The Academy Awards took place recently to much hype and ceremony. Billy Crystal hosted again for the zillionth time and everybody was riveted to the set to see which starlet would wear the most daring outfit, who would win Best Gaffer and who would make the most insipid acceptance speech. We here at the Bucket have noticed over the years that the entertainment industry sure does like producing awards shows and patting themselves on the back. It seems like there’s an awards show every week. Wouldn’t it be great if other professions like programmers, electricians or dentists staged extravagant, self congratulatory awards shows on a weekly basis, too.
What if the public fawned and drooled over plumbers instead of actors and actresses? Here’s an old article from March 14, 2004 about the glamour that is the Golden Plungers.
Melvin Swazicki Sweeps The Golden Plunger Awards
In a stunning and record setting performance last week, Melvin Swazicki of Toledo, Ohio, swept the top categories in The Golden Plunger Awards which were held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Golden Plungers are considered by most experts to be the top awards show for plumbers ranking ahead of the The Plumbers People’s Choice Awards, The American Plumbing Awards and The Morties, named after legendary Chicago plumber Morty Pawolinski.
“This is an incredible feat!” said show commentator Larry Buttner. “He swept all the top awards: Fastest Snake, Best Showerhead Installation, Best Faucet Mounting, Best Unclogging Of A Shower Drain System, and Best Join Sweating Of An Outdoor Underground Pipe System In Freezing Conditions. This guy does it all!”
When Swazicki came on stage to receive his first award, for Best Faucet Mounting, he exclaimed “You like me! You really like me!” Swazicki, wearing fabulous pinstriped Gucci overalls, displayed tact and modesty in his other acceptance speeches. “I couldn’t have done it without the other plumbers at Rootin’ Tootin’ Plumbing. It’s truly a team effort every time we go to a customer’s house.” The fifty-year old plumber paused, wiped a tear from his eye and continued. “I love you guys!”
Emil Czalewpski, Swazicki’s main competition, had nothing but praise. “Melvin deserves it. He’s been in the biz for a long time now. You know, it’s just an honor to be nominated.”
Joe Tabler, a junior plumber who works with Swazicki, said, “Wow! Melvin is truly an inspiration to the rest of us at Rootin’ Tootin’. I mean he’s a legend. When they asked me to work on Melvin’s team, I had to pinch myself. I’m working with Melvin Swazicki! I mean, it was just an incredible dream come true.”
The show was hosted by Billy Crystal. He got the evening off to a rip-roaring start when he told the audience “Gentlemen start your egos!” He then told them to “pipe down” after the opening number. He also told a model, who mistakenly dropped an award, “Hey don’t sweat it.” He later did a number where he inserted himself into clips of the nominees doing various kinds of plumbing work. Huge laughs came when he bent over to replace a toilet valve and showed large amounts of butt cleavage to the audience.
“That was hilarious!” said Fred Schindler of Des Moines, Iowa. “That happens to me all the time. Hell one time a youngun stuck a pencil in there and I didn’t even know it. I sure knew it when I tried to sit. Ouch! Hee hee hee!”
Of course, one can’t mention the Golden Plungers without mentioning the fashions. Entertainment Tonight’s Jann Carl said, “Melvin Swazicki may have took home the Golden Plungers, but Carl LeMay took home the fashion award with his Ralph Lauren leisure suit. Herman Jablonski also looked sharp in his Yves St. Laurent gold lamé jump suit. His wife Mabel, looked equally stunning in her Bob Mackie moo-moo. The biggest fashion disaster had to be avant-garde plumber, Tina Bjorkinski, who showed up wearing a toilet duck costume. What on earth was she thinking?”
The plumbing industry now looks forward to the next award show, the Morties, which will be held next month in Hoboken, New Jersey, and hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.