Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Feb 24 2004

At noon today, when everyone was on their way to l…

At noon today, when everyone was on their way to lunch, people kept crowding into the elevator on the way down, more and more at each floor, mostly office ladies and a couple of manager types. On one floor a woman actually tried to stage-dive inside but aborted her attempt when she realized there was no more vertical space left. At each floor the elevator lurched in an alarming fashion, eliciting oohs and aahs from the crowd inside. Then it stopped somewhere between the first and second floors, and refused to budge.

The office ladies immediately started complaining about the poor quality of the elevator. “I don’t suppose the fact that it’s overloaded has anything to do with it,” I said, wondering if there were any hard statistics on the relationship between pointy shoes and stuck elevators.

“We should find the stage-diving woman and stick her head in the door,” someone said. Struck by this idea, I started to rummage around in my backpack for something to open the doors with.

“Hey, what do you have in your bag?” one of the two manager types asked me in an accusatory tone.

“You think we’re stuck because of something in my bag?” I asked, incredulous. “I don’t know, could be this hunk of collapsed-star matter I brought for an afternoon snack…it’s kinda dense.” I refrained from comparing it to his head.

“But we’re all so thin!” one of the office ladies was lamenting. “How could we possibly be over the weight limit?”

This was too much. “I think the sign refers to real weight, not delusional self-image weight,” I said, pointing to the capacity warning. I was a bit miffed at the situation, but I managed to keep myself from making any more jokes about, say, the obvious fallacy of the famed mathematical abilities of Taiwanese People in General. (Story Problem: “The elevator can hold only 15 people. How many people can the elevator hold?”)

Outside a muffled voice told us that they had called the elevator people, but they were out to lunch, so we just had to wait a little while, as if we could go anywhere. It was getting stuffy, and although I was pretty sure the elevator wasn’t air-tight, some of the women were complaining of not being able to breathe.

Now, I realize that being stuck in an elevator full of whining, pointy-shoed office ladies might sound appealing to some, but it is a prospect I personally do not relish, so I pulled out my utility knife, wedged the elevator doors open, and then did the same with the bottom of the 2nd-floor outer doors. The floor was about even with my chest. The building attendents were outside; they shut off the elevator power and handed a chair down so everyone could climb out. I waited until everyone was out except for one woman in a long brown skirt. “Go on,” I told her, but she shook her head and hugged the rear wall.

“I’m wearing a skirt, so I’ll go last,” she said.

“You think I’m going to look up your skirt?” She didn’t answer, but her look said enough so I didn’t wait. By the time I got out all of the other passengers had rushed off to their respective lunches, leaving the building maintenence guys to deal with the ornery elevator.

“We called the elevator people, but they’re still at lunch,” one of them said. But by the time I got back from my own lunch, the elevator was running again. Did the elevator people ever come? I don’t know, but I think I’ll avoid rush-hour elevator rides in the future.

posted by Poagao at 7:05 am  

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