The Astronomical Unit


This page last modified 2011 December 11

Plumbing in Parallel Universes

Some of you may recall my previous mention of that seminal work by Handvalve and Ballcock, The Message of the Fingerprints of the Lost Plumbers. I regret that I have committed the cardinal error (for which I apologize) of not checking my sources, and now find that I have been inadvertently crossing over into a parallel universe [1] and that the book does not indeed exist in this one. However, in the interests of completeness and by means of astral projection, I have been to the Akashic Record Office [2] and investigated it further.

The main thrust of the book is that the three jets of hot water at the site called Geyser are not (as was previously believed by those misguided fools who hang onto the notion that evidence takes priority over creativity) installed by local artisans. They were, in fact, created by an ancient race of plumbers of whom nothing was known until Handvalve and Ballcock generated this new reality that showed, beyond doubt, that they existed. We learn how the mysterious markings on the Knackered Plane are representations of broken ancient plumbing tools -- the wrenches, drain-rod bundles, plungers, pipe-benders and pipe-cutters are obvious to the imaginative open mind. With stunning brilliance, the authors demonstrate how these ancient plumbers were not only responsible for the three jets of hot water (liberally accompanied by hot air) at the main Geyser site, but how these are indisputably linked by a global plumbing network to hot water jets all over the planet.

Some scholars consider that Handvalve and Ballcock's work was an important influence on a certain Van Dannimac (although Dannimac denies this), who has extended this imaginative scenario by showing indisputably how these lost plumbers originally came from (and returned to) outer space. They protected themselves against the inevitable splashes that inconvenience all plumbers by sporting the author's eponymous contemporary rainware.

More recently, a researcher called Head Case is alleged by some to have drawn heavily (although, like Dannimac, he denies this and asserts that his theories are entirely independent) from the Handvalve and Ballcock writings to create an even more fantastic scenario in which acoustic levitation plays an important part. In this scenario the largest geyser is actually an acoustically-derived model of the Earth itself. The knowledge of this lingers on in our archetypal race-memory and has its echoes in the materialist "S-bend" technology, which seeks to pervert the original intention by having the water flow backwards into the Earth. But the sound remains the same! Case has thus rounded off the mystery and left no loose ends unturned or metaphors unmixed.

The mystery was, however, revived when Nightsoil and Loam-Ass stunned the world with their definitive work The Urinal Machine, which shows how ancient plumbers used pendular flush-chains in circles of carefully-positioned pissoirs to accurately establish the ideal dimensions for plumbing parts.

I wonder if "symbolic representations" of this history of alternative plumbing exist in this universe, or if the laws of logic that work here would preclude such an occurrence. The principal problem we have in properly investigating this is due to a man called Renée Adolphe, who is believed to have destroyed the evidence by digesting it, thus earning himself the coveted title, "Swallow the Loo-bits".

[1] In that universe, the laws of logic as we know them do not apply. In a similar manner to Robert Holdstock's mythagos [3], the results of imaginative fantasy automatically take on an independent reality; actual evidence is no more than illusion, deposited by anally-retentive jerks called Horth Dokzistz.

[2] .desrever yllaropmet ,evitcepsrep ruo ot ,era sdrocer cihsaka eht ,ydaerla wonk uoy erus ma I sA

[3] If you've not read Holdstock, then you are missing something! -- IMO one of the best and most intelligent living sci-fi/fantasy authors -- Mythago Wood would be a good place to start.