Monday, February 19, 2007

Plumbers are gay

This week I am in college every day doing my bathroom installation assessment. I have a bay with a red square on it into which I have to fit the bath, toilet, basin and radiator with red squares on. Plumbing S is in the bay next door with the yellow square. There aren't many clues and it's pretty terrifying.

But more terrifying is the college during the day. By night it is sparsely populated - everyone else may be male but they are all over 21 and I'd happily have a drink with most of them. By day the place is swarming: everyone else is still male, but most of them have yet to discover Clearasil, conversation, or indeed syllables. The most common form of address seems to be 'you gayer',and 'X is gay' gets scrawled on walls, books, pipes, everywhere. We had to check our tools back in with everyone else before lunch, so stood there shiftily at the back as the class got a round (and I believe deserved) bollocking, during which they were derided as the 'flotsam and jetsam of the building trade'.

The afternoon was second years, who were better behaved and more interactive, but it was still a little scary - not least because two of them are in the bays with the green square and the blue square and they are seventeen times faster than me. It's not a competition, but at some level we all know it is.




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