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A literary Christmas gift for my friends at H2G2 >>
This is a true story. It happened yesterday (Sunday, Dec. 18). I had
joined some friends for an afternoon of Christmas caroling. Both our
gigs were at nursing homes in Natick, Massachusetts. The dog was a
14-year-old golden retriever named Peekaboo, who had some fake
reindeer antlers attached to his head. We sang for about 40 minutes at the first nursing home, then drove to the second one. We walked the halls on each floor, singing carols. If someone requested a particular carol, we were happy to oblige.
We ended up on the fourth floor. It was five o'clock, time to leave.We all (sixteen carolers, the dog, and the nursing home's coordinator who had accompanied us) filed into the elevator, thinking it would take us to the first floor.
No such luck. The elevator went about halfway to the third floor, then stopped. No matter which buttons we or the coordinator pushed, the elevator refused to budge. Some of us took out our cell phones and called the fire department, which was conveniently located two blocks away. "It will take about an hour for them to get here," someone quipped. An hour trapped in an elevator, in conditions
so cramped that there wasn't room for anyone to sit down? Not acceptable! (As it turned out, the firemen arrived within ten minutes, but we didn't know at the time.)
On the plus side, we had no shortage of entertainment, had any of us wanted some. We were experienced choristers with years of experience singing a vast swath of the choral repertoir and a fair cross-sampling of pop music as well. But we had just sung carols for almost two hours. We were tired, hungry, foot-sore, and eager to
go anywhere except a crowded elevator.
Finally, we heard the voice of a fireman, telling us to push the elevator door to the left. It would only go five inches at most. They even tried to use my cane to pry it open. All to no avail!
But there was a happy ending! After half of hour of rising temperatures and growing despair, the firemen got the door open and we escaped into the third floor.
I must say, the dog was extremely well-behaved throughout. As for the humans, no one was injured. We posed for a group photo with the firemen and the coordinator, then trudged wearily down two flights
of stairs for an escape into the winter cold. Three fire engines sat in front of the nursing home, their lights flashing.
I trust you will forgive me if I don't seem eager to sing carols again for a while.As for elevators, I'm going to be taking the stairs for the foreseeable future.
What an adventure. I'm glad you all got out all right.
I hope they send you a copy of the souvenir photo.
Yep, they sent a copy.
Golly,what an experience. I'm glad the dog was there and was calm.That probably helped keep down the panic. I'm sure all the residents of the home appreciated you all.
Paul, you and your friends truly had such an awful time getting stuck in an elevator. It must have been so scary and I am glad I was not there as I get claustrophobia if I am in a confided space for too long a time.
I agree The Thinker, I'd have been panicking by the end of even ten minutes. I bet you were all very close friends by the end of this adventure though paulh?
Either that, or they didn't want to see each other ever again...
Actually, Lanzababy has it right. These are people that I've gone on tour with, endured long rehearsals and concerts with, etc. They're practically family.
It's amazing that we stayed as calm as we did. None of us thought the ordeal would last very long. As it was, it was longer than we expected. At least three of us had served as president of the choral society we belong to. These women *know* how to get people to give them what they want. Those firemen probably figured out that they had to deliver pretty fast.
Great. Firefighters vs Committee Ladies. Firemen: 0.
You got *that* right!
This brings back memories: A handful of men stuck in an elevator late one evening after a traditional Danish Xmas lunch ( = hours of snaps, beer and marinated herring ad lib)
Now this was a huge elevator. But it was Friday night! In an otherwise empty office building! Nobody would hear us till Monday morning! (This was long before we had mobile phones.)
The prospect of s galore combined with a certain lack of plumbing...
That's when a colleague heard us by pure accident and got us out. I don't think we were stuck for more than 2 minutes
So, in short: My deepest sympathies, paulh
It was kind of scary while it was happening, but it gave me a good story to tell. We really were crammed in there, though. It's lucky we were fond of each other's company.