Up and running

Columns | Vienna Review | October 2009

It was one of those Saturday nights. Some friends wanted to come look at my new apartment after a night out, so we left the party early, knowing that my home was always a catastrophe: dirty plates on the table, a conspiracy of cobwebs and dust bunnies, smelly laundry clogging the doorways and clothes drying on the staircase. This had to change, and fast!

For not being entirely sober, we did a pretty good job cleaning up. And in the meantime, our friends were making their way into the elevator, not knowing what was awaiting them. Living on the top floor, taking the stairs was always a challenge, and the only other way to access my apartment was by using the tiny, 1x1 m2 elevator.

Not thinking very clearly, they decided that it would be a brilliant idea to shove all five people into the tiny space. When the elevator came to a full stop between two floors, they dimly realised something was wrong.

But it was already too late.

Hearing screams and yelps of fear, we ran out of the apartment. We could see from above some limbs sticking out of the elevator doors, trying desperately to get out. Heroically, we ran down to try to save our friends.

Now one thing about old elevators is that they are old, and technology was more simple back then. Thus, while we ran down three flights in some combination of fear and amusement, the four guys managed to use all their strength to pry the metal doors apart.

By the time we got there, they were already out, grinning at us innocently. Then we noticed the elevator… and stared in horror. The doors were standing diagonally, the metal bent, with finger marks on the edges. Was this really the work of four besotted university students? We had visions of damage suits and increased management fees.

But to our surprise, the elevator was up and running the next day. How the building manager pulled that off still remains a mystery.

Neira Dzabija & Ksenia Kuvaeva


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