WITH THE non-American speaking world marveling at how a would be pipe fitter (to give Google a whole new phrase to index) is doing a real life Chauncey Gardener, let's stop taking his pontifications on foreign policy so seriously, and recognize his real contribution:Joe the Plumber - not Obama or McCain - will save our flagging economy.
Sales of faucets and fixtures are set to soar as the word 'plumbing' and all its contractions are mouthed at potluck dinners and gallery openings.
Martha Stewart Bathing mag and wordless Taschen tomes showcasing avant-garde tubs and toilet cisterns will temporarily reverse the slow but steady decline in periodical publishing.
An extreme makeover TV show will focus wholly and solely on the smallest room in the house, hosted by a Joe look-alike if not Joe himself.
Fluffy toilet seat covers will make a comeback in red and blue fur.
Sarah Palin toilet dolls will once again rule the the cistern.
Sales of collaterals like bubble bath and soap will increase.
We've seen this phenomenon occur in bicycle sales - the phrases global warming, escalating gas prices and climate change led to a surge in the number of bike shops opening in the past two years - just ask any one of them.
Sales of flannel shirts will skyrocket. Calvin Klein's washboard stomachs will peek out from unbuttoned plaid shirts on a billboard near you; models will clomp down catwalks in chunky work boots, girdled by fully loaded designer tool belts.
Artists will scour junkyards for plumbing accoutrements and create scary and and meaningful sculptures, crediting Joe as their muse.
That ADD-inducing Windows 98 Pipes screensaver will reappear on desktops.
Jewelry will be fashioned from plumbing paraphernalia (bracelets made of bicycle chain are now passé).
Enrolments for courses and apprenticeships will increase.
Old plumbers who didn't die will get a new lease of life as waterworks wizards, instructing young apprentices on how to use the Faucet, Luke. A Dead Plumbers Society of sorts...
There'll be J.T.P. remix of Six Months with Leaky Tap on iTunes, and a clubland cocktail that resembles Blue Loo on ice. Don't think of getting past the velvet rope without a good looking toolbelt.
Joe himself need never poke a gloved finger down a hair-clogged drain again. A starring role in at least one new reality series awaits – the Real Plumbers of Orange County. No, think sequels – the Real Trades people of Orange County, complete with handsome boilermakers winking in the shaving mirror as they work.
Even if Joe does hang up a shingle, it will be emblazoned with smiling caricatures of McCain and Palin with plungers poised. He will be obliged to autograph those plungers – in Republican Red rubber of course – with a special "Joe the Plumber" Space pen, produced especially by the makers of THAT instrument to write upside down in a cistern full of water.
He'll be invited to endorse every bathroom cleaner known to anyone born with a bowel.
Of course he'll be asked to write a book.
Even the competition benefits. Googling 2008's most memorable catchphrase since "lipstick on a pig" reveals a plumber in California who's already been hounded by the media even with a distracting 'Lara' in his URL.
Another in Texas who actually owns www.joetheplumber.com is doing a brisk trade in souvenir t-shirts. I suspect that site is probably a front for a blogger who doesn't know his USJ from his USB but sure knows how to make money.
The Galfromdownunder wonders why They Inc. can make a harbor tunnel but can't make a toilet cistern that doesn't unhook itself and go ssssssssss … I'd call Joe, but he's already making a million by not being a plumber.
MULTIMEDIA: The Gal filmed the impressive hands-free toilet at Morimoto NY. Speak to it nicely or get your shoes splashed.