Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ya Think?

As I rounded the corner of the hospital lobby I saw the open door of the third elevator and jogged the last thirty or forty feet to get there before it closed. Just inside the threshold stood two rather large, middle aged people. One man and one woman. They stood on opposite sides of the doorway, facing one another. He had what appeared to be about a six day beard and sort of a blank stare. His mouth hung open and he stared blankly at the woman who appeared to be his companion. She had salt and pepper shoulder length hair whose style could best be described as "stringy". She wore a wrinkled T-shirt and those stretchy, knit kind of pants that really large people shouldn't ever go out in. They made no effort to move further back into the elevator, or even to step aside to allow me to pass between them.

I was headed for the sixth floor. So, after squeezing between the immobile couple of bookends I noticed that the button for floor number five was already lit up. Since the lady was standing right by the control panel, I said, "Six please". She stood still, staring straight ahead at the mouth breather, and made no effort to press the button. "Perhaps she didn't hear me" I thought, so once a gain I said, (a little louder this time) "Six please".

Still nothing.

As the door began to close, I stepped up, reached around her rather ample waist and pressed the button for the sixth floor.

As fate would have it, this elevator ride was the local, rather than the express. We stopped at each floor. Two folks entered the car on the second floor. One was a hospital maintenance man pushing a little cart. He was headed for three. The other was an older lady going to the fourth floor. My two new best friends didn't budge. The new riders had to squeeze between them as I had, and the earlier scene was repeated. They called out their floor numbers, and Princess Charming glanced at them but remained immobile and non communicative. The maintenance guy stretched his arm around her and pressed buttons three and four.

The three of us stood in the back of the elevator looking at each other, silently wondering if these folks had missed the day when the third grade class had discussed elevator etiquette.

The maintenance guy got off at three, the elderly lady at four. Both had to squeeze between the two large silent sentinels, who made nary a move to allow them to pass.

By the time we arrived at the fifth floor, the woman by the control panel turned to face the door. As they exited the elevator, I saw for the first time the words printed on the back of her huge T-shirt. They read, "I Just Don't Care!"

I'm just sayin...

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