Tag Archives: catacombs

Buried Alive

I’ve been reading through Uncle Ruprecht’s remarkable journals, which I found in the catacombs in his “Behavior Taxidermy” crate. That crate mysteriously appeared on Saturday, though how it got here I do not know. I assume his valet, Pash, a squirrelly fellow with two glass eyes, brought it here in a conveyance only known to Pash.

When I came upstairs to make myself tea, I discovered Bubo snacking on vole rinds and watching this gem:

Yes! It’s I Bury The Living from 1958.

I think I’d rather be in the catacombs with my head lamp, with or without Pash, to be honest.

Nothing against the film, naturally. It’s just that vole rinds smell something rancid.

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Glum in the Sunshine

I am covered in muck. All the rain has caused the grotto to overflow and I needed to clear the catacombs.

Afternoon forecast: whiskey, ice & a book.

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I have spent two days underground, exploring the newly unearthed canal beneath the house. August has brought many storms to Brooklyn, and this past week we had some earth-shattering thunder-bashings. Literally earth-shattering, considering that the lightening and thunder knocked loose a wall of the catacombs and instead of packed mud and earth, I saw an opening. I cleared away the debris to discover a canal, running east/west, through a tunnel-like cavern.

Bubo and I spent much of yesterday in the grotto, as we’ve taken to calling it. The temperature is a good bit cooler within the grotto, and the humidity feels high. I will be testing it later today with some instruments specifically made for that.

This morning, I took my coffee into the grotto. From clearing away the wall in the catacombs, I’ve managed to create a sitting area overlooking the canal. I sipped my coffee and watched the water tumble past. It’s surprisingly light and clear down there, leading me to believe that there are clearings in the tunnel roof and walls allowing sunlight to pour in. Unless, perhaps, this is not an abandoned waterway at all, and there are lights lining the walls. I’ve not explored very far, yet. I’m still taking readings of pH levels of the water. The fact that it smells like beef stew after 6 pm is fascinating. And makes me wonder if the canal is in fact filled with beef stew and not pure Brooklyn water. So many questions to answer!

This discovery leads me to today’s word.

Selcouth is an adjective meaning unusual, strange, rare, uncommon or wonderful. It is from the Middle English, in turn from the Old English selcūþ, seldcūþ“unusual, unwonted, little known, unfamiliar, novel, rare” – which, in turn, are from seld + cūþ (known).

This grotto, this canal, are certainly selcouth, wouldn’t you say? Could it lead me into the Paerdegat Basin? Is it made of beef stew? Is it still used as a secret waterway? Does it meander through the entire Atlantic Coast, or is it Brooklyn-specific?

I’m putting the finishing touches on an exploration boat – think Dr. Livingstone meets Cleopatra’s barge – to fully explore with Bubo. Would you join me? It promises to be a selcouth journey.

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I don’t know how the weather is where you are, but here on my side of the hill in deepest, darkest Brooklyn, we had quite the lightening storm. I was sketching ideas for my shrinking violet experiment when I heard an ear-splitting crash. It might have been lightening striking. It might have been a dragon-gone-crazy. I might never know what happened, really.

It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that there is now an additional opening in the catacombs. It reveals what appears to be a small canal-type waterway. The opening is small, about the size of a medium-sized ottoman, and the temperature within is approximately ten degrees colder than the rest of the catacombs.

The canal seems to be running east/west, and from what I can hear (using the amphiphone I dug up yesterday) there are no rapids or waterfalls on the course.

I am gathering supplies and will begin my explorations on the morrow.

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