I kinda hope we get stuck
Nobody gets out alive
I’ve never been to China, and I have no plans to go there. But if I ever do, I’ll eschew taking the elevator and use the stairs instead. If you know what’s good for you, you will too.
On January 30, a maintenance crew went to check out a malfunctioning elevator in a residential building in the Chinese city of Xi’an, which the home of the famous “Terra Cotta Army.”
The crew didn’t manually open the elevator doors to see if anyone was inside – they simply yelled “Anyone in there?” (in Mandarin, of course). When they didn’t get an answer, they turned off the electricity to that elevator, and went home without opening its doors.
When the workers returned to the building on March 1– over one month later – and opened the elevator cab, they were in for quite a surprise: to wit, THERE WAS A DEAD WOMAN IN THE ELEVATOR.
The hands of the victim – who had starved to death – were bloody and battered as a result of her desperate attempts to claw the elevator doors open.
From the Los Angeles Times:
[Q]uestions remained over how the woman in the elevator could have remained trapped for so long with neither her neighbors or her family realizing it.
The victim was reportedly mentally ill, and her family seems to have concluded that she had wandered off and gotten lost. They reported her missing to local authorities, but that was the end of it.
Why did it take over a month for the elevator crew to return and fix the elevator?
Blame it on Chinese New Year. (FYI, this year is the “Year of the Monkey.” I was born in a “Year of the Dragon,” which pones all the other years. Chinese birth rates usually go up during such a year because “Dragon babies” are considered to have many desirable characteristics.)
This year, the first day of Chinese New Year was February 8. The official New Year’s break in China lasts about a week, but a lot of Chinese workers take additional time off before or after the holiday (or both).
I’m shocked that Chinese workers can take off for an entire month – I thought that privilege was reserved to the French and other decadent and lazy Western societies.
By the way, taking an escalator in China may not be a good idea either. Last July, a woman visiting a shopping mall in another Chinese city was “eaten alive” by the escalator she was riding with her young son.
Once more, I’ll quote an account published in the Los Angeles Times:
The scene can only be described as horrific: on an otherwise unremarkable morning, a woman is riding up a shopping center escalator in central China with her son. When she reaches the top and begins to disembark, she steps onto a metal footplate covering the machinery. The plate collapses, dropping the woman into the gears. She shoves her child into the arms of two mall employees, and is crushed to death.
Click here to watch a security video of the escalator incident. (You might want to skip it.)
I’m sorry I ever heard about this incident. I ride escalators everyday to go down into the Washington Metro subway station where I catch a train to work, and back up to the surface at the end of my commute.
Maybe I’ll start avoiding the Metro escalators – which are out of service much of the time anyway. After all, I can always use the elevator . . . right?
“Love in an Elevator” reached #1 on the Billboard “Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks” chart in 1989. It’s difficult to say whether this song, the music video, or Steven Tyler is more absurd.
Tyler is sort of an American version of Mick Jagger – actually Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show may be a closer analogue.
Here’s the official music video for “Love in an Elevator”:
Click below to buy the song from Amazon: