Stuck In An Elevator

A few months ago I was at work during an extremely short campus-wide power outage. It was probably about five seconds long. But I kept saying to everyone how I wished I had been in the elevator when it happened. How that would be such a great story to have. Everyone looked at me like I was insane and then went back to doing their jobs. I just sat at the front desk feeling a little disappointed that I hadn’t been in the elevator. I knew it was a stupid thing to be bummed about, but it’s not like an opportunity to get stuck in an elevator comes twice.

Two weeks ago I was spending my last Saturday shift of the semester doing everything I could to avoid studying for finals. I had just finished shelving a cart of books, and I entered the elevator on the fourth floor holding my walkie talkie and a book that someone had asked to have put on hold. I easily could have used the stairs if I wanted to, but I’d done a lot of walking that day and I felt tired and lazy. At this exact moment I was listening to the new episode of The Weekly Planet, which for my money is the funniest podcast to have ever been recorded. I pressed the button for the first floor, expecting, as one does, to be brought down immediately.

Sometimes when I write posts like this I worry that what actually happened isn’t interesting enough to tell a story about. So in an attempt to combat my own self-doubt, I’ve decided to write not only how this story actually ends, but a few alternate endings as well. Because in a way, the actual true ending is never as interesting as what could happen. And now you can choose to believe in a slightly more fantastical world, if you wish.

Ending A:
I pressed the button for the first floor, expecting, as one does, to be brought down immediately. My expectations were met. I processed the book and sat back down at the desk until it was time to close up. On my way back to my apartment I stopped at the dining hall and ate half of a cheeseburger. Then I walked back to my apartment, did laundry, showered, and went to bed.

Ending B:
I pressed the button for the first floor, expecting, as one does, to be brought down immediately. But the elevator just stopped all of a sudden in between the second and third floor. I tried to message down to the first floor, but the walkie talkie wasn’t working. So I called the front desk instead. My supervisor had me call maintenance from the elevator, and they told me they should have someone over in a few minutes. I assumed I was in the homestretch and everything would be okay, but as soon as the clock ticked over to my twentieth minute stuck in the elevator, something within me snapped. I promptly exploded, caking the walls of the elevator with my innards. The combined stress of finals, getting ready to move out, and being stuck in an elevator was too much for me to bear. I had succumbed to the very real natural phenomena known as spontaneous combustion. I have spent the last two weeks wandering this Earthly plane as a spirit with unfinished business. I will be forced to spend the rest of eternity haunting this elevator unless I can finish this post and make my loyal readers aware of the threat of spontaneous combustion. Apologies to those I have had to possess in order to write this.

Ending C:
I pressed the button for the first floor, expecting, as one does, to be brought down immediately. But the elevator just stopped all of a sudden in between the second and third floor. I tried to message down to the first floor, but the walkie talkie wasn’t working. So I called the front desk instead. My supervisor had me call maintenance from the elevator, and they told me they should have someone over in a few minutes. As I approached my twentieth minute of being stuck in the elevator I received a phone call from the maintenance supervisor who told me not to worry and that they’d have me out of there within the week. After he told that hilarious joke we chatted for a few more minutes so he could make sure I was doing okay, and I spent the following twenty minutes taking selfies and surfing the web. Around the forty minute mark I heard a jolting noise and suddenly the elevator started moving again. I was let out on the fourth floor and took the stairs back down to the first, where I shook the hand of the man who saved me. I then looked at my watch and realized we would be closing in two minutes and I would have to use the staff elevator to go back to the fourth floor and start our walk.

Ending D:
I pressed the button for the first floor, expecting, as one does, to be brought down immediately. But the elevator just stopped all of a sudden in between the second and third floor. I tried to message down to the first floor, but the walkie talkie wasn’t working. I decided that instead of calling the front desk I should try to get out on my own. So I pressed the “Open Doors” button, not expecting anything to happen. The doors slid open, revealing an incredibly bright column of beautifully blinding light. I cautiously stepped forward. But before I could see where the elevator had taken me, I exploded and caked the walls of the elevator with my innards.

Ending E:
I pressed the button for the first floor, expecting, as one does, to be brought down immediately. But the elevator just stopped all of a sudden in between the second and third floor. I tried to message down to the first floor, but the walkie talkie wasn’t working. So I called the front desk instead. My supervisor had me call maintenance from the elevator, and they told me they should have someone over in a few minutes. As I approached my twentieth minute of being stuck in the elevator I received a phone call from the maintenance supervisor who told me not to worry and that they’d have me out of there within the week. I laughed and thought to myself “This is a guy who knows how to do his job while also keeping people calm and making them laugh.” We chatted for a few more minutes so he could make sure I was doing okay, and I spent the following twenty minutes taking selfies and surfing the web. After a while I realized that a few hours had passed, but I hadn’t heard the closing announcements or anybody working on the elevator. I called the front desk and the maintenance number, but nobody answered either phone. Soon it was 10:00 PM, and despite the immense fear I was feeling I could barely keep my eyes open. The next day I woke up around 9:00 AM, still in the elevator. I called maintenance right away, and the same guy answered and confirmed my worst fears.
“Oh, you thought I was joking? No, we’re really busy right now. And actually, I completely forgot to tell you this, but our elevator guy is on vacation right now. So it’s gonna be about a month until we can get someone over there.”
It’s been two weeks now. I’m hungry, thirsty and tired. I ate the walkie talkie and my clothes, but soon I may have to resort to cannibalism. The battery on my phone is running out and this is my last hope. Anyone who is reading this, please. Help me.
UPDATE: A few minutes after writing those last words I succumbed to the stress of being stuck in an elevator for two weeks. In other words I exploded and caked the walls of the elevator with my innards.

So there you have it. The story of my elevator adventure. Which ending is true? Which ending do you prefer? Did you enjoy this post? Of course you did. I’m a comedic genius.

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