Merry Christmas, Elevator People

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It was an office ugly Christmas sweater party, tamer so far than those of the past few years. Nothing had been broken and nobody had vomited on each other. This was just a jovial night in a hotel at Sun Peaks Resort with perhaps a few too many drinks, but no disasters—until a group of us decided to take the good times of the evening to a nearby bar.

From the 4th floor we boarded the elevator, all of us upbeat as the doors closed behind us and we started our descent. There was chatter, laughter, dancing, and jumping around.

That’s when the elevator stalled.

We pressed the button of each floor to no avail, then waited for our carriage to resume its motion, but it wouldn’t. Soon we were on the intercom with someone from the hotel, who was unable to get things moving again. Aid was despatched, and in the meantime, we were trapped.

Things quickly became cramped and humid with the seven of us huddled in the space of just a few square metres, and we did what we could to deal with our predicament. We passed the time by forming stories, each of us contributing one word at a time around the circle, though each attempt somehow progressed into lyrics from Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back. We made long-term plans, designating a “pee corner” should things get to that point, and deciding which of us would be the first to get eaten.

“Elevator people!” we were eventually addressed from the speaker in the wall.

The voice explained that he was with the volunteer fire department, and that they were going to try to find a way to get us out of there. However, the lift was fixed evenly between two floors, meaning they couldn’t simply pry open the doors for us to climb out. Instead, we would have to go up through the ceiling.

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A panel popped open, a ladder was lowered, and a hand reached down for us. One by one we were pulled free from our prison of the last two hours, Santa hats bobbing and sweaters jangling and blinking as we emerged into a hallway lined with giant nutcrackers. We were free, the holiday spirit still thriving among and around us. Nothing could stop that.

So merry Christmas! Try not to get stuck on an elevator this season.

– Cory Magnus Stumpf

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