The Economist: A Story About Our Backwards Little World
Plop. Plip, plop, plip, plop. Again?
There’s a leak in the pipes, you see? Plip, plop every day and every night. And it’s my job to fix it.
But these days the guys in suits who live up high, they’re asking me something else. They want to know where the leak goes. Easy enough to find out, I told them. It’s dripping, down and down, farther than I can see. Someone way down there? Plip, plop, plip, plop.
That’s all they’re gonna hear, but I thought I heard a voice.
“Hello?” Way down the pipe, they’re not gonna hear me. Best not to say more. There’s always a leak. That’s why we have plumbers—so no one finds out. We just mutter while we work.
There are a lot of pipes and I can’t see which one’s leaky ’cause they all look like each other. I’ve seen the plans, you know, and I’d tell anyone all about them—there are some interesting things behind these walls. They kind of speak to me. They’re my calling.
It’s one of the longer pipes leaking, leads out to the main water network. Lots of pressure. Someone could notice, or find out—we’re supposed to be safe in here, behind these walls, except they leak. The superiors will want to know all about that. Tighten it up, there you go!
As I leave, it’s still there: plip, plop, plop, plip. Must’ve imagined it.