The Ups and Downs of 21st Century urban living.



(Ariel listens attentively to her calm, devilishly well-informed master)


To be blunt, I was asked by a group of unlettered dwarfs to write a neoglacial article on the subject of pent-up emotions. My initial response was–go jump in the Urubamba, as my Aztec grandmother used to recommend when someone got her dander up–and I was comfortable in that decision, till I became enraged at the lack of a sensible protocol for those of you who routinely box themselves into elevators.


For instance, you enter the elevator facing, let’s say, east. Why in Tarzan’s name do you immediately turn to face west? If you can take two mincing steps forward, why can’t you take two mincing steps back? Oh, there are those black-hearted people who insist that it’s because the floor-selection buttons are on the other side, forcing busy people (coiffed nicely, holding a briefcase or wrestling with an untidy stack of paper while still appearing to be intelligent) to turn around and select a floor (presuming they weren’t there just for the ride–which is unlikely as business people generally have the same amount of free spirit as unconscionably cold slabs of granite).


But couldn’t the controls have just as easily been installed on the opposite wall–so that the buttons (usually silver–but why not peach or rose or pond-scum green?) greet the elevator pimp (a technical term–as defined in the Human Rights Charter) instantly, without ever forcing them to turn around? Turning around for people with pierced eardrums, for instance, could be dangerous, as they could easily lose their balance, fall, upset the delicate elevator machinery, and send the quaking box down the shaft at Formula One speed, causing injury.


Bad designs always makes me so angry. If I had my way, I’d claw my way to the top [metaphorically–otherwise I’d use the elevator], become president of the Otis Corporation, and fire the whole design team. Fire them, and retroactively garner their wages. I’d be doing the world a public service.

Now don’t get me started on escalators.



  1. Sometimes it is such a joy to read what you write…like today. Thanks for making it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Only sometimes?? Ariel always finds my writing fascinating–when she isn’t napping, that is.

      Are you doing anything special for the 4th, such as writing a new constitution?… I don’t know. The calligraphy on the old one is getting a little thin.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, where are my manners! I should have said I always enjoy your writing (truth is, I usually do) and don’t find it at all conducive to napping.

        Nothing special for the 4th; my patriotic feelings could be called a bit maudlin at the moment. And do you know, after all these years of penwomanship I still haven’t mastered those 18th century pothook esses that look like effs.


      • Well–forget about esses and effs. Homemade fireworks. That’s the ticket. And nothing could be safer. Besides, even if it’s a holiday, the fire department is on the job. Not that you’d need them, really. I mean those fire extinguisher (large, heavy containers) you can get at K-mart are wonderful at getting sparks out of your hair and drapes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am partial to sparklers. One can go outdoors after nightfall and with a sparkler write all kinds of quickly disappearing words on the dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …such as the newly revised constitution. I follow you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was held in stasis once as I noticed that the lift in IKEA was made by a firm named ‘Schindlers’. This is quite true, and had me feel askance even more on the subject of lifts than I had ever felt myself (not like that), previously.

    I like gates on lifts, but then they are usually old lifts and so may well plunge one to one’s doom, yet the oldies are the goodies sometimes and I have a very old washing machine that has lasted far longer than my toaster. I’m sure you know where I am coming from here *points to the hole in the ceiling she fell through after losing her footing on an arm of a pylon whilst dancing to Bill Evans -‘ Minority’*.

    I had intended picking a line out of this I liked the best, but I can’t choose just the one, and so, torn as I am, shall just stand back and enjoy.

    – esme upon the ascending Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I understand it, IKEA makes collapsible furniture–which clients, in a bold partnership with the company, see fit, like dunces, to build themselves–but it’s the gloss of self-satisfaction they get from having badly assembled a stereo cabinet or a set of bunk beds for the kids that is well worth the slight niggle at the back of their puny minds that the fifteen bolts they couldn’t find a use for will eventually reduce their handiwork to rubble.

      And so, in conclusion, I think IKEA ought to team up with the hard-hatted men and women (and the various combinations of said genders) who build skyscrapers. The instruction would fit easily in their Casper the Friendly Ghost lunchboxes and the world would be a better place for having allowed them to contribute their vertigo-inducing labor.

      And Esme, remember that tall buildings are a gateway to the fluffy clouds you so cherish–and that alone should be reason enough to build them on land that would otherwise have been used to grow tomatoes and other vegetables.


  4. I didn’t know Otis made lifts. (We have Schindlers Lifts – pre-movie by many a year). I would applaud you firing the whole design team. If more people took the stairs a lot more fat people would have fatal coronaries and there wouldn’t be the obesity problem in the Western world..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ever thought of applying for the post of Surgeon General? I think you have some solid ideas.

      Bruce, have you turned the comments off on your blog or is it just a trick of the light?


      • I turned the comments off. (I’m having a bit of a crisis! Such things happen – as you will learn when you get older 🙂 ) I think Surgeon General has considerable possibilities – especially the scalpel implication. It matches nicely with my current mood…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Whither the Fates Carry Us

        There’s old and there’s old. I went into exile in the summer of 1608, when the Olympic games were still held in Greece.

        But do keep your door open, Bruce. It’s good for everyone.

        (As the doors to your abode were temporarily closed, some of my brilliant commentary is now lost forever–as things are forever lost in a tempest.)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Princess Ariel is picture perfect here for all to enjoy. She really looks “enthralled” and besides herself by her masters ramble!!

    A fun topic Prospero – brings back many memories of big city elevators that I’ve encountered.

    Liked by 1 person

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