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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Elevator


I walked into InterventionCon this weekend all puff-chested and proud, like, ‘WHO’S A BAD-ASS-MOTHERFUCKING GEEK? ME!” I was practically humming “Eye of the Motherfucking Tiger,” as I waltzed into the hotel, all ready to get my freak binary on. I was all ready to be all, “WHO’S ALL OPEN SOURCE NOW, MOTHERFUCKERS?!

Imagine the look on my face when I finally opened up my eyes to the strains of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,'” and realized that half of the attendees were in costumes. It was a COSTUME PARTY. And guess who had no costume?

That’s right, Your Aunt Becky.

I was, for the first time ever, somewhere without a spare costume!

Color me Furious George.

They weren’t costumes I wanted or even recognized, and somehow, I was flaming that I did not, in fact, own one. I could’ve been a wicked Britney Spears (post K-Fed) or even an Oompa Loompa. And still, nothing.

Somewhat dejectedly, I moped to my room – on the 7th floor – and threw myself down on the bed, trying desperately to coax some tears out of my eyes. First, I thought of the saddest basket of kitties with no one to love them. Then I thought about how cruel a world it would be if Uncrustables were discontinued. When that made me simply stabbity rather than tearful, I decided a new tactic  was in order. I decided that my next best bet would be to rub them, then poking them until finally, I was able to convince two actual tears to come out of my eyes.

It felt strangely vindicating and utterly unsatisfying.

Next order of business was to get onto the elevator and go downstairs to mope in public. I like to share my misery. I’m a giver like that.

Only an odd thing happened. Even weirder than the full-blown adults in costumes I couldn’t quite place.

Proper elevator etiquette, as explained by my mother is this: you back that ass up while waiting for an elevator to allow exiting passengers to, um, exit. Then, only after everyone who is getting off is off do you board the elevator.

Likewise, once on the elevator, you allow passengers to get off on various floors by moving graciously out of the way WITHOUT BITCHING ABOUT IT, while you wait for your stop.

It’s a simple enough concept that even my pea-brain can comprehend it.

And yet, for the first time in my life, even AFTER living in Chicago and riding 50 floor elevators crammed full of people, I was shocked and horrified by the elevators in MD.

Because, it appeared that the new way of things was this:

Elevator door opens -> stand in a line in FRONT of the elevator doors, ignoring all the empty space behind you -> groan loudly whenever someone dares try to enter the elevator with three goddamed people in it.

On the other side,

Elevator door opens and person behind you wants to get off -> rather than wait for the first in place to disembark -> push your way past the other passengers ALSO attempting to get off.

Because we all know it’s a motherfucking RACE to the fucking FINISH, motherfuckers.

First time it happened, I ignored it. Okay. Fine. Someone was having a grumbly day. Happens.

The second time? Maybe coincidence.

The third? I decided that the non-convention goers were some of the rudest people on the planet and should probably be relegated to the ALOT Island with John C. Mayer.

The moral of this story? ALWAYS PACK AN EXTRA COSTUME. Also? Wear body armor for elevators in Maryland.

P.S. I missed you, Pranksters.

Also, Also: We have an auction up at Band Back Together. You should go visit it.

31 Comments to

“A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Elevator”

  1. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:12 pm Julie Says:

    This same things happens in the elevators where I work. It makes we want to punch people, but I can’t because I’d lose my job. I put it up there with drivers who purposely accelerate/decelerate to be a dick and prevent others from changing lanes in terms of things that make me contemplate breaking laws to seek revenge.

  2. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:14 pm annie Says:

    Fuck em all! And next time wear a costume – one with spikes all over it so you can take them out at will.

  3. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:15 pm Uncle Grayhawk Says:

    So, I hope I didn’t wierd you out or anything by showing up to the panels and playing Journey. Was never my intention to do so, but you did mention on The Twitter that you always wanted to walk into the room to that music. (I prefer the Imperial March from Star Wars, but hey, different strokes different folks and all that.)

    Hope you had a good time at InterventionCon depite the elevator idiots (who I wanted to beat with my walking stick and I LIVE in MD fer chrissake!

    –Uncle Grayhawk (Head of InterventionCon security and winner of the (ast annual?)
    Rebecca Sherrick Harks Memorial Jarts Tournament)

  4. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:17 pm Uncle Grayhawk Says:

    Dammit, that should be “1st annual”

  5. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:28 pm Jenny Says:

    I was raised by an Air Force Colonel and a Southern Baptist Preacher’s Kid that my sister and I have named Mary Poppins. As a result, elevator etiquette was a no brainer. Even though I now have plenty of issues, I do want to strangle people with crappy elevator etiquette. It’s not rocket science people.

    And a Brittany Spears- post Fed Ex costume- should be a mandated packing essential right up there with toothpaste and deodorant.

  6. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:33 pm Angie Uncovered Says:

    I recommend traveling with the dominatrix costume! It shows you’re always prepared to kick their asses! Plus it gives the TSA people something fun to find if they search your bags.

  7. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:47 pm Jennifer Bohrer Says:

    Oooh yes, I agree with the dominatrix costume…it’s just fun to open a door in those togs!
    but back to the elevator ettiquite……I love riding escalators with people who apparently never have before and can’t slide into the flow. AAAgh! Step on, ride up or down then step off and AWAY …don’t stand there at the end and ask “which way is it?” as everyone behind you glides up and slams into your back……idiots!

  8. On September 19th, 2011 at 3:58 pm Timber Says:

    For all thos e inconsiderate elevator MFers…

  9. On September 19th, 2011 at 4:58 pm Cindy Says:

    Missed you too! Welcome Back.

