Sewer Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Sewer. Here they are! All 200 of them:

The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King)
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.
Mel Brooks
I always say the truth is best even when we find it unpleasant. Any rat in a sewer can lie. It's how rats are. It's what makes them rats. But a human doesn't run and hide in dark places, because he's something more. Lying is the most personal act of cowardice there is.
Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1))
I guess we'd better move the trash. We can start with the Dumpster." He pointed at it, looking distinctly unenthusiastic. "You'd rather face a ravening horde of demons, wouldn't you?" Clary said. "At least they wouldn't be crawling with maggots. Well," he added thoughtfully, "not most of them, anyway. There was this one demon, once, that I tracked down to the sewers under Grand Central—" "Don't." Clary raised a warning hand. "I'm not really in the mood right now." "That's got to be the first time a girl's ever said that to me," Jace mused. "Stick with me and it won't be the last." The corner of Jace's mouth twitched. "This is hardly the time for idle banter. We have garbage to haul.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
I too love everything that flows: rivers, sewers, lava, semen, blood, bile, words, sentences. I love the amniotic fluid when it spills out of the bag. I love the kidney with it’s painful gall-stones, it’s gravel and what-not; I love the urine that pours out scalding and the clap that runs endlessly; I love the words of hysterics and the sentences that flow on like dysentery and mirror all the sick images of the soul...
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
You know,” Jackal said, kicking a rabid in the face, sending it reeling, “it seems that whenever I’m with you, I’m constantly fighting my way into places I really don’t want to be. The sewers, the Prince’s tower, a bloody freaking church.
Julie Kagawa (The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3))
This is the most I have ever been in the sewers in one place. If someone had said to me a month ago, 'Hey, Jackal, guess where you'll be spending most of your time in New Covington? Ankle-deep in shit!' I would've ripped their lips off.
Julie Kagawa (The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2))
What a Chimera is man! What a novelty, a monster, a chaos, a contradiction, a prodigy! Judge of all things, an imbecile worm; depository of truth, and sewer of error and doubt; the glory and refuse of the universe.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
Please don't go." He let out an uneven breath. "You'll be fine without me. You always have been." Maybe once, but not now. "How can I convince you to stay?" "You can't." She threw down the torch. "Do you want me to beg, is that it?" "No-never." "Then tell me-" "What more can I say?" he exploded, his whisper rough and harsh "I’ve already told you everything—I’ve already told you that if I stay here, if I have to live with Arobynn, I'll snap his damned neck.” “But why? Why can’t you let it go?” He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “Because I love you!” Her mouth fell open. “I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.” The only sounds were their breathing, an uneven beat against the rushing of the sewer river. “You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed, grabbing the front of his tunic. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, "Because I'd pick you." And then she kissed him.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.4))
Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?
Stephen King (Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1))
Don't you have somewhere you need to be?" she gritted. "The kitchen? The sewers? The fires of hell?
Alexandra Ivy (When Darkness Comes (Guardians of Eternity, #1))
Why was this bloody world created?" "As a sewer for the stars," a voice in front of him said. "Alternatively to know God and to glorify Him forever." " [...] The two answers are not, of course, necessarily alternative.
Charles Williams (War in Heaven)
I dragged Meg toward the sewer (because that’s what friends are for)
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
I don't know about you, but I only have one life, and I don't want to spend it in a sewer of injustice.
Wallace Shawn
Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it's the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it's just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. So let's just say that Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colourful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
. . . And so Charlie Asher . . . led an army of fourteen-inch-tall bundles of animal bits, armed with everything from knitting needles to a spork, into the storm sewers of San Fransciso.
Christopher Moore (A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper, #1))
The internet was supposed to liberate knowledge, but in fact it buried it, first under a vast sewer of ignorance, laziness, bigotry, superstition and filth and then beneath the cloak of political surveillance. Now...cyberspace exists exclusively to promote commerce, gossip and pornography. And of course to hunt down sedition. Only paper is safe. Books are the key. A book cannot be accessed from afar, you have to hold it, you have to read it.
Ben Elton (Blind Faith)
...Everyone knows there's only one thing less welcome on a stage than a mime, and that's a clown, because everyone knows that clowns eat people.
Laurie Notaro (There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the patience not to strangle my mother-in-law, chop her into little pieces, and dump them down a sewer.
Jennifer Weiner (Little Earthquakes)
Four thousand years ago, we, the people of the Indus River basin, had cities that were laid out on grids and boasted underground sewers, while the ancestors of those who would invade and colonize America were illiterate barbarians.
Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
He smiled. "I suppose I thought we'd have a madly impractical, terrifyingly modern sort of marriage. One based on love. Not to mention dangerous undertakings and hair's-breadth escapes from burning buildings, high ledges and exploding sewers." "And bickering." "Always that, yes." "Assuming I want to marry at all." "True. I know of no good way of forcing you to do anything." "And you're mad enough to think it could work - one day?" He cupped her face in his hands. His smile was so brilliant it seemed to illuminate the room. "I think it would be heaven." She trembled, then. "You have a very strange idea of heaven." "Kiss me and see.
Y.S. Lee (The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3))
See things for what they are. Drop your blinders and raise the sewer to eye level. Admit that your swimming in shit. If you don't acknowledge the turd heading down the drain towards you; you can't dodge it.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
They can't hurt me. Sure, they can crush you and kill you. They can lay you out on 42nd and Broadway and put hoses on you and flush you in the sewers and put you on the subway and carry you out to Coney island and bury you on the Ferris wheel. But I refuse to sit here and worry about dying.
Bob Dylan
Life is like a sewer - you get out of it what you put into it.
Tom Lehrer
Jace: "I guess we better move the trash. We can start with the Dumpster," looking unenthusiastic. Clary: "You'd rather face a ravening horde of demons, wouldn't you?" Jace: "At least they wouldn't be crawling with maggots. Well, not most of them, anyway. There was this one demon, once, that I tracked down to the sewers under Grand Central--" Clary: "Don't. I'm not really in the mood right now." Jace: "That's got to be the first time a girl's ever said that to me." Clary: "Stick with me and it won't be the last.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
And Annie showed me how ailanthus trees grow under subway and sewer gratings, stretching toward the sun, making shelter in the summer, she said, laughing, for the small dragons that live under the streets.
Nancy Garden (Annie on My Mind)
No, thanks.” Rhage laughed. “I’m a good little sewer, as you know firsthand. Now who’s your friend?” “Beth Randall, this is Rhage. An associate of mine. Rhage, this is Beth, and she doesn’t do movie stars, got it?” “Loud and clear.” Rhage leaned to one side, trying to see around Wrath. “Nice to meet you, Beth.” “Are you sure you don’t want to go to a hospital?” she said weakly. “Nah. This one’s just messy. When you can use your large intestine as a belt loop, that’s when you hit the pros.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
What a chimaera then is man, what a novelty, what a monster, what chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, yet an imbecile earthworm; depository of truth, yet a sewer of uncertainty and error; pride and refuse of the universe. Who shall resolve this tangle?
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
What else can I do? Once you've gone this far you aren't fit for anything else. Something happens to your mind. You're overqualified, overspecialized, and everybody knows it. Nobody in any other game would be crazy enough to hire me. I wouldn't even make a good ditch-digger, I'd start tearing apart the sewer-system, trying to pick-axe and unearth all those chthonic symbols - pipes, valves, cloacal conduits... No, no. I'll have to be a slave in the paper-mines for all time.
Margaret Atwood (The Edible Woman)
inn-sewer-ants-polly-sea.
Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1))
When you have half of Caironese in slums, when you don't have clean water, when you don't have a sewer system, when you don't have electricity, and on top of that you live under one of the most repressive regimes right now... Well, put all that together, and it's a ticking bomb. It's not of a question of threat; it is question of looking around at the present environment and making a rational prognosis.
Mohamed ElBaradei
VLADIMIR: Moron! ESTRAGON: Vermin! VLADIMIR: Abortion! ESTRAGON: Morpion! VLADIMIR: Sewer-rat! ESTRAGON: Curate! VLADIMIR: Cretin! ESTRAGON: (with finality). Crritic! VLADIMIR: Oh! He wilts, vanquished, and turns away.
Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot)
Small towns are sometimes like that; familiarity runs high, while regard for personal space is low, if nonexistent.
Laurie Notaro (There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble)
But why? Why can't you let it go?" He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. "Because I love you!" Her mouth fell open. "I love you," he repeated, shaking her again. "I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he's always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you'd choose Arobynn, and I. Can't. Take. It." The only sounds were their breathing, an uneven beat against the rushing of the sewer river. "You're a damned idiot," she breathed, grabbing the front of his tunic. "You're a moron and an ass and a damned idiot." He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, "Because I'd pick you." And then she kissed him.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
You humans are always locking each other away. Cells. Dungeons. Some of your earliest jails were sewers, where men sloshed in their own waste. No other creature has this arrogance—to confine its own. Could you imagine a bird imprisoning another bird? A horse jailing a horse? As a free form of expression, I will never understand it. I can only say that some of my saddest sounds have been heard in such places. A song inside a cage is never a song. It is a plea.
Mitch Albom (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto)
The challenge for people today--and it is not and easy one--is to maintain high personal standards even while feeling that one is living in a moral sewer.
Nathaniel Branden
Cosette, do you hear? he has come to that! he asks my forgiveness! And do you know what he has done for me, Cosette? He has saved my life. He has done more--he has given you to me. And after having saved me, and after having given you to me, Cosette, what has he done with himself? He has sacrificed himself. Behold the man. And he says to me the ingrate, to me the forgetful, to me the pitiless, to me the guilty one: Thanks! Cosette, my whole life passed at the feet of this man would be too little. That barricade, that sewer, that furnace, that cesspool,--all that he traversed for me, for thee, Cosette! He carried me away through all the deaths which he put aside before me, and accepted for himself. Every courage, every virtue, every heroism, every sanctity he possesses! Cosette, that man is an angel!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The Marquis sighed. "I thought it was just a legend," he said. "Like the alligators in the sewers of New York City." Old Bailey nodded, sagely: "What, the big white buggers? They're down there. I had a friend lost a head to one of them." A moment of silence. Old Naeiley handed the statue back to the Marquis. Then he raised his hand, and snapped it, like a crocodile hand, at the Carabas. "It was OK," gurned Old Bailey with a grin that was most terrible to behold. "He had another.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
The best thing for disturbances of the spirit is to learn. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love and lose your moneys to a monster, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then--to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the poor mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
T.H. White (The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1))
You can be born in a fucking sewer and still be the baddest motherfucker on earth.
