Stay Right There

The shrill ringing of the telephone shattered the early morning darkness of the hotel room. I was half awake expecting the call so I quickly grabbed the phone before it rang again. No way I wanted to awaken my peacefully sleeping roommate in the other bed. As I expected it was Michael.
"Hey, you ready yet?"
"No, are you?"
"Good, see you in five minutes."

I hung up the phone and rolled out of bed. Tiptoeing to the window I opened the shades to see if the sky was getting light yet. Seeing only darkness I grabbed my clothes and headed for the bathroom. Dressing quickly I picked up my jacket and left the room. Michael was waiting by the elevators. With a whispered greeting (not sure why we were still whispering) we got in the elevator and headed down. From the fifteenth floor to the first was quite a ride. The elevators in Israel are not particularly noted for their speediness.
When we reached the ground floor we headed past the front desk and over the patio doors. Slipping out into the early morning mist was like entering a dreamworld. The heavy rains of the night before had lightened into a barely perceptible sprinkle. Looking out across the Sea of Galilee we could not really see the water, just a huge black expanse. Far on the other side the lights of a small town were pricking through the darkness like tiny stars on the hillside.
Standing in silence by the rail we watched as the storm clouds broke apart and the sky began to lighten. The rain, the chilly air, the cold wind, were all worth it the moment that the sun broke through the clouds and sent them scurrying. The water began to lighten in response to the brightness of the sun. The last curtains of rain passed over the surface of the Sea, making ripples and intricate patterns. As the scene cleared it opened up a breathtaking view of the entire Sea of Galilee.
Finally we pulled ourselves away from the beautiful scenery. It was 0630 and time for breakfast. Touring started at 0745 and we wanted to have plenty of time to enjoy the huge variety of breakfast foods offered. Looking back over our shoulders for one more glimpse of the Sea we headed inside.

I'm not sure why we decided to take the elevator. We only had to go down one floor, we could have easily used the stairs. Much to our later dismay, we didn't.
Still chatting about the sunrise we got on the elevator and pushed the button. The doors closed, and we started down. I had just enough time to think how much I hated these elevators that were all mirrored; when CRUNCH! The elevator ground to a stop.
Not considering the fact that he was standing right beside me, or the look of horror on his face, I immediately said, "Michael! Did you push the stop button?" He replied defensively, "No! I'm way over here! Did you?" "No, I'm over here too."

We stood for a moment in stunned silence. All I could think was that this could not be happening. Elevators don't get stuck in real life. After a few minutes of staring at each other and waiting for something to happen, we finally realized that we were not going to go anywhere unless we did something. But what? Who knows the protocol for being stuck on an elevator?

Michael reached over and confidently pushed the button again. Nothing happened. He pushed all the buttons. Nothing. He pushed the 'Door Open' and 'Door Close' buttons. Still nothing.
"Michael, what are we going to do?"
"We could ring the alarm."
I considered that but didn't like the idea, "That could be really embarrassing, try the buttons again." We pushed all the buttons as hard and fast as we could. Nothing.
By now I was getting really irritated. Not only was it stupid to be stuck in elevator, it was even worse to be stuck with a guy. I could just imagine the stories that could be started. Besides those three walls of mirrors were really starting to get on my nerves. I sat down on the floor (so that I couldn't see the mirrors), and stared up at Michael. "OK fine, ring the bell."
He reached over and gave the bell two short taps. "I wonder if anyone is even around?" He sat down against the door and leaned his head against the wall.
"Hey! Look at this!" Right at the edge of the door, where it should have opened, there was a small crack, about a half inch wide. We couldn't pry the doors open, but we could see that we were stuck exactly in between the floors.

Suddenly Michael said, "Hey listen, I think I hear someone coming!" Sure enough, someone was coming down in the other elevator. "Ring the bell! Ring the bell!" Michael punched the button and held it down, RRRIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGGG!!!! Then we listened. Nothing. The people in the other elevator stopped talking for a moment and we rang again. As the elevator neared our position we could hear them talking again as if nothing had happened. "You think they're just going to ignore us?" Michael asked, astonished. "They probably think it's just a kid goofing off" I replied, "Maybe we should yell.
The people were gone but we began yelling anyway.
"We are stuck in the elevator!"
"Hey if you won't let us out can we at least get some elevator music?"
"Mary had a little lamb..."
"It's boring in here, can you bring us a book?"
"Hey you! Do you hear voices? Well maybe it's because we're stuck in this elevator!"

After a very long time (well, at least twenty minutes) of yelling, singing, screaming, laughing, and ringing the alarm, we were about to just give up. Michael leaned dejectedly against the door and gave half-hearted taps while pouring out insults and thinly veiled threats against the non-English speaking people who simply passed us by.
Finally he began repeating the same phrase over and over, while I just sat and stared at the wall. "Help we're stuck!" We heard the other elevator start going up. "Help we're stuck!" We heard the doors open.  "Help we're stuck!" We heard the doors close and the elevator start down. "Help we're stuck!"
Suddenly the voice of an angel came through the elevator shaft. "Mike? Is that you?" It was RC! Michael jumped to his feet, "Hey! Mr. C! Help us! We're stuck in the elevator!" Mike glared as guffaws of laughter came from the other elevator. "It's not at all funny! We've been in here forever!"
I decided to put in my two bits, "Mr. C, please, at least let me out, I'm going crazy!" More laughter.
"You two stay right there and I'll go find someone who can help." We heard him laughing all the way down the hall.
Michael sat back down glowering. “Sure, like we're going to go anywhere."
I laughed then gasped as a thought hit me, "Michael, what if he gets Kevin and the camera crew?" I knew if this were caught on tape I would never live it down. "He'd just better not."

Sitting in silence for the next fifteen minutes we had begun to wonder if RC had forgotten us. Then we heard his voice still laughing, "You guys still in there? I think I found someone who understands enough English to understand what I'm saying."
The next ten minutes while the guy worked on the elevator we talked to RC nonstop, praying that he wouldn't have a chance to alert Kevin or get a camera.
Suddenly the elevator shivered, jumped, and dropped a few inches. Then the door slowly opened to reveal a grinning Israeli bellboy with a screwdriver in his hand. There was still a foot and a half drop to the floor, but by this time we really didn't care. Jumping out of the elevator we headed for the dining room and a late breakfast, ignoring the still snickering RC.

We took the stairs for the rest of the trip.
That elevator never worked again while we were there.
I think it was Mike's fault.
26-30, F
1 Response Aug 17, 2007

Lol! Great story. Probably not nearly as funny when you were living through it though!