Elevators are such a strange social arrangement. How are we supposed to behave here? I mean we are all shoved into a metal box similar to the tube I send my demands for money at the bank in. *some people call this a withdrawal slip.
As we are all standing there shoulder to shoulder what is the appropriate way to behave? Whatever the appropriate way is, you can bet your sweet ass I am not going to do it. I have this social nervousness that brings a stand-up comedian out of me. I see those poor trapped souls as an audience for my shenanigans.
Typical people on the elevator. Press the button once. Wait for the elevator. Check to see which elevator is opening by indicator lights. Step onto the elevator. Politely nod and smile as the elevator glides down to your stop. Should the door open and someone gets on or off, you shift to make room for a more comfortable space for all others in the elevator. As you exit you may say something, you probably won’t.
Me on the elevator. Press button for elevator. wait a hot second. Press button again in case the button doesn’t know its job. Stand and try to guess which one will open. Put bets on which one. “It’s going to be the last one on the right. I think this middle one is broken. I never took the middle one. If it is the middle one do I get on it? I mean now in my mind that fucking thing is a death trap.” I press the button again because it is obviously broken. Doesn’t anything in this hotel work? Stand and hope that it isn’t the middle one that opens. I hear a ding and I now look to see which door opens. I walk over and that elevator has a few too many people in it for my comfort level. I smile and say “I’ll get the next one.” The elevator door closes and I push the button again. The same elevator door opens. They all looked super annoyed I shrug and say “Still waiting for the next one, but thanks for circling back.” I now wait a beat and press the button again. As I am standing there waiting for the elevator I am now really hoping that it isn’t this hunk of junk middle one, because now that I think of it I am pretty certain I heard someone died in it once. It’s haunted and only goes to the thirteenth floor. Okay maybe I didn’t hear it, maybe I saw it on a commercial for a movie that I was never going to watch. The next ding indicates the middle one and there, in the middle one, is a young couple and I step in. I step in and say “Good Morning!” with a large smile. They both smile and then begin to look at their phones. “What’s on your agenda today?” I ask because I mean if we are going to be forced to fight demons together we might as well get to know each other first. They both smile and say “Oh we are going to go out to the pool!” The elevator makes a noise and I look at them and say “Sounds like this thing is being operated by monkeys.” They laugh politely! “I actually thought this one was broken because I haven’t actually used it yet!” That’s usually when the elevator starts to work more as a prop and is in on the joke. Now I’ve made them nervous and they begin to really look at their phones. The door opens and a business man gets on with his badge. “Hello, Mark!” He looks at me and looks confused. “Are you here for the convention?” Mark asks. “No!” I say. He looks even more confused. “I was just telling these two lovely people who I thought this elevator was broken. Well to be honest I actually thought it may have been one that was possessed and would only stop on the thirteenth floor and we would all die. But I know that can’t happen because,” I point to the number panel “There isn’t a thirteenth floor. How super scary would that be if the door opened and there was some old timey bell hop there and was all ‘welcome to the thirteenth floor’ I would totally shit myself.” Everyone in the elevator now a little more jumpy chuckles nervously. The door opens and everyone jumps a bit. “I step aside to let the new member of the audience on. “Good morning, How are you today?” I ask. This person smiles and stands a little further away from me. “Oh Mark, I think Joan over here is going to the same conference as you.” I nudge Mark. He looks at Joan and says “Oh are you here for the ass scratchers convention?” She smiles and says “No I am here for the ingrown toenail convention.” *these aren’t real conventions that I am aware of. They both kind of grimace and I think ‘that was super fucking awkward. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, because that was brutal to watch.’ The elevator makes a strange motion and I say “Hey guys we are almost to the thirteenth floor.” and I laugh. They all look at me with this strange look on their faces. I guess they don’t think that I am that funny. The doors open on the pool floor and I step aside so that the young couple can get out. When Mark and Joan get out I am a little surprised because they aren’t even wearing swim clothes, unless they are going to the pool in their suits, which I doubt. A nice woman steps on and we ride the elevator down to the lobby together and as she is stepping out I say “Have a nice day!” Which is premature because now she and I have to walk all the way to the coffee shop together in weird silence.
Now that is just an ordinary elevator ride for me. In Vegas I can do a better bit because of the audience, it’s typically drunk or tipsy adults and I can turn up my material. My sister and a friend of hers and I were in Vegas with our husbands. Us ladies were in an elevator together with a small group of people. There was a young couple and another man with us. There was a floor 23 and it was a rather large button on the panel in the elevators obviously a big frigging deal. Someone in the elevator asked “I wonder what floor 23 is!” We all start guessing and I am thinking ‘Oh this is a delightful crowd that came to see my show.’ So the young guy in the back said “I heard it was a sex club.” I was all like ‘fucking awesome! These folks are in for a treat.” So I look straight at this guy and his wife and I say “Well if that is the case my safe word is *insert choking sound* because you never know if you’ll even be able to speak. It’s hard to enunciate the word POTATO with a gag in your mouth.” The other man hits a button for the next floor and immediately exits the elevator. I look at my sister and her friend and honestly ask “Too far?” because sometimes that’s the case. Some people know that I’m joking and Other people do not. The young girl, with the culprit who egged me on, was staring at her phone. I was sitting in silence as I listened to everyone else ring out with laughter. My job here has been done. I said “I’m here all week folks. I am typically playing through floors twenty to thirty!”
So I honestly don’t know what you’re supposed to do on an elevator. All I know is that if you are in Vegas and I have embarrassed you, I truly apologize. I honestly was just trying to entertain you. If I made you laugh, then you’re welcome.
Moral of my story: I am still not sure how to behave in an elevator. I just think that if we are all going to be standing that close to each other maybe we can strike up a conversation. Also be safe talking to strangers, they may not think you’re funny at all and that hurts. And if the elevator does open on a mysterious thirteenth floor with some old timey bell hop to greet you, maybe hit that close door button and see if that saves you. Otherwise it was really nice knowing you.
Until next time 🙂