David Goggins (Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds)
I fast every Sunday. I don’t eat anything. Just juices. […] It flushes out the system, cleans out the colon. I think that’s great. To really make it work, you have to do it properly. That’s the sewer valve of the system. You have to keep that clean like you clean the outside of your body. All these impurities come out of your system because you’re not clean inside. It comes out in pimples or disease or through big pores. Toxins trying to get out of your system. People should try to keep themselves clean.
Michael Jackson
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.
Mel Brooks
Well,” I said, “you obviously have some power. You chased off those hooligans with rotten fruit. Perhaps you have banana-kinesis? Or you can control garbage? I once knew a Roman goddess, Cloacina, who presided over the city’s sewer system. Perhaps you’re related…?” Meg pouted. I got the impression I might have said something wrong, though I couldn’t imagine what.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
In 1971, after seven years in college, with that magic piece of paper clutched triumphantly in my fist, the best job I was able to get was night watchman on a sewer project in Babylon, N.Y. guarding a hole in the ground to prevent anyone from stealing it. God bless the American educational system!
Spider Robinson (The Callahan Chronicals (Callahan's, #1-3))
He's got a mind like a sewer and a heart like a fridge.
Elvis Costello
Alec licked his spoon, then set it on the table and popped his drink open. "Okay, I may be breaking some kind of girl bonding rule or something, but can I offer you a guy's perspective on this?" I frowned, my spoon halfway to my mouth. "Is this gonna make me want to hit you?" He shrugged. "Maybe. But it's the truth. Here goes: kissing back is an instinct. Unless the girl smells like a sewer or has tentacles feeling you up independently, a guy's first instinct is to kiss back. That's how it works. What's important is how long that kissing back lasted. So...how long?
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers, #4))
Personally, if I were trying to discourage people from smoking, my sign would be a little different. In fact, I might even go too far in the opposite direction. My sign would say something like, "Smoke if you wish. But if you do, be prepared for the following series of events: First, we will confiscate your cigarette and extinguish it somewhere on the surface of your skin. We will then run you nicotine-stained fingers through a paper shredder and throw them into the street, where wild dogs will swallow them and then regurgitate them into the sewers, so that infected rats can further soil them before they're flushed out to sea with the rest of the city's filth. After such time, we will sysematically seek out your friends and loved one and destroy their lives." Wouldn't you like to see a sign like that?
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.
John Madden
He’d always prided himself on being more civilized than his brothers, but so much for that; he was becoming aroused in a damned sewer.
Larissa Ione (Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, #1))
If you are drowning in a sewer, your first concern might be that you are drowning, not how vile you smell.
Geraldine Brooks (Year of Wonders)
Humanity loses faith in times like that. With no one to look up to, no one to believe in, we all became rats scrounging in the sewers. Maybe Ace really was a villain. Or maybe he was a visionary. Maybe there’s not much of a difference.
Marissa Meyer (Renegades (Renegades, #1))
We're not as free and independent as we thought. Street-level work that disrupts the infrastructure (the sewer system below or the electrical grid above) brings our shared dependence into view. People may inhabit very different worlds even in the same city, according to their wealth or poverty. Yet we all live in the same physical reality, ultimately, and owe a common debt to the world.
Matthew B. Crawford (Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work)
Life is a sewer and we are all but swimmers within it. Smart people do the backstroke. (In other words you gotta have a giggle.)
Stephen B. Pearl (Tinker's Plague)
She wasn't there. He wouldn't have had to look too closely. She stood out from others like an angel in hell or a rose in a sewer.
Ruth Rendell (Thirteen Steps Down)
I hope we're not just human garbage drifting toward a big sewer. But I think so.
George Carlin
You don't shower or shave for a month, until you smell like a sewer. Then you walk around for two weeks wearing a dress and a goalie mask with a dildo strapped to the front. That's what I did. And I will never be afraid of public humiliation again.
Neil Strauss (The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists)
Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance. Next, you are likely to be asked for a detailed program of how this system will be brought into existence. Historically, this is ridiculous. When has social change ever happened according to someone’s blueprint? It’s not as if a small circle of visionaries in Renaissance Florence conceived of something they called “capitalism,” figured out the details of how the stock exchange and factories would someday work, and then put in place a program to bring their visions into reality. In fact, the idea is so absurd we might well ask ourselves how it ever occurred to us to imagine this is how change happens to begin.
David Graeber
Collectivism is the "philosophy" of every cockroach and sewer rat: "If I want it, I must need it, and if I need it, I have a right to it, and if I have a right to it, it doesn't matter what I have to do to get it." The fact that such an inherently animalistic, short-sighted, anti-human viewpoint is now painted by some as compassionate and "progressive" does not make it any more sane, or any less dangerous.
Larken Rose
White strands stream around me, some matted with sewer muck, but most tossing in the wind. A living snowstorm, a vibrant white reminder that they haven’t enslaved every Winterian.
Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1))
I bet their sewer is nicer than ours.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
They guillotined Charlotte Corday and they said Marat is dead. No, Marat is not dead. Put him in the Pantheon or throw him in the sewer; it doesn’t matter-he’s back the next day. He’s reborn in the man who has no job, the woman who has no bread, in the girl who has to sell her body, in the child who hasn’t learned to read; he’s reborn in the unheated tenement, in the wretched mattress without blankets, in the unemployed, in the proletariat, in the brothel, in the jailhouse, in your laws that show no pity, in your schools that give no future, and he appears in all that is ignorance and he recreates himself from all that is darkness. Oh, beware human society: you cannot kill Marat until you have killed the misery of poverty!
Victor Hugo
Death disapearance was what you didnt talk about. like a sewer running under the street, the shit was down there, out of sight, but you could smell it, it didnt go away, it didnt vanish
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
I believe in the devil, in the Powers of Darkness, Lawford, as firmly as I believe he and they are powerless – in the long run. They – what shall we say? - have surrendered their intrinsicality. You can just go through evil, as you can go through a sewer, and come out on the other side. A loathsome process too.
Walter de la Mare (The Return)
Who is to blame? The filth peddler, of course, but even more than this vulgar entertainer, the filth consumer, the public. So long as men are corrupt and revel in sewer filth, entertainers will sell them what they want. Laws may be passed, arrests may be made, lawyers may argue, courts may sentence and jails may harbor men of corrupt minds, but pornography and allied insults to decency will never cease until men have cleansed their minds and cease to require and pay for such vile stuff. When the customer is sick and tired of being drowned in filth by the comedians, he will not pay for that filth and its source will dry up.
Spencer W. Kimball (The Miracle of Forgiveness)
Do we scream in the night when it touches our dreams? No. We don't dream about it because we don't think about it; we don't think about it because we don't care about it. We are much more interested in law and order, so that American streets may be made safe while we transform those of (Iraq) into flowing sewers of blood which we replenish each year by forcing our sons to choose between a prison cell here or a coffin there. 'Every time I look at the flag, my eyes fill with tears.' Mine too.
Dalton Trumbo (Johnny Got His Gun)
I wax poetic On the beauty of sewers Real short poem. Done
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
London’s dramatic and hugely expensive sewer system—still in use today—was constructed for entirely the wrong reasons and only happened to improve public health by accident.
Ryan North (How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler)
He lived in two modes, the apparent and the veiled, and in two realms, the opera and the sewer, and he shuttled between them like a genie.
Walter Kirn (Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade)
Note to self: When causing the sewer system of Manhattan to explode, do not stand underneath it.
Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries)
It’s not a good idea to jump into the sewer to catch a rat.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (The Inexplicable Logic of My Life)
Ron Paul, who, as someone said, wouldn’t have regulated a sewer pipe running through his child’s playroom.
Jane Smiley (Golden Age (Last Hundred Years: a Family Saga))
What's that you're doing, Sassenach?" "Making out little Gizmo's birth certificate--so far as I can," I added. "Gizmo?" he said doubtfully. "That will be a saint's name?" "I shouldn't think so, though you never know, what with people named Pantaleon and Onuphrius. Or Ferreolus." "Ferreolus? I dinna think I ken that one." He leaned back, hands linked over his knee. "One of my favorites," I told him, carefully filling in the birthdate and time of birth--even that was an estimate, poor thing. There were precisely two bits of unequivocal information on this birth certificate--the date and the name of the doctor who's delivered him. "Ferreolus," I went on with some new enjoyment, "is the patron saint of sick poultry. Christian martyr. He was a Roman tribune and a secret Christian. Having been found out, he was chained up in the prison cesspool to await trial--I suppose the cells must have been full. Sounds rather daredevil; he slipped his chains and escaped through the sewer. They caught up with him, though, dragged him back and beheaded him." Jamie looked blank. "What has that got to do wi' chickens?" "I haven't the faintest idea. Take it up with the Vatican," I advised him. "Mmphm. Aye, well, I've always been fond of Saint Guignole, myself." I could see the glint in his eye, but couldn't resist. "And what's he the patron of?" "He's involved against impotence." The glint got stronger. "I saw a statue of him in Brest once; they did say it had been there for a thousand years. 'Twas a miraculous statue--it had a cock like a gun muzzle, and--" "A what?" "Well, the size wasna the miraculous bit," he said, waving me to silence. "Or not quite. The townsfolk say that for a thousand years, folk have whittled away bits of it as holy relics, and yet the cock is still as big as ever." He grinned at me. "They do say that a man w' a bit of St. Guignole in his pocket can last a night and a day without tiring." "Not with the same woman, I don't imagine," I said dryly. "It does rather make you wonder what he did to merit sainthood, though, doesn't it?" He laughed. "Any man who's had his prayer answered could tell yet that, Sassenach." (PP. 841-842)
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
From this foul drain the greatest stream of human industry flows out to fertilize the whole world. From this filthy sewer gold flows. Here humanity attains its most complete development and its most brutish, here civilization works its miracles and civilized man is turned almost into a savage.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Journeys to England & Ireland)
Think of music as being a great snarl of a city [...]. In the years I spent living there, I came to know its streets. Not just the main streets. Not just the alleys. I knew shortcuts and rooftops and parts of the sewers. Because of this, I could move through the city like a rabbit in a bramble. I was quick and cunning an clever. Denna, on the other hand, had never been trained. She knew nothing of shortcuts. You’d think she’d be forced to wander the city, lost and helpless, trapped in a twisting maze of mortared stone. But instead, she simply walked through the walls. She didn’t know any better. Nobody had ever told her she couldn’t. Because of this, she moved through the city like some faerie creature. She walked roads no one else could see, and it made her music wild and strange and free.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
If you asked most kids, “Hey, you want to summon fire or lightning or magical makeup?” they’d think it sounded pretty cool. But those powers went along with hard stuff, like sitting in a sewer in the middle of winter, running from monsters, losing your memory, watching your friends almost get cooked, and having dreams that warned you of your own death.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
The secret of survival is a defective imagination. The inability of mortals to imagine things as they truly are is what allows them to live, since one momentary, unresisted glimpse of the world’s totality of suffering would annihilate them on the spot, like a whiff of the most lethal sewer gas.
John Banville
The ring rolled down the gutter and disappeared into a sewer grate, and there it remained for a long, long time. But not forever. In Derry, things that disappear into the sewer system have a way – an often unpleasant one – of turning up.
Stephen King (Insomnia)
a spider and a fly i heard a spider and a fly arguing wait said the fly do not eat me i serve a great purpose in the world you will have to show me said the spider i scurry around gutters and sewers and garbage cans said the fly and gather up the germs of typhoid influenza and pneumonia on my feet and wings then i carry these germs into households of men and give them diseases all the people who have lived the right sort of life recover from the diseases and the old soaks who have weakened their systems with liquor and iniquity succumb it is my mission to help rid the world of these wicked persons i am a vessel of righteousness scattering seeds of justice and serving the noblest uses it is true said the spider that you are more useful in a plodding material sort of way than i am but i do not serve the utilitarian deities i serve the gods of beauty look at the gossamer webs i weave they float in the sun like filaments of song if you get what i mean i do not work at anything i play all the time i am busy with the stuff of enchantment and the materials of fairyland my works transcend utility i am the artist a creator and demi god it is ridiculous to suppose that i should be denied the food i need in order to continue to create beauty i tell you plainly mister fly it is all damned nonsense for that food to rear up on its hind legs and say it should not be eaten you have convinced me said the fly say no more and shutting all his eyes he prepared himself for dinner and yet he said i could have made out a case for myself too if i had had a better line of talk of course you could said the spider clutching a sirloin from him but the end would have been just the same if neither of us had spoken at all boss i am afraid that what the spider said is true and it gives me to think furiously upon the futility of literature archy
Don Marquis (Archy and Mehitabel)
Spear had picked up her lost hand and run into the forest like she knew a sewer-on of hands whose shop closed soon.
Christopher Buehlman (The Blacktongue Thief (Blacktongue, #1))
But too much going with the flow is heading us into the sewer...
Michael Connelly (The Black Echo (Harry Bosch Universe, #1))
Sometimes it's good to be the smartest rat in the sewer.
Michael Houbrick (The Rat Pack of Hollywood Visits the State Fair)
I can't work in a sewer. I come from California.
Orson Welles
Humanity loses faith in times like that. With no one to look up to, no one to believe in, We all become rats scrounging in the sewers.
Marissa Meyer (Renegades (Renegades, #1))
Even though the sewer pipelines reach far into our houses with their tentacles, they are carefully hidden from view and we are happily ignorant of the invisible Venice of shit underlying our bathrooms, bedrooms, dance halls, and parliaments.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Well, Mr Thomas, while I'm in favour of education, I couldn't in good conscience recommend a university career in anything but the hard sciences. As a working environment, the rest of academia is a sewer of irrationality, hate mongering, envy, and self-interest. I'm getting out the moment I earn my twenty-five-year pension package, and then I'm going to write novels...
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
I was slightly depressed that I lived the kind of life where you needed a sewer kit, but the only thing more depressing than having a sewer kit is needing a sewer kit and not having one.
Alexis Hall (Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator, #1))
A city is half beast and half machine, with arteries of fresh water and veins of foul, nerves of telephone and electrical cables, sewer lines for bowels, pipes full of pressurized steam and others carrying gas, valves and fans and filters and meters and motors and transformers and tens of thousands of interlinked computers, and though its people sleep, the city never does.
Dean Koontz (Innocence)
You would like to know how I behave when I am experiencing pain, not writing books about it. You need not guess, for I will tell you; I am a great coward... If I knew any way of escape I would crawl through sewers to find it. But what is the good of telling you about my feelings? You know them already; they are the same as yours. I am not arguing that pain is not painful. Pain hurts. That is what the word means. I am only trying to show that the old Christian doctrine of being made 'perfect through suffering' is not incredible. To prove it palatable is beyond my design.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Apparently the town, a triumph of post-war socialist planning was a sewer, full of tattooed beasts and violent zombies, with vomit and blood frothing in the gutters. I couldn't wait to see it.
Hanif Kureishi (Something to Tell You)
He had been too good, too pure for the sewer of prejudice and hatred this country had become. This country wasn’t for angels anymore. Only those twisted by hatred and fear could prosper here now.
Eoin Dempsey (White Rose, Black Forest)
I hesitate, hand on my seatbelt buckle. I know I need to get going somewhere, but—well, what’s the harm in scoping the area out? Making sure it’s as safe as Remy seems to think it is? “All right, Remy,” I say, opening the door. “Remy,” he shoots back. “Jesus, you can’t even remember my name? The sewers weren’t kind to you, were they?” “Wait—what?” I ask, shutting the door, locking it. No one’s taking my Lucy. He just looks exasperated, which just makes me confused. “You called me Ruby,” Remy said, indignantly. I stare at him. There’s a flutter of something wild, panicked in my chest I don’t understand and I don’t particularly want to examine. I’m tired and when I’m tired my tongue gets lazy. “Sorry. Tired. Idiot.
Alexandra Bracken (The Rising Dark: A Darkest Minds Collection (Darkest Minds Short Stories))
You pompous little bitch!” the infuriated Were shouted, red-faced and with his thugs backing him. “What are you doing here?” Mrs. Sarong pushed past the men who had put themselves in front of her. “Arranging your removal,” she said, her voice sharp and her eyes glaring. Removal? As if he were an overgrown tree clogging the sewer line? The short businessman seemed to choke on his own breath, becoming choleric. Mouth gaping to look like one of his prize fish, he struggled to respond. “Like hell you are!” he finally managed. “That’s what I wanted to talk to her about!” From my shoulder came a small, “Holy crap, Rache. How did you become Cincy’s assassin of choice?
Kim Harrison (For a Few Demons More (The Hollows, #5))
Within the last two years it had been called Tony's, Belle's Bar Sinister, The Ole Plantation, Tony's, Alt Wien, Paris Soir--or Sewer--Victor's Vesuvius, Chez Cocotte, York House, Gay Madrid, and Tony's.
Patrick Dennis (Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (Auntie Mame, #1))
She didn't let herself finish that thought, though crippling nausea gripped her as she scanned the banks and docks and sewer depositories. He would be waiting for her at home. And then he'd chide her and laugh at her and kiss her. And them she'd dispatch Jayne tonight, and then they'd set sail on this river and then out to the nearby sea, and then be gone. He would be waiting at home. He'd be home. Home.
Sarah J. Maas
You humans are always locking each other away. Cells. Dungeons. Some of your earliest jails were sewers, where men sloshed in their own waste. No other creature has this arrogance—to confine its own. Could you imagine a bird imprisoning another bird? A horse jailing a horse?
Mitch Albom (The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto)
Forty feet long sixty feet high hotel Covered with old gray for buzzing flies Eye like mango flowing orange pus Ears Durga people vomiting in their sleep Got huge legs a dozen buses move inside Calcutta Swallowing mouthfuls of dead rats Mangy dogs bark out of a thousand breasts Garbage pouring from its ass behind alleys Always pissing yellow Hooghly water Bellybutton melted Chinatown brown puddles Coughing lungs Sound going down the sewer Nose smell a big gray Bidi Heart bumping and crashing over tramcar tracks Covered with a hat of cloudy iron Suffering water buffalo head lowered To pull the huge cart of year uphill
Allen Ginsberg
Lucy is not one or the other, pure or dirty. Lucy is Lucy. She could swim in a sewer, have sex with every single person in the world, and she would still never be dirty. I hate him for trying to tell her she could be.
Katie Henry (Heretics Anonymous)
...beneath the temple of Emesa there is a system of special sewers wherein the human blood rejoins the plasma of certain animals. Through these sewers, coiling into broiling corkscrews whose circles diminish the further they descend to the depths of the earth, the blood of those sacrificed according to the needful rites will find its way back to the geological seams, the congealed cracks of chaos. This pure blood, thinned and refined by the rituals, and rendered acceptable to the god of the underworld, splashes the groaning deities of Erebus, whose breath finally purifies it.
Antonin Artaud (Heliogabalus; or, the Crowned Anarchist)
The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
I tell you, say the rich, the poor are naught but dirty wind welling in air-shafts over the cinders and droppings of the past, their voices thick with grease and ordure, sewer-greed to corrode the ear with the horrors of the past and the voids of new stupidity. One could drown waiting for the poor to make one fine distinction. Yes, destroy us say the rich and you lose the roots of God.
Norman Mailer (Deaths For The Ladies (and other disasters))
These people were building homes for the rich, but they lived in tents covered with blue tarpaulin sheets, and partitioned into lanes by lines of sewage. It was even worse than Laxmangarh. I picked my way around broken glass, wire, and shattered tube lights. The stench of feces was replaced by the stronger stench of industrial sewage. The slum ended in an open sewer - a small river of black water went sluggishly past me, bubbles sparkling in it and little circles spreading on its surface. Two children were splashing about in the black water.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
Morbid, but not passive. “I was speaking at a film school in Hollywood, and I said to them, ‘Go have a life. Live. Get laid, get into a bar fight. Get knifed in the fucking thorax. Lose all your money. Make all your money back. Jump into a train.’ When I was just a child, I was observing the world, but I lived a lot, too. We used to break into abandoned houses. We explored the entire sewer system of Guadalajara on foot. And then I became really crazy as a teenager.
Guillermo del Toro (Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities)
If you were a peasant and someone said, “If you live in a sewer, the bubonic plague won’t kill you,” your reaction likely wouldn’t be, “I am curious to hear the science behind that.” Your response would be, “Point me to the nearest sewer.
Jennifer Wright (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them)
We leave this behind in your capable hands, for in the black-foaming gutters and back alleys of paradise, in the dank windowless gloom of some galactic cellar, in the hollow pearly whorls found in sewer like seas, in starless cities of insanity, and in their slums . . . my awe-struck little deer and I have gone frolicking.
