A few months ago in the early fall, I get on the elevator at my office one morning and press the button for my floor. A colleague who works on a different floor presses the button for his floor and we nod at each other in greeting. Others enter the elevator and press the buttons for their respective floors. I noticed a pattern emerging on the panel as buttons were pushed and smiled to myself at the coincidence. At this point it needed only one more button pushed to complete the array. The doors were slowly closing and I had mentally brushed off the disappointment of the pattern being left undone, when a hand thrusts in to bounce the doors open. One more person gets in the elevator. Silly bird that I am, my thoughts quickly race.
Is it going to happen? Is it going to happen?!
My eyes widen in anticipation as his finger reaches towards the panel.
Yes, he’s really going to do it!
I start to smile as the finger draws nearer to the goal only to suddenly shift and press a different button than hoped for.
“Aw man! You messed it all up!” Yes, I said that out loud.
“What?” The gentleman quickly withdrew his finger nervously laughing, and totally confused.
“Look! Look at what you’ve done! You’ve ruined it! You’ve ruined it all! Even you can see the tragedy of this now! Even you! Even!” I mock cry dramatically, putting heavy emphasis on the word even while gesturing to the button panel where numbers 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 were lit in an orderly line waiting for 12 to join them. Had he pressed the button for the twelfth floor it would have worked out that all the of even floors and only the even floors would have been lit by pure chance, but noooooooooo! What could have been a moment of pure serendipitous perfection is now trashed by the glaring light of 11. There are tiny titters of laughter as the other riders start to get it. Two of them know me well and quickly become a Greek chorus bemoaning the poor man’s fate.
“Oh no, not the odd floor!”
“Oh, you done done it now man.”
“It was nice knowing you.”
“Oh, no! Oh my! Egads! Such an undignified transgression! I shall remove myself from here immediately!” He played right into the scene.
“Oh why bother, the damage is done, you unthinking cad!” I wailed, while quickly fanning my eyes with my fingers to deter the tears that would never fall. “You sir are a scoundrel! A scoundrel I say!”
All of this to the bemusement of the captive audience of the other riders forced to endure this elevated melodrama. The lucky worker on the second floor already escaping before the bloodshed.
“Oh dear lady, however can one so lowly as I make this right!”
The next floor is mine and as the doors begin to open there was only one thing that could be said in the face of such an onslaught.
“How you ask?! By having a nice day, sir! That is what I wholly wish for the likes of you! A nice day!” I say this with all the teeming passion of a Fake-sperian actor casting a pox upon one’s house. Turning with a dramatic huff, I fling my non-existent fur stole over my shoulder as I exit all Norma Desmond style to full-out laughter as the doors close behind me.
Now let’s fast-forward to today as I get on the elevator this morning and a gentlemen follows immediately after. I press the button for my floor and step aside so he can press the button for his. He reaches out an extended finger almost about to push the button, but withdraws it quickly.
“Is it okay if I push it this time?” He inquires of me.
I presume my expression spoke volumes along the fortunately un-uttered lines of why the fuck are you asking me? for he quickly added “The last time we rode an elevator together you called me unthinking cad so I’m just checking first.” His smile makes me actually look at him this time and I take a moment to scan through the various elevator shenanigans of which I’ve always only been a mere bystander to – as you can tell by the encounter above – until recognition dawns and I press the button for the eleventh floor for him.
“Thanks! You remember!” He laughs.
“Why yes I do, you scoundrel!” and then proceed to press every button between his floor and mine, finishing just as the doors to my floor open.
“No, you did not just do that!” If he was even mildly irked, it is totally swallowed by his hoot of laughter at my antics as I exit.
“Have a nice day!” I grin and wave my fingers as the doors close on his continued laughter.
Yes, I have many issues, and clearly no damn sense, and still no idea who he is.
Come see how others are elevating their slices this month: