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In which he wasn’t Bert


I was considering writing a post bitching and moaning about how I hurt my back but I realize that I spend a great deal of time bitching and moaning about my assorted aches and pains so I decided to tell you about my appointment with a chimney sweep.


If you’re like me, when you think “chimney sweep” (if indeed you EVER think Chimney sweep) you think of Bert in Mary Poppins. (which for me leads to the line “Mary Poppins, I’d recognize that silhouette anywhere” because that’s how my mind goes.)


If you don’t think of Mary Poppins or you’ve never seen Mary Poppins (shame on you) then you’ll probably think this is a stupid post (or more stupid and pointless than usual.)


Anyway, we have lived in our house for 10 years and Kevin told me the other day that I should get the chimney cleaned.  We’ve never done it before so I just Googled Chimney Sweeps and I got that “Angie’s List” but it turns out you have to join that so I just called the first guy on the list.


Then I Googled “how to find a GOOD chimney sweep” and it told me to make sure they were accredited and I was all like “who knew?” and “are you kidding me?” and “I think I’ll just try this first guy” which is exactly what I did.


Point is, I ended up with an appointment on October 17th and when the day came I was all excited because I figured the guy would get on my roof and perform “step in time” and wouldn’t that be an exciting even in my otherwise boring day. (other than the fact that it was Keely’s birthday which was kind of exciting for her but nobody really called me to congratulate me on giving birth to such a ridiculous human being).


So the guy showed up and he didn’t look AT ALL like Bert (once again, See Mary Poppins) but he was really friendly and incredibly chatty and seriously, we discussed everything from chimneys (go figure) to the national debt (yeah seriously) to what High school I went to and so on and so on.


Finally, he gets down to the business of sweeping my chimney which involved and very long broom and a vacuum, which isn’t really sweeping is it.  Also, he does it from the inside and not the roof as he pointed out that would send a puff of crap into my house.


Finally, he declared my chimney all “clean” and we got to the paying part.  Here’s where it got good.


Me:                  I really like you and I’ll recommend you to anyone who asks


Not Bert:         thanks


Me:                  I was a bit disappointed that you didn’t dance and sing step in time


Not Bert:         did you know Dick van Dyke was an honorary member of the Chimney Sweeping Guild?


(Well, I didn’t know there even was a Chimney Sweeping guild did you?)

Me:                  I did NOT know that


Not Bert:         yeah, and when they were filming that in London they took all these pictures of the guy drawing with chalk and up on the roofs and they’re really cool


Me:                  really?


Not Bert:         yeah, in fact I was in that art shop over on West Market Street.  What’s that shop called?


Me:                  I believe it’s called “The Art Shop” (hahahahaha)


Not Bert:         they had a framed picture of all the guys up on the roof dancing while filming Step in Time and I really wanted it but it was $5000


(This is a strange conversation)


Me:                  I think I’ve seen that picture


(… and isn’t it awesome that my chimney sweep guy was into very expensive art.  What a crazy world!)


Not Bert:         so naturally, I didn’t buy it


Me:                  naturally. By the way, do you have a business card?


Not Bert:         I do


And then he hands me this bottle of Tabasco sauce and I’m thinking this is weird.  But when he left I see that the Tabasco sauce is actually his business card and I look around and there’s my clean chimney and it was honestly one of the more unusual worker interactions I’ve ever had.


Meanwhile, I told Kevin he’d have to use all the sauce because I don’t like hot sauce but he said he didn’t either but I need to keep it because it has the phone number on it and I’m surprised to have the chimney swept every 2-3 years instead of once a decade.

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  1. Amy
    October 23, 2013

    True Story – when I was a kid, my dad owned a painting company and they did chimney sweeping because they had the boom truck and all. Best part, he had a top hat and tails and would wear them while he was sweeping chimney’s. I have awesome pictures and an awesome dad, because, well he couldn’t just sweep a chimney without a top hat and tails!

    • Lynn
      October 23, 2013

      Hahaha…that’s hilarious and amazing

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