Thomas Ligotti
There was no compassion or courtesy: fender jammed against fender, they drove on. I understood it: anybody who gave an inch would cause a traffic jam, a disturbance, a murder. Traffic flowed endlessly like turds in a sewer. It was marvelous to see, and none of the drivers were angry, they were simply resigned to the facts.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Battered and bloody, we join Cassius, Lysander, and Sevro before the door leading out of the Sovereign's inner sanctum as Cassius types in the Olympic code to open the doors. He pauses to sniff the air. 'What's that smell?' 'Smells like a sewer,' I say. Sevro stares intensely at the razors he's taken from Aja, including the one belonging to Lorn. 'I think it smells like victory.' 'Did you shit your pants?' Cassius squints at him. 'You did.' 'Sevro...' Mustang says. 'It's an involuntary muscle reaction when you're fake executed and swallow massive amounts ofhaemanthus oil,' Sevro snaps. 'You think I would do that on purpose?' Cassius and I look at each other. I shrug. 'Well, maybe.' 'Yeah, actually.' He flips us the crux and makes a face, twisting his lips till it looks like he's going to explode. 'What's happening?' I ask. 'Are you... still...' 'No!
Pierce Brown
The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn—pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics—why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
There is no such thing as Christian work. That is, there is no work in the world which is, in and of itself, Christian. Christian work is any kind of work, from cleaning a sewer to preaching a sermon, that is done by a Christian and offered to God. This means that nobody is excluded from serving God. It means that no work is "beneath" a Christian. It means there is no job in the world that needs to be boring or useless. A Christian finds fulfilment not in the particular kind of work he does, but in the way in which he does it.
Elisabeth Elliot (Discipline: The Glad Surrender)
Whenever I returned I found a city that was spineless, that couldn’t stand up to changes of season, heat, cold, and, especially, storms. Look how the station on Piazza Garibaldi was flooded, look how the Galleria opposite the museum had collapsed; there was a landslide, and the electricity didn’t come back on. Lodged in my memory were dark streets full of dangers, unregulated traffic, broken pavements, giant puddles. The clogged sewers splattered, dribbled over. Lavas of water and sewage and garbage and bacteria spilled into the sea from the hills that were burdened with new, fragile structures, or eroded the world from below. People died of carelessness, of corruption, of abuse, and yet, in every round of voting, gave their enthusiastic approval to the politicians who made their life unbearable.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
oversized retail operations of the sort that are called “outlets” (as if they were sewer drains rather than shopping locations).
Stephen King (Full Dark, No Stars)
Great beliefs always come out of the sewers of cities, not out of the towers of the ziggurats.
Cordwainer Smith
Are all sewers this nice?” Piper wondered. “No,” Leo said. “Trust me.” Jason frowned. “How do you know—” “Hey, man, I ran away six times. I’ve slept in some weird places,
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
did. Note to self: When causing the sewer system of Manhattan to explode, do not stand underneath it.
Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries)
People like old elephants better than sewers and fire engines.
Haruki Murakami
The car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides and a dark wind blows
Efrim Menuck
The history of men is reflected in the history of sewers.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
TO BE “THE SEWER OF CHRISTENDOM and drain all the discords out of it” was the primary function of the Crusades,
Barbara W. Tuchman (Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour)
The city was poisoned with the venom of small fundamentalisms, and the venom ran beneath us, like dirty water in the sewers.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez (La forma de las ruinas)
I wax poetic On the beauty of sewers Real short poem. Done
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
When I returned, not to Berlin, but to Hamburg in the midst of the fog of the beginning of winter, to the road that runs right above it’s river and docks, a castle which never existed and a fountain which is really a sewer, a gust of wind far sweeter and more fragrant than any red rose carried the smell of shit and floating soil like a tongue into my nostril.
Kathy Acker (Eurydice in the Underworld)
The real point is this: We don't know where to go because we don't know what we are. Do you want to go back to living in a sewer-pipe? And eating other people's garbage? Because that's what rats do. But the fact is, we aren't rats anymore. We are something Dr. Schultz has made. Something new.
Robert C. O'Brien (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1))
The best thing for being sad . . . is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then - to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.
T.H. White (The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1))
Build your cities proud and high. Lay your sewers. Span your rivers. Work feverishly. Sleep dreamlessly. Sing madly, like the bulbul. Underneath, below the deepest foundations, there lives another race of men. They are dark, sombre, passionate. They muscle into the bowels of the earth. They wait with a patience which is terrifying. They are the scavengers. They emerge when everything topples into dust.
Henry Miller
Actually, orders coming from me usually have motherfucker attached to them. I just treated you like a tender great aunt. I’m not afraid of you, but I have respect, like I would for a twenty-three-foot alligator residing in the goddamn sewer. Nothing’s killed you yet, and you’ve lived through a lot of shit. You want to be in my life? Then you’ll have to contend with how big my balls are.” Beckett sighed.
Debra Anastasia (Saving Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #3))
Toilets in modern water closets rise up from the floor like water lilies. The architect does all he can to make the body forget how paltry it is, and to make man ignore what happens to his intestinal wastes after the water from the tank flushes them down the drain. Even though the sewer pipelines reach far into our houses with their tentacles, they are carefully hidden from view, and we are happily ignorant of the invisible Venice of shit underlying our bathrooms, bedrooms, dance halls, and parliaments.
Milan Kundera
Jason wasn't sure what to expect at the end--a dungeon, a mad scientist’s lab, or maybe a sewer reservoir where all Porta-Potty sludge ends up, forming an evil toilet face large enough to swallow the world.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
We laughed hard at real stories of tragedy. It had to be real and it had to be funny. Somebody getting hurt was wonderful. Later, as the 2000 Year Old Man with Carl Reiner I explained the difference between comedy and tragedy: If I cut my finger, that’s tragedy. Comedy is if you walk into an open sewer and die.
Mel Brooks (All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business)
I won’t have them looking at what’s mine. On second thought. Throw out all your underwear. I’ll lead the purge on the sewers myself so you can stroll around with your girl parts unencumbered for my enjoyment.
Eve Langlais (A Demon and His Witch (Welcome to Hell, #1))
You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then - to learn.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King)
know you think I’m taking the piss but I am the piss and I’ve not been taken anywhere. I go where I want. I am the freedom piss in the toilet of oblivion flushing myself away into the sewer pipe of broken dreams.
Rik Mayall (Bigger than Hitler-Better than Christ)
Roanoke was deep into spring—which was really pretty, even if it turned out that all the native blooms smelled like rotten meat dipped in sewer sauce (that description courtesy of Magdy, who could string together a phrase now and then).
John Scalzi (Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4))
I hesitate, hand on my seat belt buckle. I know I need to get going somewhere, but—well, what’s the harm in scoping the area out? Making sure it’s as safe as Remy seems to think it is? “All right, Remy,” I say, opening the door. “Remy,” he shoots back. “Jesus, you can’t even remember my name? The sewers weren’t kind to you, were they?” “Wait—what?” I ask, shutting the door, locking it. No one’s taking my Lucy. He just looks exasperated, which just makes me confused. “You called me Ruby,” Remy said, indignantly. I stare at him. There’s a flutter of something wild, panicked in my chest I don’t understand and I don’t particularly want to examine. I’m tired and when I’m tired my tongue gets lazy. “Sorry. Tired. Idiot.
Alexandra Bracken (The Rising Dark: A Darkest Minds Collection (Darkest Minds Short Stories))
Maybe she was the lucky one, I thought, a woman who had divested herself of both future and past. No dreams, no standards, a woman who smoked and drank and slept with men like Sergei, men who were spiritually what came up out of the sewers when it rained.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
It wasn't a lack of attraction to her husband that caused her problems. It was life. It was traffic. It was the Miami Dade Water and Sewer bills, it was trying to get ahead, and trying to be on time. Petty little thing, but zillions of them fused together.
Heather Graham (A Magical Christmas)
I would have done anything for her, on that morning of reconciliation: run away from home, leave the neighborhood, sleep in farmhouses, feed on roots, descend into the sewers through the grates, never turn back, not even if it was cold, not even if it rained.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1))
But why? Why can’t you let it go?” He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “Because I love you!” Her mouth fell open. “I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.” The only sounds were their breathing, an uneven beat against the rushing of the sewer river. “You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, “Because I’d pick you.” And then she kissed him.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
Many weeks of street fighting ensued. In his defense of Sestius against charges of violence in 56, Cicero described in graphic terms the effects of this gang warfare: “The Tiber was full of citizens’ corpses, the public sewers were choked with them and the blood that streamed from the Forum had to be mopped up with sponges.” To begin with, the cure was worse than the disease and public business once more came to a standstill. However, by the summer Clodius, while by no means defeated, was at least being contained.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
The four major branches of philosophy – metaphysics (the study of reality); epistemology (the study of knowledge); politics (the study of state power); and ethics (the study of virtue) – are like the plumbing that delivers water to your sink. Aqueducts, sewers, piping – these all only have value insofar as they enable you to turn on a tap in your house and actually get some clean water. Metaphysics,
Stefan Molyneux (Essential Philosophy: How to know what on earth is going on)
You talk too easily,’ the Boy said. ‘Talk?’ Mr Prewitt said. ‘I could shake the world. Let them put me in the dock if they like. I’ll give them—revelation. I’ve sunk so deep I carry—’ he was shaken by an enormous windy self-esteem—he hiccupped twice—‘the secrets of the sewer.
Graham Greene (Brighton Rock)
All men are liars, inconstant, hollow, talkative, hypocrites, proud and cowards, contemptible and sensual; all woman are perfidious, artificial, vain, curious and depraved; the world is nothing but a bottomless sewer where the most shapeless seals crawl and wriggle on mountains of muck; but there one single thing in this world, saint and sublime, it’s the union of these two beings so imperfect and dreadful. We are often deceived in love, often wounded and often miserable; but we love, and when we are on of the verge of the grave, we look back, and we say: I often suffered, I erred sometimes: but I loved. It is me who lived and not a factitious being created by my pride and my boredom.
Alfred de Musset (On ne badine pas avec l'amour)
Then I knelt heedfully upright and mentally prayed as we'd been instructed to do, some scared and scientific part of me assaying myself for chemical reactions or a sudden infusion of wisdom while fancying Christ now sitting dismally in my scoundrel soul, my oh so many sins pooling like sewer water at his sandaled feet. But soon I saw that I was still me; there would be no howls of objection, no immediate correction or condemnation, no hint that I was under new management, just the calming sense that whoever I was was fine with Jesus. It was a grace I hadn't imagined.
