Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A kiss for luck

Nearly every suite in the Hotel Garamond had a fireplace. Those few that did not had other amenities meant for sophisticated and refined tastes of a particular nature and, in the opinions of those with such tastes, were well worth the premium rate charged for them. But the stories from those suites are a digression from this narrative, and quite likely never to be made public in any event (at least while there’s a Jack in charge of the Garamond).

Avoid unchallenging occupations - they will waste your great talents
A proliferation of fireplaces naturally leads to a proliferation of chimneys, and the Garamond rooftop fairly bristles with them. Fireplaces need chimneys, and chimneys need sweeps. Once a year, a crew of most expert sweeps comes to the old port town, there to enjoy something of a working holiday. They arrive bearing the tools of their trade, some of which were invented specifically to clean each cranny and nook of the hotel’s fireplaces and flues.

That’s the “working” part of the “working holiday.” The “holiday” part? Well, everyone knows that a sweep’s kiss is luck for a year. Sometimes, lines formed around the block.

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