Yes, some of you are plagued by irrational fears. Heights, confined spaces, flying, dogs, birds, spiders. There are scores of things that terrify people — and you can read about them all on the Internet. The oddest one I found is genuphobia, which is a fear of knees.

My irrational fear is not on the list: I worry about dropping my keys down the sewer.

This may sound a bit wacky, but whenever I’m near a sewer grate, I clutch my keys tightly in my hand or zip them inside my jacket.

It’s not like dropping your keys in the sewer is the end of the world. You’d call the department of public works and feel like an idiot while you watch them fish around in the muck. Most likely you’d want to tip those guys; I’d say twenty bucks would be appropriate.

But the sewer thing? It may have started when I was a kid.

Our poor little poodle, Dondi, was hit by a car an somehow ended up tumbling into the storm drain. As I remember it, my father lifted up the grate and went down to retrieve our lifeless dog. It was tragic — but we eased the pain by joking he’d committed “sewercide.”

Your brain makes crazy conections that nobody can understand. Is this one of them? I don’t know, but hold on to your keys, and keep the dogs away from the sewers.

12 thoughts on “Sewercide

  1. Rob – I share the fear. May I suggest an evening of Netflix and a screening of Stephen King’s “IT”… ; )

  2. I always worry about dropping my keys down the sewer too. One time I actually dropped a co-workers keys down the little space between the elevator opening and the floor. They fell all the way down the elevator shaft and we had to call the elevator company to come and get them out.

  3. Your poor little poodle was named after the terrifying comic strip orphan child with giant black holes where his eyes should have been?!?!?

    No wonder Pennywise took him . . .

  4. “A man lived by the sewer, by the sewer he did die. Through sheer ingenuity, they called it sewer side!”

    1. This is probably something we can use a divining rod to determine. “Look, the nutty guy taking a picture of the sewer is out there with a stick!”

  5. Here’s how to rescue your keys from the sewer:

    Go back to your house (fortunately the sewer was outside my house) and grab the biggest magnet off the refrigerator (if your house keys are with the car keys like mine were hopefully a credit card can be used to unlock the door. ) Grab a shoelace and tie it around the magnet. Then, simply lower the magnet to where your keys are and let the magnet’s force pick up the keys. Then carefully, bring up the shoelace, magnet and keys. It worked for me and I was living in Massachusetts at the time, had no extra set of keys, and my daughter was waiting to be picked up from daycare. One of my proudest moments.

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