SPRINGFIELD — In the world of an electrician, they are called "hand holes." They are boxes about the size of a large toaster oven that sit just below ground level and contain electrical connections.
In the world of Jim Mercik, hand holes are not to be taken lightly.
An electrician with the David Northup Electrical Co., Mercik says that when he connects wires for the Bright Nights at Forest Park display, two or three of the 140 hand holes will have snakes or rodents in them. Each lid has to be opened one of two ways. Quickly, like ripping off a band-aid, or very slowly so you can peek inside to see what awaits.