“There’s a minotaur in the tunnels? I call bullshit,” announced one fourth-year.
Photo by Amit Roth
It is common knowledge among UC San Diego students that there are tunnels underneath the campus. In reality, these tunnels are often described as “underwhelming” and “not all that exciting,” as their primary goal is to serve utilities to the far reaches of campus from the Central Campus Utility Plant. Nevertheless, students have been known to enter the tunnels throughout the university’s history fully aware of the potential hazards this network poses and severe consequences if caught purely “for the hell of it.”
But earlier this week, almost all such trespassing came to a halt after the plant manager, Dan Riorrick, made an announcement that confirmed the placement of a beast in the tunnels. “With this many students trespassing in our tunnels, we needed to add some even more serious consequences as a deterrent. And it was getting a bit crowded on this campus anyway,” said Riorrick. “So I imported this guy right over from the island of Crete. He is a bit problematic when we have to do maintenance on the pipes down there, but it is a small price to pay for the increased security he brings. Half man, half bull, and known as the minotaur, he’s sure to keep any would-be trespassers out.”
One student, on condition of anonymity, confided that they had personally confronted the minotaur but managed to escape. “I mean, it was like a labyrinth down there,” said the student. “So when I went in, I started laying out breadcrumbs to be able to find my way back. I mean, thread! Not breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs was when I was in that dark forest — of eucalyptus.” The student paused. “Where was I? Oh yeah, this guy was wack. He just started charging at me, but I read The Lightning Thief in elementary school, so I knew what to do. I just sidestepped his charge and got out of there.“
As fears mounted that the minotaur would escape and terrorize the campus, a plan was enacted: every nine quarters, one young man and one maiden from each of the seven colleges would be sent in to appease the beast. Lots were drawn, and onwards they were sent. One literature student observed, “This really is a modern Greek tragedy: hamartia leads to peripeteia, which will lead to anagnorisis in turn. How ironic that students are now to be ushered into the tunnels that this beast was introduced to deter them from.”
On the third round of collecting such students, one brave Muiron known as Jerseus Packson volunteered to go, stating that this was “not [his] first rodeo” and that he had studied “at Lounge Half-Dome.” Indeed it was not, and he was able to not only mount the minotaur successfully, but ride it out of the labyrinth and onto the Sun God lawn, where it was sacrificed. King Triton complained that he was “a little hurt” and that this was “a Greek debacle that Sunny should stay out of.” But in any case, the tunnels are now back as before: locked up to all but maintenance personnel, and waiting for any who dare push their luck.