mercredi 13 août 2008

l'ascenseur terrible

A few days ago I went to the supermarket, Carrefour, which is in the Part-Dieu mall and it has the unfortunate layout where the checkout is on the top floor, so when you are done you have to take the elevator down to exit. So I checked out, and I was leaving, and I ended up getting trapped on the elavator on my way out! I was there with about 10 French people, including, unfortunately, an infant and 3 other young children, and we ended up being trapped there about 20 minutes, as the elevator proceeded to get hotter and more and more uncomfortable. There was an emergency buzzer and a phone to call for help, and the person standing next to it kept calling the number and saying, "Hello, there is an infant here, it is very important that you come right away," or "Hello, there is someone here not feeling well, and its getting very hot in here, its important that you let us out immediately." I'm not sure that made any difference, but shortly thereafter they did wrench the doors open-- we were stuck between the 3rd and 4th floors-- and they helped us down to get out.

I thought there might be a concerned Carrefour manager waiting outside, ready to soothe us with some 20 euro gift certificate to ensure our loyalty, but I was mistaken about that. Why am I not surprised? At any rate, now I remember why I hate malls, and I hate supermarkets. That will be my last visit to Carrefour. Grrr!

Today I was thinking how the stuck elevator has been a conceit in so many TV shows and movies. When it happens the characters inevitably sit down and end up pouring out their souls to each other, and have some moment of awakening and truth. Such as the elevator scene in a L Word that I watched recently. Or, the one in that Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks movie where the elevator attendant says to Tom Hanks, in a surprised yet self-assured tone, "When I get out of here.... I'm going to marry Jean. I don't know why I haven't. I love her." For the record, no such soul-baring enlightenment occurred at Carrefour. People said things like, "Does anyone have any water?" and we offered each other food and drinks and kleenex from our grocery bags.
Fortunately, all of the children and adults remained calm. I just wish a few more of them had bought some deodorant.

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