"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Going down

I can now add another "first" to my list of life experiences: I got stuck in an elevator yesterday. I had been visiting a sick friend at the local hospital, and stepped into the elevator for what should have been a short trip from the second to the ground floor. After pressing the "1" button, the doors closed and .... nothing happened. No perceptible movement. I pressed a few other buttons, still nothing. I waited a few minutes, thinking maybe the mechanism was just being slow to respond, but soon came to the conclusion that it was time to summon assistance ... so I pressed the "emergency call" button, expecting a reassuring voice on the speaker to ask what the problem is.

Nada. Zip.

Well this is just great, they're going to find my shriveled corpse in here years from now when someone finally realizes "hey, this elevator hasn't moved since 2006".

Seriously, I wasn't too worried. I'm not claustrophobic, and if I had to choose a location to be stuck in an elevator, a 3-story hospital building would be the second on the list (#1 would be a cookie factory; they could drop cookies through the hole in the ceiling to keep me from starving to death).

Having exhausted the other options, I hit the "alarm" button which at last resulted in a satisfyingly loud bell ringing above my head. A few minutes later, I heard someone outside say "hello?", who then offered to call the maintenance department after I yelled through the door that I was stuck. Ten more minutes elapsed before the doors were pried open to reveal the elevator suspended halfway between the first and second floors. For a brief moment I recalled the opening scene in "Speed" where Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels extract frantic passengers from an elevator trapped between floors just before the car crashes to the ground. (Again, I suppose a hospital is as good a place as any for this to happen.) Fortunately, no such drama ensued. The maintenance guy closed the door and went to the second floor, where he was able to step onto the roof of the elevator and "take manual control", as he put it, to lower the elevator slowly to the ground.

Stepping into daylight again after my 20-minute adventure none the worse for the wear, I still had a sense of humor about the whole thing. When they asked me if everything was OK, I got all mock-serious and replied, "I only have one complaint." Pause. Maintenance guys look worried, like I'm about to tell them I want to file a lawsuit or something.

"Why couldn't you arrange for a beautiful blonde nurse to be stuck in there with me?" Looking relieved, the maintenance men laugh and say, "Maybe next time."

And don't forget the cookies either, dammit.


  • At 3/25/2006 05:33:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    Wow, very interesting story... I mean seriously, who really gets stuck in an elevator except for pregnant women in labor and children in a burning building?! I'm glad you made it out okay, I bet the first thing you thought is "boy I can't wait to tell my blogger buddies about this!" Okay so that would be MY first thought. I have to agree, a cookie factory would be the best place to be stuck in an elevator. Not just any cookie factory, the Oreo factory.

  • At 3/25/2006 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    Yes, I basically look at every experience in my life now as an opportunity for a blog post. How pathetic is that? :^)

  • At 3/27/2006 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Janelle said…

    That's not pathetic. I like to read about what everyone is up to. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to hear about you being trapped in an elevator when I checked your blog. That's pretty crazy.


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