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Lankville Mud Pits to Reopen

December 31, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Brock Belvedere

By Brock Belvedere


Scooby Drexler, assistant to the coordinator of the Lankville Committee on Natural Entertainments, announced this morning that the area’s famous Mud Pits will reopen early in 2015. The Pits had been closed for renovation for the past thirty-six months, at a cost of $476,415 to date.

“This is a great day for Lankville and surrounding areas,” Drexler said to a small gathering of reporters and enthusiasts this morning near Pondicherry Square. “Soon our sons will be able to enjoy the Mud Pits again, like their fathers and grandfathers before them.”

The Mud Pits are back (figure one).

The Mud Pits and Lankville: Reunited.

Women have traditionally not been allowed in the Mud Pits.

Drexler noted that events such as “Clod Hurling,” in which young men scoop up and carry hardened clods of dirt on the end of a homemade stick while opponents hurl insults and dirty water at them, will soon be scheduled again in the Mud Pits, where they belong. And with the newly refurbished seats on the north edge of the Pits, spectators will have a better view of the goings-on than ever before. Other improvements include a covered viewing area for visiting foreign dignitaries, and chrome-reinforced “dipping bars” to lower enthusiasts into the Pits.

As Glenn Ogilvie, history professor at the University of Southern Lankville, observed, “It’s tradition.” The crown jewel of Lankville’s Natural Entertainments, the Mud Pits were first discovered, according to Professor Ogilvie, in 1667 by Edmund du Rochfecault, who was looking for a place to bury dead servants and farm animals. They quickly became a popular destination.

The Mud Pits are back (figure two).

The Mud and Pits and Lankville: Reunited (alternate view)

“I remember playing ‘Sticks and Leaves’ in the Mud Pits for hours on end,” he recalled, describing the game in which boys hide in deep recesses of mud, breathing only through a hollow stick, until they sense an opponent moving nearby and leap up to drag him down in the mud and leave him there. “Games like that are such a unique part of the local fabric,” Prof. Ogilvie added, noting that attempts to play them elsewhere, such as in the Lankville Outer Flats, had proven disastrous. “You need a firm pit, with a good, high level of mud at the right consistency, or it just isn’t going to work.”

Getting the Pits exactly right was expensive and took a long time, Scooby Drexler admitted, but the result was worth it. Now, the popular Ooze Festival, in which citizens solemnly gather to watch as the Pits are replenished with water from the hot springs of the Lankville Partial-Ice Regions, will be open to the public once more.

And the Pits, Drexler promised, will be muddier than ever.

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