Those who know me know that my elevator doesn't exactly go all the way to the top. Yesterday, I proved it.
It’s a scene I’ve seen innumerable times on television shows and in the movies – though it usually involves a pregnant woman – the good ol' stuck in an elevator plot. I always wondered what I would do in that situation. Well, yesterday I got my chance to find out (sans pregnant woman). Somewhere between the second and third floor of my office building my elevator stopped. Stuck. Fortunately, the emergency phone did work. “We’ll send someone out right away!”
“Right away” is a relative term.
Knowing that I was in no real danger, I tried to stay calm. This is the perfect opportunity to practice my Sitting Zen Meditation. Aware of my breath arising and falling, arising and falling, arising… What’s that noise? Damn. Fancy me mad, but I was living Poe's Tell Tale Heart, “I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.”
I became aware that my heart was racing faster than Helio Castroneves, only not as graceful.
The harder I tried to quiet my mind the more my monkey mind kept screaming “GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” It's hard for me to put into words how this “calm and cool” Knight was reduced to panic of the unknown and of being stuck. I was literally “out of control” and it started to suck. (I was eventually rescued; If you ask me how long I was in there the minutes will increase each time I tell the tale! Let's start with 20 minutes). Some lessons learn take a lifetime, others 20, I mean 25 minutes. What did I learn?
Well, until there is a law that all elevators come with a fully stocked mini-bar (and believe me, I'm going to start working on that), I'm going to offer a little advice: Pack a bag before getting on any elevator. Here are some Items to bring with you every time you get on an elevator: Cell phone, book(s), battery powered reading light, a power bar, beef jerky and parched corn (for those with a frontier spirit), a six-pack of your favorite beer iced down in a small cooler (a case if you're taking the elevator on a Friday – just in case you're there for the weekend), an empty plastic bottle (because we never buy beer, we just rent it), flask full of whiskey (if you get tired of peeing into the bottle. Also, Bloody Marys or Screwdrivers will be a suitable substitute if riding in an elevator in the morning), a pillow and blanket (or better yet, a blow-up chair), radio or mp3 player, a portable DVD player with several of your favorite movies (I'm not sure that Towering Inferno or Speed would be a good choice, but other than that...), your Moleskine Journal and plenty of pencils and pens.
Come to think of it, why not bring a pregnant woman to keep your mind off your troubles. Surely she won't drink any of your beer, and her going into labor could be quite entertaining. Oh, and maybe bring a camcorder to record the entire event.
Finally, remember to write your elected officials. Clinton, Obama, McCain: Are you listening? Knights demand a fully stocked bar on every elevator.
Sir Bowie of Greenbriar (Temporarily yesterday: Sir Bowie of 2 and a half)