Adolescent boys in the Midwestern United States spend a surprising amount of time hanging out in sewers. That was the word we used for it. Sewers. As in, let's go to the sewer today. I don't think that's quite the right word for it though, for the place we went. Probably not the most accurate word. We were not, for example, hanging out in sewage. We did not pass time exploring the routes through which mountains of poo were flushed away from the homes of suburban Omaha, Nebraska. That would have been gross. Lot of beef eaten in Omaha. The more accurate word for the network of corrugated head high tubes is culverts. That's the word. We hung out in culverts, but we called them sewers. Storm sewers is what my dad called him.
Anyone's parents who knew anything about anything told us to stay the hell out of the sewers, storm drains, culverts. Their parental point of view was understandable. Sewers are a natural congregation point for various unsavory types: rats, raccoons, satanists, homeless people, snakes, and perverts. Not to mention the poisonous gas. All really good things for young adults to stay away from, particularly the poisonous gas and the perverts. But we were eleven, twelve, thirteen year old boys, living unleashed, more or less, in the suburbs. Was hanging out in sewers stupid for all the reasons our parents believed it was stupid? Sure. But we lived in the suburbs. Stupidity was our weapon against the the daily humdrum that held us all in the same smothering embrace.