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The Shawshank Waterproofing

October 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

I'm having a little work done on my house this week.  Part of it involves digging a trench alongside the house and excavating a pipe for the purpose of improving the waterproofing for my basement.  (I haven't had a water problem, and I intend to keep it that way.)  

Overall, the work seems to be going well.  Loren, the contractor, is fantastic and very efficient.  And up until yesterday afternoon, there were no big surprises, just the usual quirks of New Mexico construction:  "Hmm, that pipe isn't on any of the drawings.  Wonder who put it there, and why."  Which is pretty much par for the course in these parts.

But then, yesterday afternoon, he sent me a cryptic message.

"Look what I found stuffed inside the drain pipe," he wrote.  And attached this photo:

A pair of rusty handcuffs found inside a buried drainpipe.

So, um... Yeah.  That's a pair of handcuffs.

Let me repeat that.

He found a pair of handcuffs stuffed inside a buried drainpipe attached to my house.

Loren (he of the Santa Fe backhoe) has described the moment of discovery in his comments on this blog post.  Bones, indeed.  Maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that the cuffs didn't have part of a person attached to them.  Because the ensuing investigation would inevitably reveal my house to be built on a former graveyard attached to a hospital for the criminally insane.

Theories welcome.  The floor is open.

Comments

Melinda October 13, 2011 at 10:34 am
So here's my story, back in 1952, Buddy got arrested and Rose, his girlfriend, helped bust him out of the cop car, and they made a run for it back to her house where she got him out of the cuffs. Then frantic to hide the evidence of their daring escape they stuffed the cuffs down a drain pipe, and headed for Mexico.
loren October 13, 2011 at 11:49 am
Good story, but you got one of the details wrong, Rose wasn't his girlfriend, she was a hooker with a heart of gold...
Alex October 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm
Hmmm...my only theories involve sexcapades of the sexiest order. I'm thinking 70s era swing parties. So no corpses of the criminally insane buried in your backyard, but I'd rethink installing that blacklight.
Steve Halter October 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm
I'm going with those being the lost cuffs that Feynman used while working out how to pick handcuffs. They probably ended up in the drain pipe through some sort of very interesting side effect of a cool experiment involving quantum states or maybe strippers--Feynman understood both of those.
Andrew October 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm
"If I catch you playing Houdini one more time..." "But, Mom." I said, "My friends like locking me up in the closet." "And that doesn't concern you?" Shrug. "Should it." Muttering, "Who sells children handcuffs, anyhow?" "Bought them from kid, who'd traded them for his bike. Who got them from a..." "Are you serious?" "I guess." "That's it! Down the toilet." "But Mom..! ---- Cleaning out a septic tank and being greeted by an odd number of white floating hands was quite a shocker. Turned out to be surgeon gloves filled with cocaine...
Susan Loyal October 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm
Just shows you how far out of hand things can get when you're suddenly startled by a very large, mutant spider. :0
Charlie Greenberry October 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm
In light of the recent comment you left on my blog, in which said, "First of all, it wasnít a a body, it was a finger. And secondly, I didnít find it, my neighbor the retired exorcist did. He wonít tell me why he was sifting through my garden with a pitchfork in the middle of the night, but thatís for the best because then I donít have to explain what I was doing with the binoculars at 2am. Anyway, the cops donít know about this, and probably shouldnít," I'd say your lies are coming back to haunt you. Enjoy that.
Tengland October 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm
You have a basement?! In Santa Fe?! Either the house is old or someone thinks they're in the Midwest. From the photo, the 'cuffs don't look that old, but it's hard to tell. Nearby the area you live -- Casa Solana, essentially -- there once was a CCC camp in the '30s-'40s. During the war, the camp was used as a Japanese internment camp, and the inmates were single men. If the 'cuffs are old enough, who knows? Perhaps a troublesome inmate had to be cuffed. (The pipe looks like PVC, a material not yet available at the time. But the place has been built over so many times, old objects easily could have been washed into the sewer.) Or a policeman or deputy came home for lunch or dinner, then used the bathroom. As he reached to flush the toilet, his sleeve caught on the 'cuffs and flipped them into the bowl, but before he could react, he hit lever. Try to to explain that to your sergeant.
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