Friday, August 04, 2006

theory of elevation

Pa Camino is in town having some massive back surgery that is to leave him hospitally confined for at least a week. It looks and sounds painful as hell, and the other day I found myself in the awkward position of having to look out the window and make small talk while the nurse gave him a morphine shot in the backside.

There’s the batman building; it’s not going to hurt you.

Anyway, he’s recovering well and should be moving about as well as any other sixty year old man in a couple weeks time.

Ma Camino was a nervous wreck leading up to the surgery. I sat with her at the hospital for ten hours while the surgery took place on Wednesday and then enthusiastically volunteered to run back to the hotel when she noticed that she had left some medicine there. It is on Broadway, and I parked and left the Caminomobile in a highly illegal manner rather than pay some obscene parking fee for the short time it was going to take me to run in and right back out.

So it was that I took the elevator. I don’t normally do that, but time was of the essence and…Well, here’s the beginning of a post that was being composed in my head as I awaited the descending elevator. I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to actually writing it, but it would have gone like this:

I don’t care much for elevators. I don’t like heights, confined spaces, or other people, and this is unholy trinity, in my experience, is what the elevator is all about. Therefore, I will generally take the stairs when the destination is within ten floors and the stairwell is unencumbered by an automatic fire alarm.

…and so forth. Riveting stuff, I know. Anyway, I was lost in composition as I stepped onto the thankfully empty elevator and didn’t see the large man in the navy blue jumpsuit bounding across the lobby and lunging onto the elevator just before the doors closed. He had a crazy look in his eye and he leaned toward me.

“You get to be my guinea pig,” he told me.

This didn’t comfort me. The part of my brain that senses danger and then fruitlessly attempts to warn me of said danger began flashing things like THIS STRANGE MAN MAY WANT TO KILL OR ROB YOU. THEN AGAIN, HE MAY WANT TO SIMPLY TOUCH YOUR NAUGHTY BITS, BUT I DON’T THINK IT WOULD BE OUT OF KINDNESS. IN FACT, I SINCERELY DOUBT THAT HE CARES WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR NAUGHTY BITS TOUCHED BY A STRANGE MAN. THIS FRANKLY ISN’T ABOUT YOU. YOU SHOULD THEREFORE ASSUME SOME TYPE OF KUNG FU STANCE OR SOMETHING AND PREPARE TO DEFEND YOUR LIFE, POSSESSIONS, AND/OR NAUGHTY BITS. YES, I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW NOTHING OF THE MARTIAL ARTS, BUT, MY GOD, YOU’VE WASTED ENOUGH OF YOUR LIFE IN FRONT OF TELEVISION TO HAVE CAUGHT A BRUCE LEE MOVIE OR TWO. JUST WING IT.

I assumed the utterly useless crane stance from the first Karate Kid film and almost didn’t hear him elaborate by telling me how he had just finished repairing the elevator or ask why I was standing like that.

“Just stretching”, I told him.

I then went on to sarcastically express reassurance at being the first to try out a recently repaired elevator and learned the hard way that one should never do this to a professional elevator repairman. Gus (or the man who was simply wearing Gus’ yellow stenciled navy blue jumpsuit) proceeded to lecture me on the safety of elevators, focusing mainly on the rigorous standards and burdens placed on all who toil in this, the world’s safest form of transportation, from engineering to maintenance.

“An elevator won’t fall,” he said, “but you might get stuck on one for a while.”
Personally, I’d prefer the fall.

3 Comments:

Blogger ceeelcee said...

This would only been better if the dude's name was "Otis."

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Muffy said...

Oh you did NOT adopt the crane stance.

I'd give good money to have been a fly in that elevator at that time.

2:58 PM  
Blogger John said...

I've always heard Otis elevators are good to the last drop ....

(*ducking*)

9:32 AM  

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