  10. On September 19th, 2011 at 5:20 pm Carrie Says:

    Maybe if you thought of the saddest kittens in a basket rather than a sad basket full of kittens, you could have cried more easily? Or, a sad basket full of kittens who just found out Uncrustables were discontinued? God, now I want to cry.

  11. On September 19th, 2011 at 5:55 pm Satan Says:

    aww, can’t you put together something quickly? got black clothing? combine it, put on waaayyy too much eyeliner, and go as a goth!

  12. On September 19th, 2011 at 6:52 pm Maria Says:

    Ha, totally. People act like a frickin’ elevator is the D.C. metro or something.

    Have anyone poke the close button repeatedly as you were 2 feet from the elevator?

  13. On September 19th, 2011 at 6:54 pm Cyndi Says:

    I live in South America. The elevators empty from the back, and proper etiquette is to stand directly in front of the doors, (on the outside), wait for them to open, and then REFUSE to move as the people try frantically to exit. And the elevator doors here don’t have sensors, so good luck not getting squashed.

    Your convention goers were all South American. You have my sympathy.

  14. On September 19th, 2011 at 7:23 pm Vapid Vixen Says:

    Maybe next time try slapping both hands over your mouth right before exclaiming “OMG! Motion sickness!”
    Chances are good the mofo’s will move.

  15. On September 19th, 2011 at 7:33 pm Alli Says:

    Gah I hate it when people crowd the door and don’t let anyone off the elevator before they try to get on. Proper sequence of events is: doors open > people exit > new people enter the now much roomier elevator.

    Also galling is when there is a long line of people to get on the elevator, and the first person gets on, and then just stands there in the doorway, blocking anyone else.

    I’m one of the most impatient, easily disgruntled people when it comes to such things, but if I can master these social niceties, anyone can!

    Body armor with spikes is more like it!

  16. On September 19th, 2011 at 7:48 pm Whitney Soup Says:

    there needs to be an elevator etiquette sign above the up and down buttons!! i’m glad you survived though 🙂

  17. On September 19th, 2011 at 7:53 pm Smarty Britches Says:

    Number one, Uncrustables discontinuing would have made me cry like a baby. Number two, solution to both your costume problem and your elevator problem. Just go naked. Who needs clothes? Surely no one would crowd you on an elevator and they would be too shocked to push and shove.

    Fresh Out of Gold Stars

  18. On September 19th, 2011 at 8:06 pm caroline Says:

    Makes me so glad I’m out of the hustle of the DC/MD area. I encountered so many assholes on the Metro.

  19. On September 19th, 2011 at 9:32 pm K A B L O O E Y Says:

    Sorry about the elevators and lack o’ costume, but ever so happy to have been made aware of “stabbity.” It was worth your pain.

  20. On September 19th, 2011 at 10:10 pm Ferrous Oxide Brown Says:

    Want people to step aside politely and let you out of the elevator? This is the one of the few times that the ability to fart on cue comes in handy.

    Glad to have you back; I’m still stuck in PA


  21. On September 19th, 2011 at 10:14 pm ronetta cheryll Says:

    as a maryland girl, i can confirm that this is true, aunt becky…however, i didn’t even realize it untik now!!! hilarious observation. i hope you enjoyed yourself in dc and my homestate 🙂

  22. On September 19th, 2011 at 11:49 pm Alexis Says:

    Dearest Auntie Becky,
    i do not wish to come across as one of those “the glass is half full” sort of people, as God and anyone else who knows me is perfectyl aware that I’m not, but I exhort you to look on the bright side. you cold have been holed up in the finest hotel in either Trona, California, or Rigby, Idaho, in which case there wou not have been an elevator. also, you probably at least had room service in Maryland.
    your niece,
    P.S. I survived one accompanied night in a dorm room and am now spending a dorm night SOLO!!

  23. On September 20th, 2011 at 6:00 am Angela@BeggingTheAnswer Says:

    A surprise costume party AND lack of elevator etiquette? Worst. Conference. Ever.

  24. On September 20th, 2011 at 7:45 am Paula @ thewilyweez Says:

    Oh how I hate being the only one without a costume!

  25. On September 20th, 2011 at 9:27 am John Says:

    I hate to say it, but I think the lack of elevator etiquette issue is a whole east-coast thing. At least, it is in Boston, Philly, DC, Baltimore, and especially in NYC.

  26. On September 20th, 2011 at 3:20 pm Dianne Says:

    I so agree with you on that. West coast people and East coast people are way different.

  27. On September 20th, 2011 at 11:10 am Tom Says:

    I feel your pain! Since I posted this last May, I’ve learned that revenge in the elevator department is the sweetest reward. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t beat them, so I’ve joined them. I find myself finding great satisfaction in letting the doors close as I meet their stare … particularly if their hands are full and it looks like what they’re carrying might be really heavy.

  28. On September 20th, 2011 at 1:01 pm Grace Says:

    Yay! Aunt Becky is back!! We’ve missed you!

    Good to know about the costume thing. I long since learned you always need to pack a swimsuit (even when you feel like a cow in one). Now I know to always pack a costume as well.

  29. On September 20th, 2011 at 8:08 pm Amy Says:

    I find everyone in Rockville and Northern DC generally to be rich pricks that can’t be bothered to waste a single second looking out for anyone else. I avoid driving there as much as possible, and cuss a lot when I do. Folks are hella nicer in the ghetto of DC than the rich folks in their fancy neighborhoods.

  30. On September 24th, 2011 at 11:03 pm Working Mommy Says:

    Hmmm…yes…people in this area have NO manners or any knowledge of etiquette AT ALL!! It is so frustrating to be one of the only folks who knows how to use an elevator – and an escalator at a metro stop! Le sigh…


  31. On September 27th, 2011 at 2:39 pm Marta Says:

    You would have made an awesome Britney.

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