New York City: Even Our Plumbers Are Fey

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This is not the face of all plumbers. Photo: Getty Images

Looking back, we'll realize that if anything good came out of the whole Joe the Plumber mania, it was that it gave the Times the opportunity to reach what may be the actual nadir of cultural journalism, by providing "Metro" section's Alan Feuer with the opportunity to discover a subculture about which we never would have otherwise known: The world of metrosexual plumbers living in New York City.

You can still find “the chubby guy with the cigar,” said Gil Perez, a Staten Island plumber who holds a law degree, “but it’s really not like that anymore. Plumbers today are businessmen. Some are metrosexuals. Especially in New York City, they’re not what you think.”

Our plumbers are not beefy dudes who chase the American dream in between games of catch with their sons on the front lawn. They're too busy going to law school and black-tie events at the New York Public Library. They quote Einstein. They are ironic (“If you don’t go to high school, guess what you become?”) and media-savvy (“Joe the Plumber here," one answered the Times call, totally unbidden). They are, in short, as fey and liberal and candy-ass as everything else in this epicenter of blue-state liberal values. Which begs the question: If John McCain does win the election thanks to his populist pap, will he take care of them, as he promised to take care of Joe? No plumbers left behind, John.

The New York Plumber is No Average Joe [NYT]