|Elevators Of This Style Are Bad To Get Stuck In!|
Oh well, just the other day, the three of us got stuck in a lift.
Uh uh, that opening just won't do! To do the incident justice, let's elaborate a bit shall we.
A few days ago, three friends including myself, got stuck in an elevator. (Yes, the blog is a tad bit late, simply to provide for an adequate time period to get over the incident).
It was elevator just build for people to get stuck in... I mean the closed off kind, the one that leaves you wondering if there is any air filtering in from outside or if any living soul has actually heard the alarm bells that you are quite frantically sounding! Ya, those kinds! You get the drift.
So, back to the very beginning now. It was the perfect plan! A masterpiece of plans actually. It was supposed to be a dreamy girls 'day in', where we would all just relax at A's house and discuss our outfits, accessories and make up for Friday's office party! Oh ya, what fun!
Co-conspirator J had pulled quite the feat! She had snuck off work at lunchtime and she had perhaps the most to be proud off, for she thought she had done so without drawing too much notice. I was rushing as always a few minutes late, as we were all supposed to meet at A's house. A was possibly the most relaxed, oh ya, they are all probably just late!
I ran like the wind to catch the 45 Saint Vincent, which was already getting ready to leave as I got off the metro. Thankfully, I managed to get on in a nick of time. I was just thinking if the 2 girls had already met and were waiting for me or wondering where I was, when J (by a stroke of luck) got on the same bus at Marcel Thiry.
When two girls get together, you can always just assume that whatever the plans were at the start of an event will no longer be the same by the time they are done. What was intended to be a 'day in' suddenly changed into a 'day out'. The plan changed from one of relaxation to a day of leisurely shopping, a few warm waffles and maybe a coffee perhaps. We were yet to get A on board the plan, but since we had left the afternoon off of us anyways, we figured she would be okay with it.
So, there, with the plan fabulously changed, we got off the bus by Colruyt. J hurried off to her place to get a change of outfits, while I buzzed up for A. If I analyze closely, I would think this is where it all started going awry a little bit. Her door wouldn't budge. She had to come all the way down to manually open the main door to the building and let me in. She took me up to her flat in lift number 2. I refused to make more out of it despite having a habit of over-thinking things a bit. Mistake number one.
When J joined us, the main door still wouldn't budge and this time, I took lift number 1 ('THE' lift) down to fetch her. In fact, we even came up with the same one, without any hiccups if I may add. So, neither us us thought into it of course, as lifts would hardly be worth thinking about when you'd rather be thinking of shopping.
After persuading A to join in on the new plan and after working out the finances (as none of us were really prepared for shopping and hence were not carrying our cards), we set off on our little adevnture. Little did we know that while we intended for the adventure to start at De Broukere, it would have a mind of its own and actually start right there... right there in the lift that is!
So, while we were giggling and talking, we alighted lift number 1. This fact took a while to register on A, since we were indeed busy discussing other important stuff!
Inside Elevator Number 1:
We pressed for the bottom floor and relaxed against the lift walls while A just wondered out loud, 'Hey wow, this lift is finally working'. Both J and I having already used the lift, were quick (and a little hasty) to point out that we weren't even aware that it wasn't working in the morning! Just then, yup, that very mini-second... the lift stopped!
Call it whatever you like but the lift actually did stop immediately as we mentioned it. Maybe we shouldn't have mentioned it till we had got off it. Everything's always much saner in hindsight though.
So the 3 impatient girls who were delaying their shopping spree simply because a lift got in their way, did not take too kindly to the happenings. So then began the frantic pressing of all the different floor buttons, then the door open button, than the door close button and then finally the alarm button. Nothing! Nothing happened. In fact, we weren't even sure that someone took the alarm seriously or even the HEARD the alarm for that matter!
First Attempts At Help
First things first, I took out my phone and started looking for numbers to dial. There, that one? No, said A. That's for servicing the elevator. Oh ok, then that one? Yup, those were the emergency calling numbers for the BBF flats. Gotcha!
While dialing the number I remember thinking of an eventuality wherein no one actually answered those damned emergency numbers (which were supposed to be 24 hours). I remember the same thing had happened when S had dialed the numbers for help when his flat had been broken into and his door lock had been trashed.
Pushing these bad thoughts aside, I prayed for the number to be answered. The man who answered also thankfully spoke English (another streak of good luck). I did make an effort to narrate the incident of us being stuck in the lift without sounding panicked but I think I went a little too mellow.
First, he tried to brush me off saying that they were aware of the lift problem and they would be sending a guy in the evening. That got an involuntary squeak out of me! Evening! But dude, we were stuck INSIDE the lift right now!
The guy the proceeded to tell me, I should try pressing other buttons. Once we had assured him that we were not some crazed females who were bothering him without trying all available options, he finally told me to continue pressing the alarm button for the next 10 minutes, till help arrived.
10 mintes! exclaimed J. That's a lot no? I wish the guy would have at least seen me rolling my eyes at him, I wish I could teleport out to wherever he was and at least show them to him, but I had to let off all my steam by pressing the alarm button.
A and I took took turns at pressing the alarm button continuously after that. J joined in a couple of times too. I don't think people really know how tedious it is to continually be pressing some button on a vertical lift panel, sucks the strength out of your arms if you ask me!