Ron Hansen (A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction)
The room contains a few dozen living human bodies, each one a big sack of guts and fluids so highly compressed that it will squirt for a few yards when pierced. Each one is built around an armature of 206 bones connected to each other by notoriously fault-prone joints that are given to obnoxious creaking, grinding, and popping noises when they are in other than pristine condition. This structure is draped with throbbing steak, inflated with clenching air sacks, and pierced by a Gordian sewer filled with burbling acid and compressed gas and asquirt with vile enzymes and solvents produced by the many dark, gamy nuggets of genetically programmed meat strung along its length. Slugs of dissolving food are forced down this sloppy labyrinth by serialized convulsions, decaying into gas, liquid, and solid matter which must all be regularly vented to the outside world lest the owner go toxic and drop dead. Spherical, gel-packed cameras swivel in mucus-greased ball joints. Infinite phalanxes of cilia beat back invading particles, encapsulate them in goo for later disposal. In each body a centrally located muscle flails away at an eternal, circulating torrent of pressurized gravy. And yet, despite all of this, not one of these bodies makes a single sound at any time during the sultan’s speech.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
Behind the cool mask of bravado, past the one-way mirror of his mind, underneath the rock-solid layers of self-control, in the Zen garden that was Master Sewer’s soul, a high-pitched anxiety fart rustled through the still leaves. If farts could talk, this one would have said, “Damn coppers!
Sorin Suciu (The Scriptlings)
Come on, give me a shimmy!" Ruby screeched from the couch as she ground out one cigarette and then lit another. "You're fighting a battle of good and evil with your dog pimp! Your only weapon is the shimmy! There is power in the shimmy! Make him fear your shimmy! Now, goddamnit, show me your war shimmy!
Laurie Notaro (There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble)
There is talk in the village that there is more in these sewers than sewerage. Yes, I say, Yes. But not only these sewers. There is more in your heart than can be spoken. More in your eyes than you will tell. More in the mind of you than anyone can know. More in the night than darkness. More in the river than can be dredged. What more ? The hate, envy, malice, greed, stupidity and evil that lie under the floor of everything. If I have secrets so do you.
Jeanette Winterson (The World and Other Places: Stories)
For two days, we had travelled the Labyrinth - across pits of darkness and around lakes of poison, through dilapidated shopping malls with only discount Halloween stores and questionable Chinese food buffets. The Labyrinth could be a bewildering place. Like a web of capillaries beneath the skin of the mortal world, it connected basements, sewers and forgotten tunnels around the globe with no regard to the rules of time and space. One might enter the Labyrinth through a manhole in Rome, walk ten feet, open a door and find oneself at a training camp for clowns in Buffalo, Minnesota. (Please don't ask. It was traumatic.)
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching football on the telly on the weekends, for turning on a heater if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London,
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere)
I was shown mold, leaking pipes, exposed asbestos insulation, broken toilets, cracked floors, malfunctioning heating units, feces bubbling up from the sewer pipes in the basements. I had seen better government buildings in the slums of Tijuana. Neven and the boys from 23 told me it was bad but what I was seeing was worse than the Baghdad fire department, which actually got more than one hundred fifty million dollars from the United States government, while Detroit got zero.
Charlie LeDuff (Detroit: An American Autopsy)
The whole underneath of Paris was an ant nest, Metro tunnels, sewer shafts, catacombs, mines, cemeteries. She'd been down in the city of bones where skulls and femurs rose in yellowing walls. Right down there, win the square before them. through a dinky little entrance, were the Roman ruins like honeycomb. The trains went under the river. There were tunnels people had forgotten about. It was a wonder Paris stood up at all. The bit you saw was only half of it. Her skin burned, thinking of it. The Hunchback knew. Up here in the tower of Notre Dame he saw how it was. Now and then, with the bells rattling his bones, he saw it like God saw it -- inside, outside, above and under -- just for a moment. The rest of the time he went back to hurting and waiting like Scully out there crying in the wind.
Tim Winton (The Riders)
We push and shove and wet whales all day, then walk home through town past homeless men curled up on benches - washed up like whales on the curbsides. Pulled outside by the moon and struggling for air among the sewers. They're suffocating too, but there's no town assembly line of food. No palpable urgency, no airlifting plane.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
Illness strips you back to an authentic self, but not one you need to meet. Too much is claimed for authenticity. Painfully we learn to live in the world, and to be false. Then all our defences are knocked down in one sweep. In sickness we can’t avoid knowing about our body and what it does, its animal aspect, its demands. We see things that never should be seen; our inside is outside, the body’s sewer pipes and vaults exposed to view, as if in a woodcut of our own martyrdom. The whole of life – the business of moving an inch – requires calculation. The suffering body must shape itself around the iron dawn routine, which exists for the very sick as well as the convalescent: the injection in the abdomen, pain relief, blood tests as needed, then the long haul out of bed, the shaking progress to the bathroom, the awesome challenge of washcloth and soap.
Hilary Mantel (Ink In The Blood: A Hospital Diary)
Some odd things were found; among other things the skeleton of an ourang-outang which disappeared from the Jardin des Plantes in 1800, a disappearance probably connected with the famous and incontestable appearance of the devil in the Rue des Bernardins in the last year of the eighteenth century. The poor devil finally drowned himself in the sewer.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
The best thing for being sad,’ replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, ‘is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in you anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags in it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn – pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics – why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King)
In New York you could see the poor lying in the streets with the garbage. There were no sewers in the slums, and filthy water drained into yards and alleys, into the cellars where the poorest of the poor lived, bringing with it a typhoid epidemic in 1837, typhus in 1842. In the cholera epidemic of 1832, the rich fled the city; the poor stayed and died.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
There is talk in the village that there is more in these sewers than sewage. Yes, I say, Yes. But not only these sewers. There is more in your heart than can be spoken. More in your eyes than you will tell. More in the mind of you than anyone can know. More in the night than darkness. More in the river than can be dredged. [...] If I have secrets so do you.
Jeanette Winterson
The modern human lives in a cesspool of man-made electromagnetic radiation.
Steven Magee
Continuing up Rennes. Dodging little Saabs and Renaults. Loving walking here. Sun alternately streaming. Obliterating physiognomies. No longer nouns. But movement. Disappearing. Now heavily raining. Sitting out anyway. Over drain smelling of beer. Metro. Sewers. Fetid breath of Paris. Two cold coffees. Watching shadows lengthening. On la Gaite opposite. Where Colette once performing. Having walked in old boots across city. Drawing mole above lip. Rice-powdering delicious arms. Paris a drug. P saying on phone. Yes Paris a drug. A woman. And I waking this a.m. Thinking there must be some way. Of staying. Now my love’s silhouette of rooftops eclipsing. Into night. Cold heinous breath. Blowing on privates. Through grille underneath.
Gail Scott (My Paris)
The last act of an historian, priest, is to live through history. It is the bravest act of them all, because it faces, unblinking, the recognition that all history is personal, and that every external truth of the world is but a reflection of our internal truths – the truths that shape our behaviours, our decisions, our fears, our purposes and our appetites. These internal truths raise monuments and flood sewers. They lift high grand works as readily as they fill graves. If you blame one appetite you blame all of our appetites. We all swim the same river.
Steven Erikson (Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1))
Love is a house with many rooms, this room to feed the love, this one to entertain it, this one to clean it, this one to dress it, this one to allow it to rest, and each of these rooms can also just as well be the room for laughing or the room for listening or the room for telling one’s secrets or the room for sulking or the room for apologizing or the room for intimate togetherness, and, of course, there are the rooms for the new members of the household. Love is a house in which plumbing brings bubbly new emotions every morning, and sewers flush out disputes, and bright windows open up to admit the fresh air of renewed goodwill. Love is a house with an unshakable foundation and an indestructible roof. He had a house like that once, until it was demolished.
Yann Martel (The High Mountains of Portugal)
The end had left them stiff and fragile, unable to accept that the suburbs were gone, that there was no more escaping the mob, no more pretending floors and toilets scrubbed themselves and reading about black people in monthly book clubs the way you’d read about the construction of London’s sewers or the history of the fur trade, as a kind of boutique curiosity, instead of actually talking to them.
Gretchen Felker-Martin (Manhunt)
After her death, at the age of thirty-nine, I wrote a book about us. I wrote it as a way to memorialize her and mourn her, and as a way of keeping her own important memoir, Autobiography of a Face, alive, even as I had not been able to keep her alive. This was a story of a Herculean effort to endure hardship, and to be a friend. Even when the details of our lives became sordid, it was not the stuff of sewers.
Ann Patchett (This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage)
Sewers are necessary to guarantee the wholesomeness of palaces, according to the Fathers of the Church. And it has often been remarked that the necessity exists of sacrificing one part of the female sex in order to save the other and prevent worse troubles. One of the arguments in support of slavery, advanced by the American supporters of the institution, was that the Southern whites, being all freed from servile duties, could maintain the most democratic and refined relations among themselves; in the same way, a caste of 'shameless women' allows the 'honest woman' to be treated with the most chivalrous respect. The prostitute is a scapegoat; man vents his turpitude upon her, and he rejects her. Whether she is put legally under police supervision or works illegally in secret, she is in any case treated as a pariah.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
An anonymous death in a small town, that’s a different thing. It makes people uneasy. They stop gossiping, talk only with trusted friends, or—realizing that nobody can truly be trusted—they don’t talk at all. Instead of settling in the streets or running through the municipal sewer system, murder moves inside. It becomes internalized. It seeps around the corners of locked front doors. It creeps into people’s bedrooms. It runs in their veins.
Kat Rosenfield (Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone)
I learned to read at the age of five, in Brother Justiniano's class at the De la Salle Academy in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is the most important thing that has ever happened to me. Almost seventy years later I remember clearly how the magic of translating the words in books into images enriched my life, breaking the barriers of time and space and allowing me to travel with Captain Nemo twenty thousand leagues under the sea, fight with d'Artagnan, Athos, Portos, and Aramis against the intrigues threatening the Queen in the days of the secretive Richelieu, or stumble through the sewers of Paris, transformed into Jean Valjean carrying Marius's inert body on my back.
