Ad Hum pit holds secret more horrible than the carpet

Swimming pool with green and yellow cougars pennants Pixabay

Fundraiser for exorcism imminent

The University of Regina’s dirtiest – and I do mean dirty – secret.

Terrifying facts are emerging about the University of Regina’s Ad Hum Pit previously being a pool. Records appeared early last week about the truth behind the administrative and humanities building’s initial purpose and why it was covered up for the past 50 years.

The administrative and humanities building student study pit has always been one of the university’s most disgusting parts. The carpet is threadbare after years of wear from university students, and the smell of the carpet is comparable to the smell of dead gophers. However, the uncomfortable cement seating of the Pit once served as the foundation of the pool, and the stench has meaning. As the carpet continues to lose its threads, its secrets begin to break loose.

The previous pool has a haunting secret that the university has been trying to cover up for years: the Queen City Seniors’ Synchronize Swimming Team practiced at the pool, and allegedly Team Captain Beverly Birmingham’s ghost led to the facility’s untimely closure.

The pool was the perfect depth for senior synchronized swimming events, as it was so shallow that the elderly could rest on the bottom rather than treading water. It was active with many happy swimmers for many years and included many extra services, including swimming lessons and aquacise. The Queen City Seniors’ Women’s Synchronized Swimming team practiced at the pool. The group consisted of women aged 60+ lead by Regina icon Beverly “Bucktooth” Birmingham, famous for her very prominent two front teeth. The women on the team had met at the Senior’s aquacise class and eventually formed the synchronized swimming team.

The team gained national attention within their first few years of performance with their signature move, “The Flying Gopher.” The move consisted of the team tossing Birmingham into the air while she posed in a gopher-esque position, and the other half of the women caught her.  But Birmingham did not stop there. What made the stunt genuinely unique was that Birmingham would let out a high-pitched gopher screech in mid-air.

“We were worried we would lose aesthetic points on the scoreboard when we first decided to incorporate the screech into the routine,” explained Head Coach of the Queen City Seniors. “However, taking the risk proved to bring home the hardware.”

And bring home the hardware it did. The Queen City Seniors took home first place at Nationals in 1974. With the signature stunt came legions of fans in support of Bucktooth Birmingham and the Screeching Seniors. The Queen City Seniors became the spokesperson for the Victor Black Box Gopher Trap.

The team was headed straight for the Gold Medal in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. The Queen City Seniors, now dubbed Canada’s National Synchronized Swimming Team, was a crucial competitor to represent Canada and to beat their rival competitors, Bomb-Voyage, from the Soviet Union. There had been tension between the two teams ever since the International Synchronized Swimming Event the year prior. The Queen City Seniors had beaten out the Soviets for the gold medal by just a hair, and the Soviets disagreed with the Canadian’s infamous stunt move.

“The Flying Gopher is a despicable display in the synchronized swimming event,” said the Bomb-Voyage Captain “if you want to screech like that, go to the opera house!”

Tensions were high for the Queen City Seniors who were experiencing intense pressure to perform well on Canada’s behalf. Finally, on the day of the performance, many Canadians gathered to watch the event that would forever be known as a catastrophe. The event commenced as the Queen City Seniors began their routine. The Seniors had been practicing tossing Birmingham higher than ever in the routine, and once they reached the Flying Gopher, they threw Bucktooth Beverly so high and so far that she came down with a smack, teeth first on the edge of the pool.

They had to stop the routine to aid Beverly out of the pool and took her to the hospital. The Queen City Seniors were unfortunately disqualified because they did not complete their routine. When Beverly emerged from the hospital, her buckteeth had been hammered to a very normal size, to the public’s shock. Bucktooth Beverly had become just Beverly, and the pristine performance record of the Queen City Seniors depleted after such an embarrassing performance at the Olympics.

With the Seniors’ old age and depleting performance in synchronized swimming, the team dissolved as the ladies entered senior homes, eventually passing away. It was said that old Beverly became very bitter and angry about the experience at the Olympics and held the grudge until her untimely death only a few years later in 1978.

Strange disturbances were recorded by lifeguards at the pool, ironically after Birmingham’s death. When lifeguards were closing at the end of the night, they could hear abrupt screeches in the night.

“Sometimes when we come to open the pool the next day, the pool is overflowing,” explained a young lifeguard. “We always make sure to turn it off at the end of the day, but it is always miraculously on the next morning.”

The pool’s untimely closure resulted from the gopher infestation in the early 80s. After the hiring and firing of multiple extermination teams, public health experts were stumped on how the pool attracted so many gophers. Even with the university’s funding to preserve the pool, it was eventually closed due to the facility’s rapidly increasing number of rodents.

While many believe the rodent infestation was due to the poorly made building foundation, many pool patrons and lifeguards think that it was truly the Bucktooth Banshee that caused the pool to close less than a decade after Birmingham’s death.

The University of Regina has held the secret for years, and it is finally time that the Birmingham Banshee is acknowledged. Administrative staff and the J School have been rallying to budget for the ghost’s exorcism so they can finally get rid of the horrid gopher stench. 

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