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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Ropes: They’re Not Just for Sailors Anymore

A young, rather plumpish woman got on the elevator today, pressing the button that would take her from the 43rd to the 44th floor.

Let us pause.

She needed the elevator in order to go from forty-three to forty-four.

In my book, riding an elevator up one floor calls for a darn good staring. I’d do more, but I’m pretty sure I signed something years ago on proper, Midwestern behavior which precludes any acts which may be perceived as confrontational.

I looked her over, in a sideways, non-obtrusive sort of way. As I say, she was young, plumpish, pink-cheeked and bright-eyed. She appeared to be un-drugged, un-saddled by crutches or noticeable spasms.

Of course, it’s not up to me whether or not she takes a flight of very pleasantly designed, open-air style steps from one lousy floor to another. She was, after all, going up a flight and not down. Perhaps she has a fear of thigh muscles. Perhaps it is her first day on prosthetic feet. Perhaps she had signed an agreement whereby she has agreed to leave the stair-climbing to the professionals.

Who am I to say?

When I first started working downtown, almost seven years ago, it was a whole new world for me: Elevators! Skyways! Shopping and restaurants and dry cleaners and banks! You can walk for literal miles in Minneapolis without going outside, a lovely thing indeed considering that Mother Nature, at this latitude, wants to kill you. I was taken around, shown the “regular” beggars, where to go for late-afternoon treats, advised to stay to the right on the escalators and to not waste people’s time with taking elevators only one floor.

That’s right. I was shown The Ropes.

I suspect that not everyone is being made aware of The Ropes, what they entail or even, possibly, that they exist.

And that’s sad.

Like the young man who shoved his way to the front of the line waiting to get on the afternoon bus, telling his girlfriend “There ain’t no line for the bus, you just go to the front”, I harbor concerns that The Ropes are not being shared; and while I would personally like to see them posted somewhere, or, in the case of this young man, beaten into him with a length of rubber hose (to be followed with a politely worded explanation and maybe a late-afternoon treat), I worry others may see this need for regulated civil behavior, on even a superficial level, as infringing on their “rights”.

And it is here that I’d like to propose a toast: Here’s to all those who give up their seats for the elderly and infirm, to those who say “thank you” and “excuse me”, to those who wait patiently – and to those who, upon reflection, allow that not all infirmities are identifiable by sight.

And here’s to those willing to share The Ropes.

I raise my glass to you.

26 comments:

That Baldy Fella said...

One-floor-elevator-riding is punishable not only by staring but also by tutting, sighing and rolling of the eyes.

Simply Suthern said...

I must confess, because you got that kinda face, that I have elevated 1 floor. I'm thinking that must have been the page that was torn out of The Ropes manual. I will work on that. That said, The Ropes should be a Mandatory class. I am a card carry'in yes Ma,am'in Can I help you with that Ropes club member. Here's my glass, Tink. Cheers.

Tail-Kinker said...

Someone needs to tell the management for the building I work in the Ropes. We can enter the stairwell on any floor we like, but can only exit on the ground floor.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

It does seem that the more technology takes over our lives, the less The Ropes is being employed.

Pat said...

Hear, hear!! And one of The Ropes is don't talk loudly in a movie theater when the movie is playing. Common sense and polite behavior is going by the wayside in western civilization.

Sweet Cheeks said...

When I worked at the hospital in town we had a unique situation. With only two floors to the building, our elevator could only go up or down one. The stairs were used by all the hospital employees. The down side to this, was they stomped and ran up and down them like a herd of wild elephants and slammed the door at the top of the stairs...every single time. Those of us working at the second floor nursing station finally snapped. We taped strings across both the top and bottom entrances to the stairs and hung signs on them...Out Of Order. We had peace for one week, until maintenance finally noticed...damn them always ruining our fun.

Greenfingers said...

Some London buses should actually have ropes fixed inside them Pearl as the drivers are slightly mad!
Naturally, if some mad commuter pissed you off, you also have the added option of been able to strangle them to!!

sage said...

She will go from "rather plumpish" to "down-right fat..." I confess, such sentiments are not in keeping with the ending of your post.

Jimmy Bastard said...

People who cannae be polite enough to queue behind me usually end up with a large foot in their arse. They tend not to do it to me again.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

hear hear! Common sense and consideration, people! Sometimes, I think people get so involved in technology, they forget the old fashioned way of doing things...like the woman who called 911 coz her car engine/battery had died and she was stuck in the car and she could not get her automatic windows to open and she could not electronically unlock her car to get out.....uh! How about using your fingers to manually unlock?!?!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

First of all I am disappointed that you didn't take this young waif under your wing for some tutoring (forehead to knees baby). When I have to ride the elevator only one floor I usually go up several floors then ride it back down again. Then people are less concerned that I am lazy and more concerned that I am the much feared Elevator Killer who rides all day long looking for that one special victim.

Secretia said...

Oh hey, we need to use the stairs more and the elevator less, it's good for our muscles and are heart too.

Secretia

JamaGenie said...

Roshni, you just mentioned the reason I refuse to have a car with electric windows. There's *supposedly* a small separate battery that allows them to go up and down if the main battery dies, and therefore NO way to manually open them. Not a situation I want to be in in an accident when my life may depend on an openable (is that a word?) window.

As for Miss Plump Ride Up One Floor, every time I go grocery shopping, I see plumpos waddle into the store without cane, crutch, or assistance of another, and then ride around in the store's motorized carts. I happen to have a friend with MS confined to a wheelchair who'd LOVE to waddle ANYWHERE without assistance of any kind, so I can't print here what I'd like to say to plumpos just TOO @#%! LAZY to WALK around a store (or forego the elevator to go up one floor)!

texlahoma said...

I work with a rather plump fellow who would always choose an elevator over stairs. It's not his fault that he's plump, it's "His thyroids."
I told my wife that his thyroids were messed up. Without batting an eye she says "All of them?"
I said "Yep, every single one of them!"

The Retired One said...

She may have had fibromyalagia...it isn't always obvious. I have had to do that when the bad days occur and all my muscles hurt so bad I want to cry.

Tamsin said...

When I was pregnant and feeling like crap (which is generally when you look chubby rather than actually pregnant) I rode the elevator as many or as few floors as I liked. Because I was growing a person, dang it!

mapstew said...

As Jimmy said, a good kick in the hole to queue jumpers!


(44 floors! Sweet Jeebus, the third floor gives me the heebeejeebees!)

I have to lie down now. :¬)

xxx

CatLadyLarew said...

As much as my parents make me crazy, I'm forever grateful to them for teaching me "The Ropes". Common courtesy can go a long way.

Nuke Girl said...

Hear, hear! If all these Ropeless people would spend a little less time being lazy and selfish, and a little more time being polite and proactive, the world would be a much nicer place.

darsden said...

Why is there a ribbon in the middle of the rope?

Kane said...

We all can use (and give) a little kindness, sometimes. =)

Kane

Vetrimagal said...

May be she sweats a lot!

Tempo said...

Why, thank you, thank you very much..

swenglishexpat said...

I'll toast to that too! Some young people theses days, eh? ;-)

Jodie Kash said...

She may have been wearing tight shoes or experiencing a bit of the thigh chub rub. Add nylons and you can create sparks on a humid day.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I often feel like everyone's watching me when I take the elevator up a floor, but I do that usually when my arthritis is really bothering me.