|“||In the beginning there were the Heavens and Earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. Then the fuse box blew and left God in quite the shits.||”|
Without tradesmen this is about where history would have concluded, leaving only enough material to bore high school students for half a lesson.
However, as it happened God remembered the number of the local electrician and as it was late... or early... (very hard to tell these things when existence doesn't exist) God simply thought bugger it and hired a bunch of men named Barry in an unregistered van to make the land, sea and all the plants and creatures that dwelleth upon it. God just made up the creation thing to impress the girlfriend with his DIY skills.
Ever since then tradesmen have been stepping in to plug the gaps in history left by the inabilities of common man, all for an exorbitant hourly rate and a few stale meat pies.
The pyramids? Tradesmen. Mayan temples? Tradesmen. Barack Obama's election? Wait no, that was Aliens.
Sects of Tradesmen
Not unlike a '90s cartoon, every tradesman specializes in a particular trade that they are a master at. Also, very much like said cartoon, tradesmen are able to command the elemental forces of nature. Unlike said cartoons, tradesmen are not whiny about it.
Those that control the power of water. Plumbers are the most common form of tradesman and generally concern themselves with the tightening of various pipes, though every so often they may get the chance to part seas of various colours.
Their ability to halt the drip and flow of water with little more than scratch of their over-alled nether-regions has averted many major crises throughout history, ranging from Category 5 hurricanes to Mexican for dinner, while those that weren't averted were at least that little bit more awesome thanks to an inexplicable storm that vanished as soon as everyones' shirt was sufficiently see-through.
The plumber must use his power judiciously, as misuse may lead to the annihilation of a major population centre or worse, the home team losing the final. Thus most plumbers will spend many months perfecting their craft on the small drips and streams found in secluded holes, such as Adelaide, where any mass extinction event would go unnoticed. Luckily, with the advent of modern technology, plumbers have received more work than ever before, saving blockages from castles and unclogging princesses from drains.
Those that control the function of light, electrical appliances and — if you were to contract them — probably massive bolts of energy fired from the hand, too. Regarded as the most sacrosanct of tradesmen, early electricianry consisted of standing outside in a thunderstorm to gather the elusive electricity, whilst modern techniques instead revolve around the maintenance of polarity — negative and positive — to achieve a kind of zen and therefore the satisfying toastiness within your toaster. This is done so via the fashioning of wires within the circuitry into attractive little flowers, forming the positive terminal to oppose the negative terminal, powered by the contempt and loathing naturally residing within a family home.
The electrician must undertake exhaustive hours of meditation in absolute silence, unless Bon Jovi is on the radio, and isolated from all earthly matter, except a tea and possibly some of those lemon creams if they are in the cupboard. This is in order to remove all egotistical thoughts and ensure his soul remains "grounded" throughout. If he were to approach the task of retoastifying the toaster with arrogant thoughts of good old-fashioned one-handed thank-yous as have so many do-it-yourselfers over the millennia, he may instead create an amazing device that can turn internal organs into external organs faster than a suburban mother through a school zone.
Recent findings from popular media sources state that, provided you are not currently attempting to murder a college aged girl with a visible cleavage or prone to drawn out sessions of demented laughter, electricity may indeed offer therapeutic benefits. While this offers a challenge for electricionary, purists warn that this "alternating medicine" may encourage more unlicensed operators (e.g. child + socket + knife), forcing more electricians into pointless fighting tournaments to supplement their income.
Those that control the power of trees. Carpenters use brute force to beat trees into submission, turning them into anything from chairs to even bigger chairs. Ever since carpenters have been around trees have been unable to move, probably because they are scared shitless that if they take one wrong move a carpenter will turn them into a rocking horse.
Those that control the power of stone. Stone masons are best compared to the lead singer of a band who breaks off to follow a solo career; talented, yes, and popular eons ago, but full of themselves and now no one ever buys their work. However that doesn't matter when you can build your own damn castle. In the past stone masons have tried to influence the political process by threatening to make unimposing gargoyles, understandably bringing many countries to their knees.
Rituals of Tradesmen
Here it is important to note that tradesmen do not view the world as limited to 3 dimensions, something necessary to understand Ikea instructions. In general a cloud of dust, fire or swearing indicates a rebalancing in the dimensional planes and is nothing to be worried about.
Tradesmen do not follow a specific religion per se, however they do perform a significant number of customs and utilize particular artifacts in order to ensure the success of the job. Though it must be noted that electricians give particular respect to Jehovah's Witnesses who, collectively, provide large amounts of business installing door bells. Apparently they don't like strangers knocking on their door.
It is this object that allows tradesmen to see inside, into the mysterious workings of appliances. Whereas if a regular human being were to open a toilet they would find levers, strange pipey things and their older brother's soggy pornography collection, this allows a plumber to see the magic teleportation device that transports everything we flush down into the blowholes of critically endangered whales. Or for an electrician, the alarm clock that wakes up the people in the television each time we turn it on.
