Trapped in Elevator


Although it’s unusual to have a Christmas dinner in November, we had ours at New College yesterday for practical reasons. Exams are just around the corner, and nobody would be in the festive mood to celebrate Christmas a week from now; all campus residents would also be forced to embark on an exodus during winter holidays because the university would be closed.

It was supposed to be a semi-formal event, but Ray couldn’t care less. Technically I didn’t violate the dress code since I wore a shirt with a pair of jeans; I merely interpreted the word semi-formal differently.


Our former don Jamie left our school after getting his Masters to pursue a PhD in chemistry at York University last summer; so it was a pleasant surprise to have him back as Santa Claus giving out candy canes this year. He can be a little authoritative; but like my platoon sergeant in SISPEC used to say, sometimes you need an Indian chief to get things going. For the past 2 years, the atmosphere in our house was definitely much more fun and cooperative under his watch. The house spirit in Robinson is almost non-existent with our new don Mike, who is extremely quiet; no one shows up for any events and I hardly know this year’s frosh.

We decided to follow Weixiang up to his room on the 7th floor to take a look around the new building after dinner. I suggested taking the stairs to aid digestion but everyone else decided that 14 flights of steps were too strenuous; I’ll have a tought time finding someone among this group of friends to trek up Everest Base Camp with me.

For some reasons the elevator went crazy and started going up and down erratically; everyone thought it was funny and started laughing. Someone pointed out that nobody is going to laugh if we’re still stuck inside after five minutes, and he was right.


After being stuck for two minutes, there were a few nervous laughs and everyone was hoping it was just some minor technical glitches. Five minutes later, I saw many worried faces and sweaty fingers frantically punching the elevator buttons; someone tried pressing the emergency button to call for help but there was no response. The guy standing in front of me suggested that we jump on the count of three to make the elevator drop to the basement so we could climb out; as crazy as the suggestion sounds, at that moment it actually seemed like a great idea to all of us.

Then suddenly the door miraculously opened on the second floor and everyone was cheering as we rushed out; I’m sure there would’ve been mass hysteria if the door didn’t open for another three minutes. In fact, all I could think of during the last few minutes being trapped was that the air ventilation system is still working; at least we wouldn’t die of suffocation.

Did I mention I’m still taking Accutane?

30 November 2003 · My Life

Search Site

This div exists because IE refuses to cooperate with CSS.