The untold story of the steaming storm drains

Every College of Charleston student leaves with a Bill Murray-sighting story. Students have seen him at basketball games, walking down King Street and even in Mama Kims. But why is Murray never excited to say hello to a student or take a picture with them? His secret just came out.

Ever wonder why the storm drains on campus are always steaming? You walk by them everyday, and you can’t help but notice the stench that seeps out the holes on the drains. When a car drives down the street late at night and their lights shine through the steam, it is apparent that something is happening below the streets of campus.

A classic steaming storm drain on campus. (Photo by Kaleb Dill)

Last Tuesday around 9 p.m., a student at the College had wandered up to the fifth floor of Bell South and was just sitting on the floor, waiting for a guy to show up when she heard a fumbling from the inside of the men’s bathroom door. The door never opened so the girl looked back down at her phone and got lost in her mind, checking her Instagram feed while she waited.

A few minutes later, the guy showed up and the two began to chat and catch up. They were laughing at pictures they had taken over the weekend together and were planning what fun adventure they would go on this coming weekend. Suddenly, there was a thump at the bathroom door and Bill Murray walked out. The two students turned their heads and were caught like deer in headlights as Murray strutted out and toward the back elevator to make his escape onto St. Philip St.

The two students were dumbfounded, so they followed him down to the street and secretly observed his every move. They noticed that Murray went over to a very average looking man on the street, who was wearing a Seattle Mariners sweatshirt and whispered something in his ear before he walked down Vanderhorst St. into the neighborhood.

Rather than following Murray into the neighborhood, the two students went up to the man in the Mariners sweatshirt and asked, “Why was Bill Murray on the fifth floor of Bell South?”

And the man responded, “Nobody has ever asked me about Bill Murray; in fact, you two are the first to ever notice that I even have a connection to him. But if you want to know the honest truth, Murray owns a secret train that runs under the city.”

The students were in shock; this complete stranger just told them the deepest and darkest secret that modern day Charleston has kept so well hidden. The man began to lead them into Bell South and since he had told them this secret, they figured he was about to spill the beans and show them the train.

After making it up to the fifth floor, they followed the man into the bathroom and entered the last stall where there was an elevator. They took the elevator down to the floor labeled “T” and that’s when the whole story became real. There was a train waiting for them in the station that was painted gold and had a huge face of Bill Murray on the side.

As they entered the train, the man told them that there are two other stops and he would take them to both. The students agreed, and off they went.

The storm drain on the Cistern that serves as an exit to Murray’s secret train. (Photo by Kaleb Dill).

The first stop they made was at the Cistern. The students were dumbfounded that there was a stop at the Cistern. They got off the train and climbed some steps while they waited for a green to appear in the station. When the light went on, they opened the roof of the stairwell, which is covered by a storm drain directly on top of the brick path on the Cistern. The man in the Mariners sweatshirt turned to them and said, “The green light provides Murray with cover, it won’t turn on unless the Cistern is empty.

They went back into the station and made their way to the other stop on Murray’s train, at the end of Murray Blvd. near the Coast Guard station. When they got in the train and the doors closed, massive clouds of steam came out of the back of the train and it propelled itself forward at a pace that got them to the other end of the city in five seconds.

When the train came to a complete stop in the Murray Blvd. station, the man in the Mariners sweatshirt turned to them and said, “This is the station that allows you to access Mr. Murray’s residence. For his privacy, we won’t go up.”

The students understood and remained in the train as it went back to the Bell South station. In their last few moments in the train, the man in the sweatshirt turned to the students and said “If you’ve ever wondered why there is always steam coming out of the storm drains on campus, it’s because of Mr. Murray’s private train.”

The next day, when the girl was walking to class and she saw steam come out of the drain on St. Philip St., she texted the guy and said “Steam Alert: Murray on the move.”

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Dustin Hacker is an Opinion and Satire writer for CisternYard News. He is a freshman at the College and can frequently be found riding his skateboard around Charleston, particularly at the Battery.

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