Mario Vargas Llosa
Japhy and I were kind of outlandish-looking on the campus in our old clothes in fact Japhy was considered an eccentric around the campus, which is the usual thing for campuses and college people to think whenever a real man appears on the scene ― colleges being nothing but grooming schools for the middle-class non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows of well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets in each living room with everybody looking at the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization. 'All these people,' said Japhy, 'they all got white-tiled toilets and take big dirty craps like bears in the mountains, but it's all washed away to convenient supervised sewers and nobody thinks of crap any more or realizes their origin is shit and civet and scum of the sea. They spend all day washing their hands with creamy soaps they secretly wanta eat in the bathroom.' He had a million ideas, he had 'em all.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
Standing in the courtyard with a glass eye; only half the world is intelligible. The stones are wet and mossy and in the crevices are black toads. A big door bars the entrance to the cellar; the steps are slippery and soiled with bat dung. The door bulges and sags, the hinges are falling off, but there is an enameled sign on it, in perfect condition, which says: “Be sure to close the door.” Why close the door? I can’t make it out. I look again at the sign but it is removed; in it’s place there is a pane of colored glass. I take out my artificial eye, spit on it and polish it with my handkerchief. A woman is sitting on a dais above an immense carven desk; she has a snake around her neck. The entire room is lined with books and strange fish swimming in colored globes; there are maps and charts on the wall, maps of Paris before the plague, maps of the antique world, of Knossos and Carthage, of Carthage before and after the salting. In the corner of the room I see an iron bedstead and on it a corpse is lying; the woman gets up wearily, removes the corpse from the bed and absent mindedly throws it out the window. She returns to the huge carven desk, takes a goldfish from the bowl and swallows it. Slowly the room begins to revolve and one by one the continents slide into the sea; only the woman is left, but her body is a mass of geography. I lean out the window and the Eiffle Tower is fizzing champagne; it is built entirely of numbers and shrouded in black lace. The sewers are gurgling furiously. There are nothing but roofs everywhere, laid out with execrable geometric cunning.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Her womb from her body. Separation. Her clitoris from her vulva. Cleaving. Desire from her body. We were told that bodies rising to heaven lose their vulvas, their ovaries, wombs, that her body in resurrection becomes a male body. The Divine Image from woman, severing, immortality from the garden, exile, the golden calf split, birth, sorrow, suffering. We were told that the blood of a woman after childbirth conveys uncleanness. That if a woman's uterus is detached and falls to the ground, that she is unclean. Her body from the sacred. Spirit from flesh. We were told that if a woman has an issue and that issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be impure for seven days. The impure from the pure. The defiled from the holy. And whoever touches her, we heard, was also impure. Spirit from matter. And we were told that if our garments are stained we are unclean back to the time we can remember seeing our garments unstained, that we must rub seven substances over these stains, and immerse our soiled garments. Separation. The clean from the unclean. The decaying, the putrid, the polluted, the fetid, the eroded, waste, defecation, from the unchanging. The changing from the sacred. We heard it spoken that if a grave is plowed up in a field so that the bones of the dead are lost in the soil of the field, this soil conveys uncleanness. That if a member is severed from a corpse, this too conveys uncleanness, even an olive pit's bulk of flesh. That if marrow is left in a bone there is uncleanness. And of the place where we gathered to weep near the graveyard, we heard that planting and sowing were forbidden since our grieving may have tempted unclean flesh to the soil. And we learned that the dead body must be separated from the city. Death from the city. Wilderness from the city. Wildness from the city. The Cemetery. The Garden. The Zoological Garden. We were told that a wolf circled the walls of the city. That he ate little children. That he ate women. That he lured us away from the city with his tricks. That he was a seducer and he feasted on the flesh of the foolish, and the blood of the errant and sinful stained the snow under his jaws. The errant from the city. The ghetto. The ghetto of Jews. The ghetto of Moors. The quarter of prostitutes. The ghetto of blacks. The neighborhood of lesbians. The prison. The witch house. The underworld. The underground. The sewer. Space Divided. The inch. The foot. The mile. The boundary. The border. The nation. The promised land. The chosen ones.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
He saw the towel in her hands. "I've got this." "Let me help." "I think you've helped enough." She thought he was going to leave it at that, but Will told her, "It's been worse today than usual." "Stress is a contributing factor-when you get tired or if something emotional happens." He scrubbed hard at the plate in his hands. Sara saw that he hadn't bothered to roll up his sleeves. The cuffs of his sweater were soaked. He said, "I've been trying to dig a new sewer line to my house. That's why my laundry is behind." Sara had been expecting a non sequitur, but she'd hoped he could hold off for a few moments longer. "My father built this house with money from people who try to do their own plumbing.
Karin Slaughter (Broken (Will Trent, #4))
It was far easier for me to see how the war in Syria was in part an unintended consequence of other American wars, no matter how well-meaning they might have been. The toppling of “Saddam Hussein had strengthened Iran, provoked Putin, opened up a Pandora’s box of sectarian conflict that now raged in Iraq and Syria, and led to an insurgency that had given birth to ISIL. The toppling of Muammar Gaddafi had made plain to dictators that you either cling to power or end up dead in a sewer. Syria looked more and more like a moral morass—a place where our inaction was a tragedy, and our intervention would only compound the tragedy. Obama kept probing for options that could make a positive difference, finding none.
Ben Rhodes (The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House)
Hey." I twisted my wrist free. "I'm just the messenger here, pal. You knew this was coming. Your pastor made the arrangements. I don't think a big ole scene in church is going to help your case." "You know why that bitch lawyer and the pastor wanted us to meet in church?" LaBreque asked. "So I wouldn't be tempted to cut your Chink ass into little pieces and stuff you in the fucking sewer." Oh boy. That was my morning. Maybe later I could poke myself in the eye three or four hundred times just for fun.
Amanda Kyle Williams (The Stranger You Seek (Keye Street, #1))
When spies aren't in sewer tunnels, they're usually crawling through air ducts. I'm not sure exactly why this is. It makes you kind of wonder: Are spies just frustrated maintenance men? Is that what spies really want to be doing? Plumbing? Air conditioner repair? I fear the day that they follow their dream, lay down their laser-gun cigarette lighters, and pick up wrenches. Our country will be in great peril, though with fewer toilets backing up and more of our houses at a uniform sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.
M.T. Anderson (Agent Q, or The Smell of Danger! (Pals in Peril #4))
Of course you have passions and talents. Of course you have some purpose in the world. Your emotions are guiding you towards it. Each time you discover something that you like or something that you hate, you discover yourself. Everyone can do this. If you didn't like some things more than others, you'd be living in a sewer eating grass. More often than not, it's those things you think are too weird, too personal, or too imperfect that you must share. The world does not await your perfection. It awaits your courage and your honesty. Let yourself be seen.
Vironika Tugaleva
The Fall of Rome (for Cyril Connolly) The piers are pummelled by the waves; In a lonely field the rain Lashes an abandoned train; Outlaws fill the mountain caves. Fantastic grow the evening gowns; Agents of the Fisc pursue Absconding tax-defaulters through The sewers of provincial towns. Private rites of magic send The temple prostitutes to sleep; All the literati keep An imaginary friend. Cerebrotonic Cato may Extol the Ancient Disciplines, But the muscle-bound Marines Mutiny for food and pay. Caesar's double-bed is warm As an unimportant clerk Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK On a pink official form. Unendowed with wealth or pity, Little birds with scarlet legs, Sitting on their speckled eggs, Eye each flu-infected city. Altogether elsewhere, vast Herds of reindeer move across Miles and miles of golden moss, Silently and very fast.
W.H. Auden
The trees were set close and from the perimeter of that parcel of land I could not see the school hidden within them. Look up here, I thought I heard someone say to me. When I did look up, I saw that the branches overhead were without leaves, and through their intertwining mesh the sky was fully visible. How bright and dark it was at the same time. Bright with a high, full moon shining among the spreading clouds, and dark with the shadows mingling within those clouds—a slowly flowing mass of mottled shapes, a kind of unclean outpouring from the black sewers of space.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe)
As a matter of fact I don’t care two pins about accuracy. Who is accurate? Nobody nowadays. If a reporter writes that a beautiful girl of twenty-two dies by turning on the gas after looking out over the sea and kissing her favourite Labrador, Bob, goodbye, does anybody make a fuss because the girl was twenty-six, the room faced inland, and the dog was a Sealyham terrier called Bonnie? If a journalist can do that sort of thing I don’t see that it matters if I mix up police ranks and say a revolver when I mean an automatic and a dictograph when I mean a phonograph, and use a poison that just allows you to gasp one dying sentence and no more. What really matters is plenty of bodies! If the thing’s getting a little dull, some more blood cheers it up. Somebody is going to tell something – and then they’re killed first! That always goes down well. It comes in all my books – camouflaged different ways of course. And people like untraceable poisons, and idiotic police inspectors and girls tied up in cellars with sewer gas or water pouring in (such a troublesome way of killing anyone really) and a hero who can dispose of anything from three to seven villains singlehanded.
Agatha Christie (Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot, #14))
Often, during my stay in your country, such comparisons troubled me. In fact, they did more than trouble me: they made me resentful. Four thousand years ago, we, the people of the Indus River basin, had cities that were laid out on grids and boasted underground sewers, while the ancestors of those who would invade and colonize America were illiterate barbarians. Now our cities were largely unplanned, unsanitary affairs, and America had universities with individual endowments greater than our national budget for education. To be reminded of this vast disparity was, for me, to be ashamed.
Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
Imagine if you will—and you will—a mushroom cloud bigger than anything that you currently see out that window. Imagine jet planes and bombers the size of apartment complexes dropping technological marvels of deconstruction upon this city, this world, all around the epicenter of a blooming death cloud. Imagine that mushroom coming to a head, knowing that it is filled with unimaginable heat and concrete, dust, papers—human faces, eyes, and brains. Gray matter filling the radioactive cloud with electricity as all that is inside us leaves us and becomes one with the mushroom. Glass will melt and connect with steel, and we will melt and connect with each other as everything that made us whole is criminally dissected and rearranged. Everything below us, from the sewer tunnels to the subway line, will be consumed into the cloud and jettisoned into the stratosphere, where it will become nothing but silken ash, hardened to a black substance, and turned back to a black dust, transfixed into a black nothing. A stinking, glowing crater all that remains of where you had your first kiss and told someone that you loved them. A mess of a world where everything you’ve ever done quickly becomes all that you’ll ever do.
Michael A. Ferro (TITLE 13: A Novel)
The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn—pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a million lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics, why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics until it is time to learn to plough.”*
Wayne W. Dyer (Your Erroneous Zones)
The top easily preventable health problems that I see in western societies are: 1. Eating chemically grown food. 2. Exposure to electronically generated harmonic energy from wind and solar power systems. 3. Exposure to harmonic energy from switched mode power supplies (SMPS) that come with modern electronic products. 4. Exposure to wireless radio frequency radiation (RF). 5. Light deficiency from an indoor lifestyle and Low-E double glazed windows. 6. Sound deficiency from heavily insulated homes that are devoid of natural sounds and are extremely quiet. 7. Pollen deficiency from living in man-made cities that are devoid of natural levels of pollen. 8. Natural radiation deficiency from living in homes that block natural levels of environmental radiation. 9. Open drain sickness that occurs when drain traps dry out and faulty vent valves that allow sewer gas to fill the home. 10. Drinking the wrong type of water.