Quite simply the most important part of any tradesman's work, the luhnch break determines the ultimate success of a job. If one disturbs luhnch so greatly that the tradesman orders something poncy with spinach in it, the job may need to be started over completely. One should never question the length of a luhnch break as it has been calculated by the great tradesmen of yore correct to the nearest quip about how the team is doing.
No one can be completely sure if a tradesman's luhnch break is the same as a regular person's, as the meat pies a tradesman consumes could never be considered food. Researchers from the Wild Speculation Department of MIT recently noted that the break is to gain sustenance by absorbing the troubled thoughts of a million people building Ikea tables. This runs contrary to the increasingly popular belief that tradesmen simply feed on mushrooms collected from around the work area.
This 2 tonnes of unregistered Japanese steel and sauce stained plastic is the greatest symbol of tradesmanhood us lowly humans can comprehend; in front of every station on the road of human progress there there is a double parked vahn quietly pissing off the neighbors.
The inherent brilliance of a tradesmans' vahn, despite its filthy bumper stickers of course, is its ability to store more inside than theoretically possible. This allows the tradesman to have at hand anything in the universe he may or may not need for any job possibly imaginable... except that one bolt necessary to finish the job. It does so via a complex system of inter dimensional vortexes that distort the speed of light in such a way to allow infinite storage. This is also the sole reason for all those unfair speeding fines. Of course.
Only a true tradesman may command control of this beast; if you see someone who appears to be a tradesman yet is driving something other than a vahn you have likely seen a "handyman". The sole reason for the existence of a "handyman" is to provide fantasies for women based on ridiculous story-lines, such as turning up early for the job, in order to eventually entice the poor woman to his aptly named pickup truck where he will disgrace the male species by crying on her shoulder about failing to be a tradesman rather than making poor pick up lines as any self respecting man would do.
The inability of a "handyman" to install a fitting properly should clearly identify a "handyman" (as opposed to the ability to install a fitting improperly, which is the realm of tradesmen) however the true litmus test is whether said workman will do gardening; A "handyman" will happily oblige, whereas a tradesman will shrug and mumble about double rates, for he knows that gardening is best left to those with that kind of experience.
Luckily, in Britain, the conniving pickup truck and his dopey sidekick are completely unheard of thanks to the 1857 outlawing by Queen Victoria of all forms of sexual gratification in the realm. But they do have great plumbing.
Tradesmen in History
You will not often find mention of tradesmen in a textbook today, their part in history instead taken by vastly more educational stock photos of people sailing. Yet behind every great moment in history there is a tradesman scratching his ass and muttering about washers.
The first few billion years were hard for tradesmen as neither molten sulfur vents nor single celled organisms had any desire for a door to be fixed and subsequently rebroken. This trend continued throughout the Paleozoic, the only recorded job coming from a senile old trilobite who complained that the sink in the basement had leaked and flooded the earth in a shallow sea. The tradesman at call noted that he'd have the replacement ice age shipped in by next geologic era.
The Mesozoic was no improvement either. Dinosaurs, being the cold skinned conservative voters they were, insisted they could fix every problem that confronted them, so long as those damn unionists didn't bring their Trotskyite mumbo-jumbo onto their hard earned patch of dirt and leaves. Luckily for tradesmen, when the asteroid came the dinosaurs figured that atop a ladder, armed with some store bought filler and upper-middle Cretaceous sensibilities, a few squirts would fix it.
The advent of mankind was a particular boon for tradesmen. Never before had there been a creature so adept at realizing how poor their surroundings were and attempting modifying them. Or as useless at fitting door handles.
The first jobs usually consisted of plugging gaps in cave roofs with excrement, not to prevent leaks but simply because humans like to watch people smearing poo. Gradually humans began to realize how important tradesmen were; with the popularization of fire tradesmen were called to light a new fire every time it went out, only asking payment of a first born child. Soon after the Neanderthal died out, but that's what you get for not being tall enough to fix a leaking roof.
Thus human civilization continued unabated in this vein; whereby every so often a great man would have an idea and hire some tradesmen to follow through with this idea. Eventually that great man or his decedents would become stingy, a washer would fall off and some Mongols would get in and ruin everything. Then the cycle would start over.
Tradesmen in Literature
There has been remarkably little written about tradesmen, apart from several millennia of ads on the back of local papers, pottery and/or mules. However Tolstoy, in his epic 1878 work of realist fiction War and Pipes, confronts the position of tradesmen through Itsaf Ukedlov, a typical tradesmen, as he repairs the plumbical problems of those all across Russian society.
Itsaf quickly realizes that the problems are actually political commentary on Tsarist Russia and refuses to take part in the narrative unless paid triple rates, something only amended once the French win in Borodino and bring smelly cheese and 7 day weekends to Russia for the time being.
Future of Tradesmen
As long as there are humans there will be tradesmen. Even if humans build an army of robots to install fittings there will be tradesmen. Even if humans are wiped out by an army of fitting installing robots, so long as they have a yearning for internal plumbing, there will be tradesmen. Unless we lose the recipe for meat pies. Then we're screwed.