The Rise and
Fall of the Sewer People
by Nathaniel Tower
From an early
age, Ruttiger's mother had warned him not to
flush the toilet while seated.
matter what," she told the young lad
repeatedly even before he had been potty trained,
"never flush the toilet while seated. Never,
never do it."
Mommy?" Ruttiger had eventually asked when
he was well past the age of potty training.
sewer people are not to be trifled with,"
was her serious response.
sewer people. If you flush the toilet while
seated, you will be sucked right in. Then you
will be forced to live with the sewer people.
That is if they let you live."
more about the sewer people, Mommy," he had
She told him
everything she knew about them.
ever seen a sewer person?" the incredulous
course not sweetie. No one has ever seen one and
lived to tell normal people about it." Again,
she spoke in grave tones. This was a no-nonsense
By the time
Ruttiger reached high school, he no longer feared
the sewer people. In his younger schooling days,
he had tried to warn people about them, but he
soon realized that not only did no one else
believe in the sewer people, but no one besides
his mother had ever even heard of the sewer
people. There were no books about them, and
Ruttiger's teachers told him it was just a load
of poppycock. Ruttiger didn't know what poppycock
was, but he figured the sewer people weren't much
to worry about. Still, he feared them a little
and never flushed the toilet while seated, which
was okay because he had not yet reached the age
where a courtesy flush was considered to truly be
in the high school locker room before football
practice, Ruttiger felt the inevitable pre-practice
bowel movement approaching, and so he engaged in
his usual routine of pre-practice defecation.
After eating burritos for dinner the night before
and a chili dog for lunch, the smell of his
bowels had been greatly enhanced.
Christ, how about a damn courtesy flush over
there," a teammate cried from the adjacent
heard of the courtesy flush before, but he had
never really considered doing one. Although he
was a junior in high school and hadn't given
serious thought to toilet suction or the sewer
people in quite a few years, there was always the
nagging suspicion in the back of his mind that it
was true. After all, what reason did his mother
possibly have to lie to him?
flushed while seated for the first time in his
life, against his mother's commands.
people were indeed not to be trifled with. In
fact, his mother's description was spot on, but
he was never able to confirm it with her. Somehow
though, she knew.