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Come raccontato nel cartone ‘Spicchi di cielo tra baffi di fumo’, una volta gli spazzacamini erano bambini, nati orfani o, come nel caso, venduti dalle famiglie ai padroni.

Svolgevano un lavoro pericoloso e spossante, che li esponeva a continui rischi di salute e incolumità (ancora oggi viene ricordato, come martire della professione, un bimbo che, stando sui tetti, venne folgorato dai cavi dell’alta tensione).

Lo spazzacamino esiste ancora, usa tecnologie diverse ma continua a fare un lavoro utile quanto pericoloso.

In Italia esiste un’associazione che li coordina e difende, l’ANFUS (Associazione nazionale fumisti e spazzacamini) e, sempre in Italia, in Valle Vigezzo (VB) ogni prima domenica di settembre gli spazzacamini di tutto il mondo si radunano  per ricordare una professione antica, nobile e ricca di poesia. 

In letteratura, particolarmente alti due sonetti di William Blake (1757 – 1827):

Songs of Innocence

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.
There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved: so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
 You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."
And so he was quiet; and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight, -
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.
And by came an angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins and set them all free;
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.
Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind;
And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father, and never want joy.
And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm;
So if all do their duty they need not fear harm.
Songs of Experience
A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "'weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? Say!"--
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.
"Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smiled among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
"And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his priest and king,
Who make up a heaven of our misery.

Nell’immaginario mediatico, gli spazzacamini piú famosi sono:

  • Bert, incontrato da Mary Poppins, che ballava assieme a lei sui tetti di Londra e conduceva governante e pargoli in un mondo fatto di magia;
  • il già citato Romeo, di “Spicchi di cielo tra baffi di fumo” (titolo originale ロミオの青い空, Romio no aoi sora, letteralmente “Il cielo azzurro di Romeo”);
  • lo spazzacamino Paperozzo, protagonista della storia a fumetti ‘Paperino in: È arrivato mio cugino!’ (Russo, Romanini, 1994), dove Paperino, Paperoga e Gastone apprendono di avere un altro cugino, fino a quel momento sconosciuto;
  • Gerry Scotti che, nel suo piccolo, indossava i panni dello spazzacamino nelle gag di una passata edizione di ‘Paperissima’  (2008).

Salutiamo caramente.

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