Episode 94: Monsters Beneath Our Feet, Minds in the Gutter: Alligators in the Sewers

When someone says, ‘what is an urban legend?’ Which story do you reach for to illustrate the concept. If you said, ‘I just text them a link to your show,’ you get a prize; but thats not the point. The point is, you probably, at some point in this hypothetical discussion, bring up the story of alligators in the sewers. Yes, this is, in many ways, the quintessential urban legend. It is necessarily urban, sufficiently widespread, and despite its easily disproven premise, quite persistently shared. Join us this week as we discuss this iconic urban legend; the human relationship to the sewers and their history; and the persistent fears that threats to society lurk just beneath our feet.

ep 94

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SOURCES:

The Ancient Romans Had a Goddess of Sewers and Drains

The Book Behind the Sewer-Alligator Legend – NYT

Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism edited by Katarina Gregersdotter, Johan Höglund, Nicklas Hållén

Alligators in the Sewers of New York – ThoughtCo

Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends By Jan Harold Brunvand

American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American … edited by Christopher R. Fee, Jeffrey B. Webb

Gators in the Sewer? ‘I Want It to Be True’ – NYT

ON THE INCIDENCE OF ALLIGATORS AND HARD TIMES – 1982, NYTs

Sewer Gator – TV tropes

ALLIGATOR FOUND IN UPTOWN SEWER – Feb 10, 1935

John Snow and the Broad Street Pump – UCLA Department of Epidemiology

Exploring Rome’s ‘sacred sewers’ – BBC

Talking trash during the dog days: A brief history of sanitation in New York City – Scientific American

The History of Sanitary Sewers

Secrets of New York: The Sewers – NYC Environmental Protection

The Hampstead Hogs: Internationalizing an American Legend Tom Pettitt English Department, Odense University

This Bacon Smells Funny – London Particulars

Tehran Rats: Iran Reportedly Battles Giant ‘Mutant’ Rodents With Snipers – HuffPost

Public Utilities Group Confirms “Sewer Monster” Is Real, But Doesn’t Know What It Is

English Gothic Misericord Carvings: History from the Bottom Up By Betsy Chunko-Dominguez

The Truth About New York’s Legendary ‘Mole People’ – Narratively, by Anthony Taille

Thomas Crapper: Myth and Reality

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOILETS By Tim Lambert

6 Practical Ways Romans Used Human Urine and Feces in Daily Life – Mental Floss

A HISTORY OF SOME OLD ENGLISH SAYINGS AND CUSTOMS Compiled by Flo Deems

Scatology, the Last Taboo: Introduction to Fecal Ma ers in Early Modern Literature and Art Je Persels University of South Carolina

The Miscellaneous Writings of Tobias Smollett edited by O M Brack, Leslie Chilton, Walter H. Keithley

An Essay About Poop – Robert Brink

Strephon and Chloe Jonathan Swift

A Description of a City Shower BY JONATHAN SWIFT

An Essay on Scatology and Swift by Harry Mycroft- Innervate

Discourses of Poverty: Social Reform and the Picaresque Novel in Early … By Anne J. Cruz

A Discussion Of Scatalogical Imagery In The Poetry Of Jonathan Swift

Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Essays in Memory of Paul … By Paul-Gabriel Boucé

Scatology and the Realist Aesthetic – Art Journal

 

 

 

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