Sunday, March 19, 2006

Chris the Plumber Turns 50

A week or so ago I got a flyer in the mail from Chris Jensen, Baltimore's wackiest plumber (what other respected tradesman has the slogan, "Your Poop Is My Bread and Butter" alongside a picture of an exposed buttcrack boldly displayed on the side of his work van?) and all-around nutjob (his rooftop Christmas Negativity Scene depicting Jesus with a space alien is notorious) showing a picture of him with his long-suffering assistant Shawn "The Beav" Sapp (pictured below right) adjacent to this text: "I asked my helper the Beav how I could have a really cool 50th Birthday Party. He told me not to come." Ha, that sounds about right, I thought!

The flyer went on to announce a "Fish Roast and Jam" at The Fish Palace (Fish being one of Chris' numerous nicknames, and the Fish Palace being his eclectic abode) that promised to include NUDE DANCING, HEAVY DRINKING, LOUD ROCK & ROLL, and LYING & CHEATING, as well as a SPANK THE PLUMBER charity contest (pictured below left) to raise money for breast cancer research (his mother Pat is a survivor) and a Midnight BB gun Rat Hunt. There was even the promise of a celebrity-type roast, but the kicker that cinched mandatory attendence for me was the gracious proviso that "toilet facilities will be provided at no cost by Jensen Plumbing Service of America."

Suffice it to say, Chris Jensen knows how to throw a party! And for his 50th birthday party, he went all out. This one even had babes, and not just the cute prepubescent nieces and cousins that represent at his annual Christmas Talent Show parties. I'm talking about actual non-related hotties (see below right), no doubt there for the Spank the Plumber and Midnight Rat Hunt activities (who knew?).

Anyway, this was a great shindig and for all the crap Chris and I have slung at each other over the years (he was miffed at me for a long time because I aired footage of him dancing in his underwear on Atomic TV - hey, did that tape of Paris Hilton being lewd in her lingerie hurt her "career"? I rest my case!), I must admit the guy's has a great talent that you just can't teach. No, I'm not talking about his plumbing work (though in 2005 the City Paper named him Baltimore's "Best Plumber") or his camerawork all these years on Atomic TV (excellent though that work is), and I'm not even talking about his plumbing-themed artwork (impressive), his guitar playing in his pick-up jam band The Throbbing Members or even his Felix Ungerer neatnik tidiness that borders (like his porn collection) on anal-compulsiveness. I mean simply this: The guy knows how to have fun!

This was an awesome party and everybody seemed to be there, from his music pals to customers to local artists and even his girlfriend's coterie of writers and academics. I even saw my old gal pal (and frequent Atomic TV collaborator) Stella Gambino there - and here I though she vanished off the face of the Earth! (I had to take a picture with her, shown above left, to prove it to the world!)

Other VIPs in attendence included Sundance Award-winning filmmaker (and Charles Village neighbor) Steve Yeager, DJ/filmmaker Bump Stadelman, Todd Stachowski (pictured right) and his death metal-meisters The Rock Stars, former Sick drummer Gumby, rockers Katha and Ann Flinn of Mongoloidian Glow (check out this dynamic duo's April 1st CD release party at the Talking Head Club - no fooling!) and Cicaeda singer-guitarist/yoga instructor/Trixie's Palace entrepreneur Andriana Pateris. (Andriana and Ann Flinn of Mongolodian Glow are pictured below left.)

Music was provided by The Rock Stars and various other drunken revelers, including a Baby Boomer ensemble comprised of Chris and his older brother Billy Jensen on guitars, Eric Rhodes on lead, Peter Stern on bass, and former Rockhead and DelMarVa bassist Bernie Ozol, to name but a few. And what do old farts at play play, you ask? The usual suspects: early Stones, The Monkees, The Cars, even a little Nancy Sinatra circa "These Boots Were Made For Walking." The boys are shown rocking the night away away below right.

But I most relished the celebrity roast ceremonies where friends appealed to his most erudite sensibilities by presenting him with a succession of rubbers, dildos and other toilet-humor gifts. (And you wondered what people give plumbers?) This was followed immediately by some hardball whacking during the Spank the Plumber event.

A girl named Gacki administered the best whacky (as shown below left)...
then sat back to bask in the afterglow of her nick-knack-paddywhack handiwork while Chris showed off his butt welts and a drummer punctuated the ceremony with a very appropos "rim shot" (below right). And that note seems to provide a fitting end to the evening's highbrow festivities.

Thanks Chris - it was a blast! Though it's gonna take many a sleepless night to get the image of your splotchy butt cheeks out of my head! Oh, and Happy 50th - hope you got everything you deserved!

Related Links:

Best Plumber - Jensen Plumbing (City Paper, Best of Baltimore 2005)

Best Plumber - Chris Jensen (City Paper, Best of Baltimore 2004)

Chris Jensen's Nativity Scene (

Lights That Charm, Inspire, Provoke (Baltimore Sun review of Chris Jensen's Nativity Scene)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the Chris Jensen's 50th B/D story. But his best present was to meet his cousin, Joe. Chris told Pat and me that for his birthday present,he wanted us to find the son of Pat's brother, Joe. Pat's brother and his wife had a son they also named Joe, then divorced 42 years ago, Wife remarried and her new husband adopted Joe's son. No contact between Joe and son over the next 42 years.
I found Joe's son on the internet, living outside of Wilmington, DE. Pat called him up and identified herself as his aunt. Then Yaty, Yaty, Yaty. Joe was invited to Chris' party and he and his wife, Terra came. There they meet for the first time five new cousins, including Chris and 11 2nd cousins. A whole new family!
Pretty good present, I'd say.
Pat and Bill Jensen,
Chris' Mom and Dad.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris's party was a great time. So many memories that won't be forgotten. But you really should give some credit to those prepubescent nieces, one of which helped organize the party with him and was running around helping him at the party. And by the way those neices were all over the age of 21, I wouldn't call that prepubescent. By the way, you show some picture of the hot babes from the party and I hate to tell you but one of those is a somewhat neice of chris's and is only a couple years older then others.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well, that is really a nightmare. It will be wise to have an expert plumber's advice before starting a renovation or construction in order to avoid situations like that.

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Anonymous Plumber Baltimore said...

Best Wishes Chris..

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11:42 PM  
Anonymous Plumbing Baltimore said...

Great party!!!

11:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I started my Plumbing career at 17 in the Navy working on the monster super heated boilers and decided this was the career I wanted .. That was in 1965 and I still am learning everyday something new and still look forward to actually working with my hands.

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We could flush, we could shower, etc. We knew that the broken pipe wasn't allowing full drainage, so everything was just done very gently!contractor

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