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Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud! And Stay Away from My Elevator!

13 Jan
January 13, 2011
Elevator Etiquette

I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building. If that sounds familiar, you may be thinking of the first line of my favorite Rolling Stones song, 1965’s (Hey! You!) Get Off My Cloud: “I live in an apartment on the ninety-ninth floor of my block”

OK, so odds are you weren’t thinking of that song. But I was. In fact, I still am so here’s the first stanza:

I live in an apartment on the ninety-ninth floor of my block
And I sit at home looking out the window
Imagining the world has stopped
Then in flies a guy who’s all dressed up like a Union Jack
And says, I’ve won five pounds if I have his kind of detergent pack

I’ll make that relevant. Somehow. It’ll probably be awkward and stand out like a sore thumb but I’ll force it to be relevant.

As I said, I live in an apartment on the fourth floor of my block. (See? I’m trying.) Being only four floors up I usually take the stairs going down because not only is it faster, it is more fun- I pretend secret agents up on six are out to get me and I have to reach the lobby before they reach me. I can’t just stand around and wait for the elevator- that takes precious minutes while the enemy agents are on their way down and I’m too important to die while the elevator makes its way up from three.

Going up I take the elevator because I’m lazy.

Anyway, yesterday I was taking the elevator down because I was carrying a big laundry bag and didn’t want to lug it down the stairs, secret enemy agents or not. The elevator stopped on four and inside was a guy who’s all dressed up like an Eskimo, Jack. (Still trying.) What’s next is a marvel of non-verbal communication… if “marvel” has an obscure negative connotation, that is.

My neighborhood has changed over the years. I’ve lived here all my life and I won’t comment here if it is better or worse… or worse… but I will point out, neutrally, the fact that many people who live in my building seem to be very fluent in any language but English.

So I opened the door and inside was a short, squat, bald man in a huge bulky winter coat. 


Seriously, that’s pretty much it.

Anyway, inside was a guy all dressed up like an Eskimo, Jack.
And he says-

Absolutely nothing. (Still trying.)

Instead he pointed down. Emphatically. Pointed down with the same gusto you’d use if you were pissed off at your neighbor and were instructing some moving men how to put down his very expensive Steinway. I said “down?” Again, he pointed down. Emphatically.

I got on the elevator, pressed the lobby button, and of course the elevator went up.

Silly me, I thought the guy was going down.

But before you jump to conclusions, there was still the possibility that he was going down, but someone above pressed the button and brought the elevator back up. It isn’t supposed to work that way, but you never know.

The elevator went up to five, no one got on, Nanook of the North got off.

What’s up with that? (as the man asked when he missed the Twilight Zone marathon.) Those secret agents could have been waiting for me up there!

What was up with all the pointing down? Does this guy not know his up from his down?

So to him I say

(I said), Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Hey! You! Get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud baby

(Told you I’d make it relevant.)

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