WRITING AND FLUSHING DOOM
one trip through the water main tunnels, we discovered a small
hole behind a pipe that we could just barely fit through.
Slim Jim, Wolfman McManwolf, and I wiggled downward into what
proved to be a short segment of sewer tunnel.
floor was soft and mucky, and the walls had clearly been dug
out by hand with pickaxes. I was amazed to discover a sandstone
carving in letters 18 inches high and well over an inch deep,
reading "1882." The surface of the rock within the
letters was as aged as the surrounding rock: the carving had
probably been made by a worker who dug the tunnel, at the
very dawn of the age of working sewers in Saint Paul (see
"History of Saint Paul Sewers").
we were checking out this carving, we were startled by a rumbling
sound. It started getting louder, nearer. It started sounding
rather liquid. It sounded like a giant flush. And it was coming
toward us from a large pipe sticking out of the wall. Suddenly
acutely aware of the wet, sludgy floor, we bolted back toward
the wormhole we'd dropped in from, and even working against
gravity instead of with it, we got out of that damn hole twice
as fast as we'd gotten down into it.