“I think they wanted me to be a plumber because of my last name. “It’s pronounced Faucet.”
Ben Fosset, the man with as many hair styles as hats, was drafted into the role of being a Jesus People plumber about two years ago while standing in the lobby of the Friendly Towers. Leadership thought he was the man for the job when they heard his name.
I looked at Ben’s recent hair cut and am glad his last name is Faucet, not Barber. Don’t know if I’d want him coiffing our hairy crowd. But dealing with hairy issues is a lot of what he does.
That’s because many hair styles have gone down the drains of the Friendly Towers during its almost century long existence and Ben snakes ‘em all up. Curls from the Gibson girls, hair pomades from James Dean wanna-bees, Afro-sheen from the blow-out fros of the seventies; and more recently, long hair from hippies, hair glue from crusty punkers, tangles from barefoot flower children, whiskers from heavy metal musicians, and kinky knots from dreadheaded writers, all of which have made the building’s pipes a mecca of ewwwww!
As he jackhammered a hole through the floor of a shower, trying to find the source of a three-floor leak, Ben advised, “A little bit of screen over your drain can save a lot of headaches. If you have them, don’t remove them. If you need one, get one from us.”
The best part of Ben’s job is when people imitate the problem sounds coming out of their bathrooms. It might be the plip-plip-plip-plip-ploop their sink makes in the middle of the night or the gurgling of a toilet tank. “When someone tells you they hear a blggh bllgggh bllllgggghhh late at night, you know it won’t be good.”
Ben wouldn’t reveal his grossest plumbing job (due to client plumber confidentiality), but he did share the craziest. It was a little toy car turned sideways in the pipes, backing up plumbing worse than construction on the Dan Ryan. He had no idea how long the car had been there.
Restroom Rescue is only half of his job. Ben also insures our laundry will stay cuddly soft, without the help of Snuggles the Bear. But Ben needs your help which is why he connected measuring spoons to the laundry machines. “One spoonful is all you need,” he smiles, “Jesus can wash away your sins, but he won’t wash away your soap residue.”
Even though Ben had zilch plumbing experience before moving here, he hasn’t had to build an ark like Noah (in spite of a few floods in the laundry room) and wished at times he had Moses’ rod instead of a plunger to part the waters he sometimes faces. But when asked what godly man could best do his job, Ben’s answer wasn’t the usual suspects. His picks were Thomas because he was skeptical, Samson because of his strength, and Luke because he was a doctor who dealt with triage situations. “Any of those guys could probably do better than I can.”
I scratched my head wondering where these Bible heroes would put their wrenches since robes didn’t have pockets. Maybe a tool belt made out of camel hair.
I looked at Ben as he pondered his answers like the Great Thinker while sitting on a toilet, his latest hair style already growing out. I remembered when he shocked everyone last winter by shaving off his “John the Baptist” locks to sport an Elisha cue ball. “Sometimes, I like to lighten things up. When spirits get down, I like doing something crazy to lift the mood.”
Who knows what hair style he will have next. Whatever it is, you can rest assured Ben won’t put his clipped locks down the drain, but in the trash.