Calling the Husbands!
The next thing to do was call our respective husbands. The first one to crack was me of course. It was not so much the incident of getting stuck in the lift but the inexplicable urge to call S and report to him every little unusual thing that happens in my life (which happen to me 'many') that made me make the first call.
Whatever little issues I might have with my hubby, there is one thing that negates them all. He NEVER not answers my call. He is unbelievably sweet that way... for if I were drowning, or dying or burning, I know I would always get in a 'goodbye'. If he is in a meeting, he will still answer and whisper 'in a meeting', before cutting it... which obviously irritates me as he won't hear my 'bye' then... but let's not go there for now...
So back to my hubby S (and my love is bubbling over a bit here as he came to my rescue like my M&B heroes with the damsels in distress), he didn't tell me to keep trying or keep calling or any such suggestions. He simply said to wait and he will do something and get back to me (after he told me to try to pry open the doors). So sweet!
We did try to pry open the doors, A and I, but we just got about one quarter of and inch open before we had to give up and get our fingers out just in time before they were crushed. Anyways, no help was forthcoming anytime soon. Another couple of calls to the emergency number told us that they would send help right away. So then, there was nothing else to do but wait.
In the meantime, J and A were as calm as ever! Though J was the second one to crack of course. She tried to call P a little while later. The call didn't go through a couple of times, but once it did and once P knew, he too assured his wife that he would do the needful to help.
So, now the emergency number was getting 3 types of frantic calls, one from a female, namely me, and 2 from the respective husbands of 2 of the 3 stuck females.
Husband number 3, H, was still missing in action. Quite simply because A just refused to call him. Her reasoning was that it made no difference whether she called him or not, he would just never answer her phone. She was so adamant on her belief that we too believed her, of course, our knowing H's penchant of not answering calls had nothing to do with it (smile!).
Knowing that the hubby is not going to help because he is probably not going to know actually made A the solidest of the lot. She was the calmest, sanest, not-panicked one from all the 3 females in the lift. Still, we did insist a couple of times that she do call him, to no avail.
We also debated and debated whether we should just let the button go but one of the three of us (in turns) would always calmly assure us that that simply won't do as the alarm is our only outside connection right now. The only thing telling people outside that there are people stuck here on the inside.
Stories Inside The Elevator
So what happens when 3 females are stuck in a lift, knowing that help is not coming immediately! Talking of course. They talk, and in the process, work themselves up to a certain hysteria that is never quite that far beneath not to be bubbling up at the most inopportune moments.
It started with J mentioning a horror film that she had watched. The movie was about a ghost/spirit that get all his murderers inside one elevator and then gets the lift to get stuck in between floors. Every few minutes the lift's lights go out (thus blacking out the camera) and one person from the inmates is left dead on the floor. Only one person is let out alive by the end of the whole film, and that too simply coz he confesses to the murder and asks the spirit / ghost for forgiveness.
Great story but not a great 'story-telling' location methinks. The story just got out juices flowing and though none of us fessed up to it, we did feel its effects.
It was just about then for J to mention, 'You know I am not worried about help coming to us, I am only worried about the oxygen.' Oh why! why did you have to say it out loud J, the thought that was in my head too! Level headed A calmly proclaimed, oh don't worry ' the oxygen in the lift would last us for at least 2 days'.
Not sure how she reached that conclusion but it failed to elevate my doubts, for the lift opened in a closed off lobby. Not to mention that the lift had double solid doors and was completely sealed off from all other sides. Also not to mention that even if air was coming in though any tiny cracks, it was definitely not coming in at a pace or quantity that it should come in at, if it were to make up for the three inflated lungs that were sucking in the oxygen and exhaling the carbon dioxide!
I do tend to think a little too much and I am not grateful for it, especially in circumstances such as this one. For I just had to float out the theory right about then, questioning A about my doubts. I even added the parameters of 'hot CO2 going up and cold O2 staying low' and 'if there is no vacuum left inside the lift, the air cannot come in because it cannot displace anything'. Still, the girls stayed calm and for that I am grateful.
For deep inside, I am loath to admit, I was actually starting to feel a little warm (effects of CO2 if you ask me) and starting to breathe in a little heavier. I didn't say this out loud thank God, till J mentioned it again! I love J, she speaks my mind! :D
A also had a moment of wry amusement but the end of the ordeal that it would do our husbands good if they found us passed out on the floor due to lack of oxygen. This was after we had a detailed discussion on how we would do things a lot differently had our husband's been stuck in the lift instead of us. Alas, how comes such situations on occur in books or in our musings and never in reality!
The Final Rescue
So, after many such stories and many such phone calls, the lift man actually came to help. Yes, we had continued the alarm non stop till that happened. it hadn't helped that we had heard several cleaning ladies gossiping outside but turning a deaf ear to our alarm.
Thank God, J knew at least enough French to tell the lift man that we did not understand French and that we were somewhere on the 5th floor. Also thank God, that J's fears of us crash landing on the floor did not materialize as there was no bomb! Also thank God, that we were stuck for only half an hour (though it felt like 50), for by then our imaginations would have taken us much further than ghosts, crashing lifts, fainting due to lack of oxygen and husbands that would never know how we met our end! :D
Had fun ladies! Maybe we should do it a couple more times. What say?