As I got out of my London taxi and made my way to the big apartment block, a luxurious car drew by, and the uniformed man at the entrance of the apartment block came out on the sidewalk and opened the door.
Out came a bejeweled woman carrying a small poodle in her hands and a small man carrying her handbag. They were both in their late fifties or early sixties, I would guess. She was somewhat large and what could euphemistically be described as rotund; whilst he was somewhat diminutive in stature and obviously submissive to her demands.
I let them go through into the building first; out of politeness of course. As I followed them in, the other security type person checked my credentials before letting me in. What a cheek!!! Just because I was wearing my red tartan trousers, green jacket and cowboy hat with large feather; there’s no need to suspiciously ask why I was there.
Anyway, moments later we were waiting by the elevator doors and we were joined by a pretty young lady also obviously well to do.
“Hello Stephanie!” said the rotund woman.
“Good morning Mrs Flabbergast,” replied the young lady, “how is Bijou this morning?”
“Bijou?” I thought, that’s a stupid name for one’s husband.
“Oh he’s all well again,” replied the rotund woman, “Mr Flabbergast and I have just been to the vet for his injections!”
“Why did her husband go to the vet for his injections?” I thought, “maybe he’s caught something from the dog!”
The elevator arrived and we all got in.
“We’re going to the penthouse, young man” said the rotund woman to me looking down her nose.
I smiled and pressed the buttons as the young lady said “17th floor for me please!”
The elevator went up smoothly for a minute or so and then stopped with a jolt.
“Perhaps you didn’t press the buttons properly!” accused the rotund woman.
I mean … what an insult … There’s only one way to press an elevator button, and I did just that. I pressed 17, Penthouse and 21, the floor I was destined to. And now here I was stuck in an elevator with high society looking down on me.
The diminutive man said “They’ll soon let us out dear … these elevators automatically inform the engineers when something is wrong!”
“Oh do be quiet Gilbert …” she responded, “Bijou is getting upset!”
“There’s an opening in the ceiling” the young lady pointed out, “if you lift that flap there you can go through, and there’s a lever that opens the doors. I’ve seen it done in the movies!”
I looked up and said nothing.
“You don’t expect me to get up there?” said the young high society, “not in my mini skirt, I won’t!”
“Gilbert suffers from vertigo” said Mrs Flabbergast, “and I certainly will not climb up there in this new dress. So it’s down to you young man!”
“Or up to you …” said Gilbert with a smile pointing upwards.
“I am not going up there.” I said authoritatively. “I may press the wrong lever and things would get worse. I’m sure the engineers will soon let us out. Let’s be patient for a while.”
We remained patient for about five minutes or so. Silently looking at each other nervously and smiling politely. And then it happened …
Someone … (cue in dramatic music) had cowardly broken wind!
It was one of those silent wind breakers that turns the air a darker shade of grey as it slowly suffocates your every breath and presses your eardrums outwards.
I don’t know about you … but I think breaking wind in an elevator is totally wrong on so many levels.
They all looked at me accusingly. I resented that. I knew it wasn’t me but how could I prove it? If I objected it would have been taken as admission of guilt. I said nothing and looked at my watch, pretending not to notice their accusations or the distinct lack of air in this suspended cage.
“Would you like some chocolates?” said Mrs Flabbergast trying to deflect the silent conversation to another subject.
She opened her handbag and brought out a packet of chocolate drops which she handed round to the young miss and her husband. Neither took any.
I took a couple, out of politeness of course, and to show there were no hard-feelings regarding the false un-spoken accusations.
She pulled a couple of drops out of the bag and gave them to Bijou.
“Chocolates can be harmful to dogs,” said the young lady with a smile.
“Oh … they’re not chocolates!” replied Mrs Flabbergast, “They’re specially formulated chocolate substitutes for dogs. The vet just gave them to us!”
Before I could say anything the elevator smoothly moved upwards and took us to our destinations.
Lately I’ve often had this urge to scratch my ears violently with my feet. Very embarrassing … especially when on a bus!