The Langstrom 7-inch Gangly Wrench is a fictitious plumbing tool dreamed up by Steve Martin for a joke on his 1977 album "Let's Get Small". The tool was mentioned in start of a joke that he was supposed to of written because there were going to be a bunch of plumbers in the audience that night. The joke isn't funny no one laughs and Steve asks if that was the show where the plumbers were supposed to be at. That gets a laugh, which was the point. I guess the joke was purposely not funny to make sure there wasn't a laugh, but it don't make any sense at all. First he says "Two lawn supervisors were out on a sprinkler maintenance job", which is the first problem because they'd be called "irrigation techs" (or glueheads, if your a real plumber). Then the boss says "the Langstrom 7-inch gangly wrench is to be used with the Finley sprocket" and the apprentice pulls out some manual and says "It says socket not sprocket." Thats' it. Well anyone that knows anything knows there's no way to confuse a socket with a sprocket. A socket is a deep round attachment that fits over a bolthead or nut and a sprocket is a flat disc with teeth, like what your bike chain goes around.

When I was starting out I learned pretty quick to dread it when I went on a housecall and the client was a certain kind of nerdy white guy about 10 years older then me cause sooner or later he'd look at my big toolbox and ask if I had a Langstrom 7-inch gangly wrench. Oh yuk yuk. I'm a white guy to BTW. Then theyd talk about Steve Martin and wild and crazy guy and all that stuff telling me stuff I heard a bunch a times before. I guess it was better then jokes about but cracks and where I keep my pencil, but it got old real quick. I finally got so sick of it I invented my own gangly wrench. I took a broken stem puller and welded an old drain key to it and a piece of chain from a busted pipe cutter just to make it look nasty and I scribed a big 7 on it. I put it in my toolbox and when theyd finally ask I just dug around and pulled it out and showed em without smiling. While they stared and tried to think of something to say I usually said something like "but its really for sprinkler jobs, no need for it here" Once I even tested a guy by saying it was getting hard to find the right sprockets (instead of sockets) for it, but he didn't catch. Fun to turn there joke around on em, thats for sure.

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