I got to the showgrounds around noon, ready for a big day of proving that I was the very best like no one ever was. I’d been looking forward to this day for a long time and now it was finally here. I was so excited!
The first thing I noticed was that the competition was fierce. There were dozens of plumbers who looked like they’d been in the trade for years. Some of them had perhaps come from a long line of plumbers and been trained from early childhood. Me? I was just a rookie, fresh out of an apprenticeship and starting my own business. That was why I needed to win. To prove to everyone that I’m worth hiring.
Heading toward the centre of the grounds, I waited for the MC to announce the official beginning of the first-ever “Drain Plumber Games”. The crowd was at least fifty-thousand strong, everyone watching as the contestants, myself included, prepared for the first contest.
A man in luxurious black suspenders and a silken shirt stepped onto the centre stage. “Welcome all, to this spectacular event,” he said, speaking into a microphone. “Are you ready to see the best drainage contractors near Melbourne apply their craft and prove themselves as the best, the most talented, the most influential plumbers in the business?”
The crowd went wild, filling my chest with anxiety. I was the underdog in this competition, for sure, but I hoped that by the end of the day the crowd would know my name. Steph Jennings, the new kid on the plumbing stage and one of the only women in the competition.
“Prepare for a day unlike any other,” the MC said, “filled with incredible events, ranging from drain unclogging to sewer diving! Now, prepare for the official opening ceremony, where we will call our tradies up to the stage in reverse plumber’s alphabetical order. We’ll start with the T’s. Terry Thompson, please come up to the stage!”