman with his trousers completely raised and sealed around the waist. The PCHI, ma’am, is donating ten percent of the calendar proceeds to the Regional Anti-Drug Coalition, which works to keep our community healthy, safe, and drug free. As Mr. December, my platform is ‘just say no to crack,’ which is why my belt is fully fastened in the photo. We take the threat of methamphetamine labs just as seriously as burst pipes and overflowing toilets- perhaps even more so.
“I do appreciate your time, ma’am. How many copies of the 2011 Men of PCHI Calendar can I put you down for? It’s nearly Black Friday and they do make lovely gifts. Buy a dozen, and you’ll get the thirteenth free.”