There is a requirement in Vienna for fireplaces in houses to be inspected (at least) annually by a Chimney Sweep. Yes! There are real Chimney Sweeps, Rauchfankehrer, in Vienna. Sometimes, like today, my romantic notions play themselves out nicely and remind me that I really am living in Europe.
I had regarded the Sweep’s appointment as an ordinary matter; someone like Bert would come to our house, clean the fireplace and hearth, maybe even sing a little bit, and all would be well.
No, no, no! said two of my friends. “That only happens in Disney movies. In real life it’s much better. Two very attractive, well-muscled and crisply uniformed Sweeps arrive about half an hour before the scheduled appointment window, spend five glorious minutes inspecting the furnace and chimney, and then they leave.”
My friends were right. I did not snap a photo of the Sweeps (who arrived 20 minutes before the scheduled appointment window this morning), but if I had…