June 28, 2012


Don’t you just love riding elevators?
I was on my way to see my publisher, who is located in a high-rise office building that people get nosebleeds just looking up at from the street.  But that’s Manhattan for you – city of excess and bloody sidewalks.
At any rate, I toodled inside, hired a pack mule, purchased supplies and made my way across a solid pink marble lobby the size of Ohio.  Upon arriving at the banks of elevators, I told my Sherpa guide, Niblick, to keep the meter running on the mule, and stepped aboard the nearest vertical conveyance.
The car was already crammed full of passengers, one of whom was carrying in his lunch and, if the odor of same was any indication, he was planning on a feast of three-week old fish that had been marinated in finely aged sewage.
“Floor 267, please,” I said to the elevator boy.
“267?  Oh, you’ll need oxygen for that floor,” he said, handing me a mask.  I dutifully slipped it on.
Off we shot to the first stop – floor 100.  This trip took 1.5 seconds.  During the course of the ride, my head had burst through my hat, which was now hanging around my neck like a Beefeater ruff.  I was also three inches in the red on my previous height and would require cosmetic surgery and a screw jack to remove my breasts from my knees.
After all that, only one person got off.  He’d been short when he’d gotten on, but now he looked like a member of the Lollipop Guild.
“How do I get to Suite 1014?” he asked the elevator boy.
“Just follow the Yellow Brick Road,” he chortled, closing the door in his face.
Next stop, floor 200.  The elevator boy executed a quick countdown, then launched us skyward yet again.
This time, my feet went right through the bottoms of my shoes, my necklace broke, and my earrings were pulled down so low that my earlobes would have been right at home among the Ubangis.
One woman was sick to her stomach in the corner of the car, and a rather large gentleman was experiencing technical difficulties involving methane gas.  Add that to the guy packing the landfill lunch and you have an aroma that would even make Jeffrey Dahmer think twice.  As the minutes passed, I became more and more convinced that Hell had just added a tenth ring, and that elevator was it.
Everyone, but the galloping gourmet and I, got off at floor 200, whether they needed to or not.  But I am made of stronger stuff . . . plus, the idea of walking up 67 flights didn’t much appeal to me. 
The doors slammed shut again, and I prepared for takeoff.
The elevator hurtled upward, but came to a bone-rattling stop between floors 266 and 267.
So there I was, trapped in an elevator with a race driver wannabe, a nerdy guy holding a leaky lunch bag filled with toxic waste, surrounded by the miasma of the revenge of the fat guy’s chili dinner and the pile of vomit in the corner.
This was not the way I envisioned making my transition from this world to the next, somehow.
“Don’t worry, we have a special phone to call for help,” Mario Andretti assured us.  He picked up the receiver and confidently pushed the red button.
Nothing happened.
He pushed it again.
Still nothing.
He panicked and began speaking in tongues.
I slapped him, probably harder than I needed to (though I must admit, it felt awfully good), to snap him out of it.  I’m amazed I could see well enough to actually hit his face, because by that time, the stench was melting my eyeballs.
“OK, how do we get out of here?” I demanded.
He meekly indicated the trap door in the roof of the car.
“Fine.  Give me a boost.”
“Lady, you can’t . .  .”
“You want to go?”
“A boost!  Right!  Sure, no problem!”
You may wonder at the alacrity of my voluntarism.  Had you been there, you wouldn’t have.  I was more than willing to take the chance of falling to a quick death over dying slowly and horribly in the elevator.
A boost, and I was on the roof.  “Now what?” I asked, gulping in the fresh air.
“Climb up to the floor above us and open the door.  Then get help.”
One thing I’ve learned about directions such as these is that anything that sounds this simple usually isn’t.
To get to the door above, I had to shinny up the greasy cable and lean out to step across the ledge.  It took patience, dexterity, and the firm resolve that I was not, under any circumstances, going back into that elevator.
Once on the ledge, I managed to pry the door open and fall in a heap on the white carpeting of my publisher’s office.  Being covered with grease did not enhance my prestige with the firm, I can promise you.
I stood, with the help of a couple of receptionists holding me at arm’s length.  My clothing was torn and hanging in stalactite-like shreds from my body.  I was so filthy, I could have done a guest shot on “The Wide, Wide World of Dumpster Diving.”  The only pieces left of my shoes were the toes.  My hair looked as if it had been styled by Ray Charles, my hands were ripped and bleeding, and every single fingernail was not just broken, but gone!
“There are more people stuck in the elevator.  They need help and I need an ambulance and a bath in Drano,” I croaked.  Then I passed out.
I awoke in the hospital.  My publisher had sent a huge bouquet of flowers.  Smiling, I opened the card as fast as ten heavily bandaged fingers would permit, and read:

Roses are Red.
Violets are Blue.
You messed up our carpet,
So we’re suing you!

I’m out of the hospital now, and I work out on a Stairmaster for an hour every day.
You’ll never catch me on another elevator!


  1. Yeah, good one! I followed you over from FB and am now following your blog.

    By the way, the elevator in the Empire State Building is quick, too! lol

  2. wELCOME! Always happy to have new folks encouraging my behavior. :-)

  3. ROFLMAO!! So funny, Carson. You have to enter this one in a contest.