Steven Magee
In a mass society where obtaining credit is as easy as it is, there’s probably no way to efficiently collect on delinquent accounts by writing real affidavits, filing legitimate, error-free lawsuits, and serving legitimate summonses in each and every individual case. Without the shortcuts, it doesn’t work. So techniques like robo-signing and sewer service are essential to the profitability of the business. Plenty of people—consumers and merchants both—are probably glad that so much credit is available, but they don’t realize that systematic fraud is part of what makes it available. Legally, there’s absolutely no difference between a woman on welfare who falsely declares that her boyfriend no longer lives in the home and a bank that uses a robo-signer to cook up a document swearing that he has kept regular records of your credit card account. But morally and politically, they’re worlds apart. When the state brings a fraud case against a welfare mom, it brings it with disgust, with rage, because in addition to committing the legal crime, she’s committed the political crime of being needy and an eyesore. Banks commit the legal crime of fraud wholesale; they do so out in the open, have entire departments committed to it, and have employees who’ve spent years literally doing nothing but commit, over and over again, the same legal crime that some welfare mothers go to jail for doing once. But they’re not charged, because there’s no political crime. The system is not disgusted by the organized, mechanized search for profit. It’s more like it’s impressed by it.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
We are two countries, two peoples. An older America is passing away, and a new America is coming into its own. The new Americans who grew up in the 1960s and the years since did not like the old America. They thought it a bigoted, reactionary, repressive, stodgy country. So they kicked the dust from their heels and set out to build a new America, and they have succeeded. To its acolytes the cultural revolution has been a glorious revolution. But to millions, they have replaced the good country we grew up in with a cultural wasteland and a moral sewer that are not worth living in and not worth fighting for—their country, not ours.
Patrick J. Buchanan (The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization)
The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides And a dark wind blows The government is corrupt And we're on so many drugs With the radio on and the curtains drawn We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine And the machine is bleeding to death The sun has fallen down And the billboards are all leering And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles It went like this: The buildings tumbled in on themselves Mothers clutching babies Picked through the rubble And pulled out their hair The skyline was beautiful on fire All twisted metal stretching upwards Everything washed in a thin orange haze I said, "Kiss me, you're beautiful - These are truly the last days" You grabbed my hand And we fell into it Like a daydream Or a fever We woke up one morning and fell a little further down For sure it's the valley of death I open up my wallet And it's full of blood
Efrim Menuck
The best thing for being sad ... is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then - to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.
T.H. White
For the week after the man's visit to my work, campus security will assign an officer to stand outside the door of my classroom while I teach, in case he returns. On one of these days, I teach Alice Notley's grouchy epic poem Disobedience. A student complaints, Notley says she wants a dailiness that is free and beautiful, but she's fixated on all the things she hates and fears the most, and then smashes her face and ours in them for four hundred pages. Why bother? Empirically speaking, we are made of star stuff. Why aren't we talking more about that? Materials never leave this world. They just keep recycling, recombining. That's what you kept telling me when we first met—that in a real, material sense, what is made from where. I didn't have a clue what you were talking about, but I could see you burned for it. I wanted to be near that burning. I still don't understand, but at least now my fingers ride the lip. Notley knows all this; it's what tears her up. It's why she's a mystic, why she locks herself in a dark closet, why she knocks herself out to have visions. Can she help it if the unconscious is a sewer? At least my student had unwittingly backed us into a crucial paradox, which helps to explain the work of any number of artists: it is sometimes the most paranoid-tending people who are able to, and need to, develop and disseminate the richest reparative practices.
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
For years, walking round London, I had been aware of the actual land, lying concealed but not entirely changed or destroyed, beneath the surface of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century city. It has been said that 'God made the country and man made the town', but that is not true: the town is simply disguised countryside. Main roads, some older than history itself, still bend to avoid long-dried marshes, or veer off at an angle where the wall of a manor house once stood. Hills and valleys still remain; rivers, even though entombed in sewer pipes, still cause trouble in the foundations of neighbouring buildings and become a local focus for winter mists. Garden walls follow the line of hedgerows; the very street-patterns have been determined by the holdings of individual farmers and landlords, parcels of land some of which can be traced back to the Norman Conquest. The situation of specific buildings - pubs, churches, institutions - often dates from long distant decisions and actions on the part of men whose names have vanished from any record.
Gillian Tindall (The Fields Beneath)
That voice that talks badly to you is a demon voice. This very patient and determined demon shows up in your bedroom one day and refuses to leave. You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away. It tells you that you are fat and ugly and you don’t deserve love. And the scary part is the demon is your own voice. But it doesn’t sound like you. It sounds like a strangled and seductive version of you. Think Darth Vader or an angry Lauren Bacall. The good news is there are ways to make it stop talking. The bad news is it never goes away. If you are lucky, you can live a life where the demon is generally forgotten, relegated to a back shelf in a closet next to your old field hockey equipment. You may even have days or years when you think the demon is gone. But it is not. It is sitting very quietly, waiting for you. This motherfucker is patient. It says, “Take your time.” It says, “Go fall in love and exercise and surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful.” It says, “Don’t worry, I’ll wait.” And then one day, you go through a breakup or you can’t lose your baby weight or you look at your reflection in a soup spoon and that slimy bugger is back. It moves its sour mouth up to your ear and reminds you that you are fat and ugly and don’t deserve love. This demon is some Stephen King from-the-sewer devil-level shit.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. Today I am proud to say I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. . . . I belong to the earth! . . . And I join my slime, my excrement, my madness,my ecstasy to the great circuit which flows through the subterranean vaults of the flesh. . . . Side by side with the human race there runs another race of beings, the inhuman ones, the race of artists. . . . Out of the dead compost and the inert slag they breed a song that contaminates. . . . “I love everything that flows,” said the great blind Milton of our times [Joyce]. I was thinking of him this morning . . . of his rivers and trees and all that world of night that he is exploring. Yes, I said to myself, I too love everything that flows: rivers, sewers, lava, semen, blood, bile, words, sentences. I love the amniotic fluid when it spills out of the bag. . . . I love the urine that pours out scalding and the clap that runs endlessly.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Luz leaned her head against the window. The bus was already on the outskirts of Mexico City and the endless urban landscape had never seemed so gray and or so harsh. Most of the city was nothing like the old money enclave of Lomas Virreyes where the Vegas lived or Polanco where the city’s most expensive restaurants and clubs catered to the wealthy. The bus passed block after block of sooty concrete cut into houses and shops and shanties and parking garages and mercados and schools and more shanties where people lived surrounded by hulks of old cars and plastic things no one bothered to throw away. Sometimes there wasn’t concrete for homes, just sheets of corrugated metal and big pieces of cardboard that would last until the next rainy season. It was the detritus of millions upon millions of people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do and were angry about it. The Reforma newspaper had reported a few weeks ago that the city’s population was in excess of 28 million--more than 25 percent of the country’s entire population--and Luz believed it. All of those people were clawing at each other in a huge fishbowl suspended 7500 feet above sea level, where there was never enough oxygen and the air was thin and dirty. The city was hemmed in by mountains on all sides; mountains like Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl that sometimes spewed smoke and ash and prevented the contaminatión from cars and factories and sewers from escaping. Luz privately thought of it as la sopa--a white soup that often blotted out the stars and prevented the night sky from getting dark. The bus slowed in traffic. As they crept along Luz saw a car stopped on the side of the road, pulled over by a transito traffic cop. As Luz watched, the driver handed the cop a peso bill from his wallet. The transito accepted it but kept talking, gesturing at the car. The motorist handed him another bill. La mordida--the bite--of the traffic cop, right under her nose. Los Hierros was crap.
Carmen Amato (The Hidden Light of Mexico City)
Now I know why I tried to kill you,” Sportcoat said. “For the life of goodness is not one that your people has chosen for you. I don’t want that you should end up like me, or my Hettie, dead of sorrow in the harbor. I’m in the last Octobers of life, boy. I ain’t got many more Aprils left. It’s a right end for an old drunk like me, and a right end for you too that you die as a good boy, strong and handsome and smart, like I remembers you. Best pitcher in the world. Boy who could pitch his way outta the shithole we all has to live in. Better to remember you that way than as the sewer you has become. That’s a good dream. That’s a dream an old drunk like me deserves at the end of his days. For I done wasted every penny I had in the ways of goodness so long ago, I can’t remember ’em no more.
James McBride (Deacon King Kong)
Women are sewers just like we are, the once pure boys recognize with a start; it’s raw sewage that produces fertilization; once you understand that you can be fond of yourself and members of the Opposite Sex, but you can never quite see them again as ice cream bars. I, the author, don’t really mind this, for I love all girls and love to hug and kiss them and cheer them up when they cry, and have them perform all the same services for me; and a woman’s saliva is certainly a miracle, think of all those enzymes and germs; and if I took and wrote the chemicals down on a sheet of paper, all COOOHs and sighs, it would look pretty, just like a face all pretty, like the dear round moon-face of her who loves you or the creamy-freckled skin and blue eyes and heavenly hair of that Irish beauty back in college, so don’t think I’m complaining.
William T. Vollmann (You Bright and Risen Angels)
Aided by the young George Pullman, who would later make a fortune building railway cars, Chesbrough launched one of the most ambitious engineering projects of the nineteenth century. Building by building, Chicago was lifted by an army of men with jackscrews. As the jackscrews raised the buildings inch by inch, workmen would dig holes under the building foundations and install thick timbers to support them, while masons scrambled to build a new footing under the structure. Sewer lines were inserted beneath buildings with main lines running down the center of streets, which were then buried in landfill that had been dredged out of the Chicago River, raising the entire city almost ten feet on average. Tourists walking around downtown Chicago today regularly marvel at the engineering prowess on display in the city’s spectacular skyline; what they don’t realize is that the ground beneath their feet is also the product of brilliant engineering.
Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World)
The headlights of parked cars shone through the rain, and the sidewalks extended, empty, into the darkness. Underground, the sewers surged like rivers, and a few blocks away, sirens blared. He was no longer aware of his heart or thoughts, only the image of a sunken face staring up from a well, the paleness rising through the water like polished bone. A ringed hand reached toward it, but as the fingers approached, the face would sink away, its eyes opening, closing, and the droplets of red falling like leaves. He was a child running through an autumn cemetery, leaping over cast iron fences, the rain bleeding into the tombstones and the roofs of the mausoleums, his legs following the wings of a crow, flapping to the north. A hedge of withered roses stood between him and his childhood house. He tripped and grazed his cheek on a manhole, his red blooming in the water. The sun set behind the hill; the house turned black—abandoned and derelict—and Chris knew he had to keep running, ahead, into the unknown.
