Mr. President, Bring Back the Chimney Sweeps

Chimney Sweep

Mr. President, you’ve made an awesome start toward bringing back coal mining jobs and making America great again. But what about the chimney sweeps? These unsung heroes of carbon-based employment have been over-regulated and maligned for more than a century, unable to practice their craft with the dignity their soot-covered bodies and stunted frames deserve.

What gives Big Government the right to tell hard-working children that squeezing their way up narrow creosote-encrusted chutes, scraping bodies to the bone while risking suffocation in the hot flues, is too dangerous and unhealthy? Sure, many of them develop horrific diseases by puberty, but isn’t there more to life than living? How about the pride of earning a yearly bath and sack of ashes to sleep under through your own spine-deforming labor without asking Washington for a handout.

Of course, the fake news liberal media will claim that high-tech vacuums and child labor laws have changed the industry forever, that the habitats of the future can do without carbon-spewing spouts. But I say that home is where the hearth is! We need to tend the smoldering coals of our humanity, and we need the human hand to dislodge the resulting particles from clogging our ducts. We must end the madness that would outlaw our wood-burning heritage and prevent the able, tiny-bodied from following their calling up our chutes.

Nor let us pause there. Thousands of other jobs have fallen into neglect and disrepute at the hands of the smirking coastal elites. How long has it been since a traveling salesman rang your doorbell? Once they roamed the countryside like a two-legged army of Amazon Prime, bringing the wonders of American enterprise to the multitude. They didn’t need to spend their lives on the road or sleep with all of those farmer’s daughters. They did so because it gave meaning to their lives and filled the void with an American dream, where every household deserved a Hoover and a set of encyclopedias.

What about the steno pool and switchboard operators? The coiffed and nyloned ladies taking pride in their 30% pay differential? Once they swarmed our office spaces like gazelles upon the African veldt. Now the water coolers have gone dry, leaving only an endangered few to process documents for paperless bosses, who never request dictation. Fingers that once plugged phone cords into consoles and tapped out 80 words a minute now jab idly at iPhones, disconsolate and unemployed.

Rat catchers, lamp lighters, typesetters, paper hangers, milkmen, soda jerks, elevator operators, meter readers, paper boys and cigarette girls, projectionists, liverymen, and icemen who no longer cometh. All the working men and women in the background of Turner Classic Movies. All the occupations glimpsed in 1930s comedy two-reelers. Imagine them all in one immense Soviet-style tableau, the redundant workers of the world, with nothing left to lose, not even their chains. Mr. President, we must bring back all the jobs that employed Larry, Moe and Curly so that Americans can once again be stooges!

Obsolete Pete

Chim Chiminey Society of Greater New York



Boris Polonoff

Author: Boris Polonoff

Boris Polonoff is a quality assurance consultant, writer, and intermittent YouTube auteur, living on Manhattan's UIpper West Side close to Zabar's. His satirical videos can be viewed at and his quality assurance work helps your software run more smoothly.

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