Amherst, MA -- The first snorts were gentle like a sniffle. You’d hear a breeze flowing into a sewer grate here or there. Maybe you’d feel a tug from the air currents, but nothing major.
They got stronger, though. By December, a groundly gulp could pull you a few steps towards a manhole cover. A few months and a half-dozen pancaked elderly women later, the phenomenon, which at first was amusing, has become dangerous.
Mr. Sal Dolae explained, “holy fuggin shit I broke my friggin nose when the sewer slurped me up! My face hurts and I can barely breathe out of it.”
Footage shows predictably-timed “gulps” coming from underneath Amherst streets, sometimes powerful enough to contract the pavement around sewer holes like a sphincter. If anything (or anyone) is nearby during a snort, they will be suctioned face-first onto the sewage grate, all the air vacuumed from within their lungs. After a few painful moments are they belched into the air and to fall onto the sidewalk somewhere with a grid of bruises across their chest. Sergeant Tom Johnson of UMass PD was skeptical. “What snorts?” he asked. “You mean the smell? I’m sorry to break it to you, but sewage does smell. It always has. There’s nothing we can do about it but it’s not going to break your nose.”
The snorts occur consistently at 2 am, 7 am, and 11 pm. Occasional outbursts miss this prediction but, if you avoid downtown during these hours, you should be ok.