Kit Ingram (Paradise)
There, publicly throwing off the mask under which he had hitherto concealed his real character and feelings, he made a speech painting in vivid the cause of her death was an even bitterer and more dreadful thing than the death itself. He went on to speak of the king's arrogant and tyrannical behavior; of the sufferings of the commons condemned to labor underground clearing or constructing ditches and sewers; of gallant Romans - soldiers who had beaten in battle all neighboring peoples - robbed of their swords and turned into stone-cutters and artisans. He reminded them of the foul murder of Servius Tullius, of the daughter who drove her carriage over her father's corpse, in violation of the most sacred of relationships - a crime which God alone could punish. Doubtless he told them of other, and worse, things, brought to his mind in the heat of the moment and by the sense of this latest outrage, which still lived in his eye and pressed upon his heart; but a mere historian can hardly record them. The effect of his words was immediate: the populace took fire, and were brought to demand the abrogation of the king's authority and the exile of himself and his family.
Livy (The History of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History of Rome)
By all kinds of traps and sign-boards, threatening the extreme penalty of the divine law, exclude such trespassers from the only ground which can be sacred to you. It is so hard to forget what it is worse than useless to remember! If I am to be a thoroughfare, I prefer that it be of the mountain-brooks, the Parnassian streams, and not the town-sewers. There is inspiration, that gossip which comes to the ear of the attentive mind from the courts of heaven. There is the profane and stale revelation of the bar-room and the police court. The same ear is fitted to receive both communications. Only the character of the hearer determines to which it shall be open, and to which closed. I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality. Our very intellect shall be macadamized, as it were,--its foundation broken into fragments for the wheels of travel to roll over; and if you would know what will make for the most durable pavement, surpassing rolled stones, spruce blocks, and asphaltum, you have only to look into some of our minds which have been subjected to this treatment so long.
Henry David Thoreau (Life Without Principle)
The best thing for being sad,’ replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, ‘is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn – pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theo-criticism and geography and history and economics – why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-5))
Ultimately, though, it was Super Mario Bros. that taught me what remains perhaps the most important lesson of my life. I am being perfectly sincere. I am asking you to consider this seriously. Super Mario Bros., the 1.0 edition, is perhaps the all-time masterpiece of side-scrolling games. When the game begins, Mario is standing all the way to the left of the legendary opening screen, and he can only go in one direction: He can only move to the right, as new scenery and enemies scroll in from that side. He progresses through eight worlds of four levels each, all of them governed by time constraints, until he reaches the evil Bowser and frees the captive Princess Toadstool. Throughout all thirty-two levels, Mario exists in front of what in gaming parlance is called “an invisible wall,” which doesn’t allow him to go backward. There is no turning back, only going forward—for Mario and Luigi, for me, and for you. Life only scrolls in one direction, which is the direction of time, and no matter how far we might manage to go, that invisible wall will always be just behind us, cutting us off from the past, compelling us on into the unknown. A small kid growing up in small-town North Carolina in the 1980s has to get a sense of mortality from somewhere, so why not from two Italian-immigrant plumber brothers with an appetite for sewer mushrooms?
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
Our house was made of stone, stucco, and clapboard; the newer wings, designed by a big-city architect, had a good deal of glass, and looked out into the Valley, where on good days we could see for many miles while on humid hazy days we could see barely beyond the fence that marked the edge of our property. Father, however, preferred the roof: In his white, light-woolen three-piece suit, white fedora cocked back on his head, for luck, he spent many of his waking hours on the highest peak of the highest roof of the house, observing, through binoculars, the amazing progress of construction in the Valley - for overnight, it seemed, there appeared roads, expressways, sewers, drainage pipes, "planned" communities with such names as Whispering Glades, Murmuring Oaks, Pheasant Run, Deer Willow, all of them walled to keep out intruders, and, yet more astonishing, towerlike buildings of aluminum and glass and steel and brick, buildings whose windows shone and winked like mirrors, splendid in sunshine like pillars of flame; such beauty where once there had been mere earth and sky, it caught at your throat like a great bird's talons, taking your breath away. 'The ways of beauty are as a honeycomb,' Father told us, and none of us could determine, staring at his slow moving lips, whether the truth he spoke was a happy truth or not, whether even it was truth. ("Family")
Joyce Carol Oates (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
Temperance Dews stood with quiet confidence, a respectable women who lived in the sewer that was St. Giles. Her eyes had widened at the sight of Lazarus, but she made no move to flee. Indeed, finding a strange man in her pathetic sitting room seemed not to frighten her at all. Interesting. “I am Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire,” he said. “I know. What are you doing here?” He tilted his head, studying her. She knew him, yet did not recoil in horror? Yes, she’d do quite well. “I’ve come to make a proposition to you, Mrs. Dews.” Still no sign of fear, though she eyed the doorway. “You’ve chosen the wrong woman, my lord. The night is late. Please leave my house.” No fear and no deference to his rank. An interesting woman indeed. “My proposition is not, er, illicit in nature,” he drawled. “In fact, it’s quite respectable. Or nearly so.” She sighed, looked down at her tray, and then back up at him. “Would you like a cup of tea?” He almost smiled. Tea? When had he last been offered something so very prosaic by a woman? He couldn’t remember. But he replied gravely enough. “Thank you, no.” She nodded. “Then if you don’t mind?” He waved a hand to indicate permission. She set the tea tray on the wretched little table and sat on the padded footstool to pour herself a cup. He watched her. She was a monochromatic study. Her dress, bodice, hose, and shoes were all flat black. A fichu tucked in at her severe neckline, an apron, and cap—no lace or ruffles—were all white. No color marred her aspect, making the lush red of her full lips all the more startling. She wore the clothes of a nun, yet had the mouth of a sybarite. The contrast was fascinating—and arousing. “You’re a Puritan?” he asked. Her beautiful mouth compressed. “No.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1))
I can understand the ignorant masses loving to soak themselves in drink—oh, yes, it's very shocking that they should, of course—very shocking to us who live in cozy homes, with all the graces and pleasures of life around us, that the dwellers in damp cellars and windy attics should creep from their dens of misery into the warmth and glare of the public-house bar, and seek to float for a brief space away from their dull world upon a Lethe stream of gin. But think, before you hold up your hands in horror at their ill-living, what "life" for these wretched creatures really means. Picture the squalid misery of their brutish existence, dragged on from year to year in the narrow, noisome room where, huddled like vermin in sewers, they welter, and sicken, and sleep; where dirt-grimed children scream and fight and sluttish, shrill-voiced women cuff, and curse, and nag; where the street outside teems with roaring filth and the house around is a bedlam of riot and stench. Think what a sapless stick this fair flower of life must be to them, devoid of mind and soul. The horse in his stall scents the sweet hay and munches the ripe corn contentedly. The watch-dog in his kennel blinks at the grateful sun, dreams of a glorious chase over the dewy fields, and wakes with a yelp of gladness to greet a caressing hand. But the clod-like life of these human logs never knows one ray of light. From the hour when they crawl from their comfortless bed to the hour when they lounge back into it again they never live one moment of real life. Recreation, amusement, companionship, they know not the meaning of. Joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, love, friendship, longing, despair, are idle words to them. From the day when their baby eyes first look out upon their sordid world to the day when, with an oath, they close them forever and their bones are shoveled out of sight, they never warm to one touch of human sympathy, never thrill to a single thought, never start to a single hope. In the name of the God of mercy; let them pour the maddening liquor down their throats and feel for one brief moment that they live!
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
There's no such thing as witches. But there used to be. It used to be the air was so thick with magic you could taste it on your tongue like ash. Witches lurked in every tangled wood and waited at every midnight-crossroad with sharp-toothed smiles. They conversed with dragons on lonely mountaintops and rode rowan-wood brooms across full moons; they charmed the stars to dance beside them on the summer solstice and rode to battle with familiars at their heels. It used to be witches were wild as crows and fearless as foxes, because magic blazed bright and the night was theirs. But then came the plague and the purges. The dragons were slain and the witches were burned and the night belonged to men with torches and crosses. Witching isn’t all gone, of course. My grandmother, Mama Mags, says they can’t ever kill magic because it beats like a great red heartbeat on the other side of everything, that if you close your eyes you can feel it thrumming beneath the soles of your feet, thumpthumpthump. It’s just a lot better-behaved than it used to be. Most respectable folk can’t even light a candle with witching, these days, but us poor folk still dabble here and there. Witch-blood runs thick in the sewers, the saying goes. Back home every mama teaches her daughters a few little charms to keep the soup-pot from boiling over or make the peonies bloom out of season. Every daddy teaches his sons how to spell ax-handles against breaking and rooftops against leaking. Our daddy never taught us shit, except what a fox teaches chickens — how to run, how to tremble, how to outlive the bastard — and our mama died before she could teach us much of anything. But we had Mama Mags, our mother’s mother, and she didn’t fool around with soup-pots and flowers. The preacher back home says it was God’s will that purged the witches from the world. He says women are sinful by nature and that magic in their hands turns naturally to rot and ruin, like the first witch Eve who poisoned the Garden and doomed mankind, like her daughter’s daughters who poisoned the world with the plague. He says the purges purified the earth and shepherded us into the modern era of Gatling guns and steamboats, and the Indians and Africans ought to be thanking us on their knees for freeing them from their own savage magics. Mama Mags said that was horseshit, and that wickedness was like beauty: in the eye of the beholder. She said proper witching is just a conversation with that red heartbeat, which only ever takes three things: the will to listen to it, the words to speak with it, and the way to let it into the world. The will, the words, and the way. She taught us everything important comes in threes: little pigs, bill goats gruff, chances to guess unguessable names. Sisters. There wer ethree of us Eastwood sisters, me and Agnes and Bella, so maybe they'll tell our story like a witch-tale. Once upon a time there were three sisters. Mags would like that, I think — she always said nobody paid enough attention to witch-tales and whatnot, the stories grannies tell their babies, the secret rhymes children chant among themselves, the songs women sing as they work. Or maybe they won't tell our story at all, because it isn't finished yet. Maybe we're just the very beginning, and all the fuss and mess we made was nothing but the first strike of the flint, the first shower of sparks. There's still no such thing as witches. But there will be.
Alix E. Harrow (The Once and Future Witches)