April 7, 2005

Elevator Action

So I get back to the hotel last night from work. I finally discover why I was placed in a room in the South Tower of the Marriott Conference Center in Provo, UT: they're short on space. There is some form of Future Leaders conference, or other youth-based boondoggle, which is occupying a great deal of the hotel. No problem. Kids everywhere, which is fine - honestly, I'd rather have an honest game of touch football going on in the hallway than cranky business people (like me, I'm saddened to realize).

I get on the elevator in the lobby, carrying my laptop. Frankly, I'm beat, looking forward to nothing more than a good solid snooze, perhaps prefaced with an hour or two of WoW. Punch 4, yawn, lean against wall while the Slowest Elevator In The World grinds shut, rattles upwards.

Stops on Two.

Instantly fills up with a noisy, wet (wet?) crowd, pressing me back into a corner. Open eyes, investigate. I have been sardined by approximately nine or ten girls in bathing suits, age maybe fourteen or fifteen, just out of the pool. Talking a mile a minute, mostly about the fact that they didn't bring towels and really really want to get to their rooms. A few apologetic smiles, which I return as I hold my Powerbook over my head to avoid either soaking it or poking anyone uncomfortably with the overfull laptop bag.

We reach four. I wait while the thundering herd dashes from the elevator and vanishes down the hall in a parade of, well, there's no better word, squeals. I have time to wonder where, in fact, any of them might have been hiding a keycard, grin at the thought, hope someone's there to let them in, and get off the elevator.

There are two couples waiting for the car, in their sixties, I'd guess. All four of them give me extremely dirty looks. One of the women actually sniffs at me. I stopped, dead, because I was so tired it took me maybe five seconds of thought to figure out what their fucking problem was. It was so in contrast to the everpresent nice of Provo-ness that I damn well wasn't going to leave without returning fire, and I wasn't going to return fire blind, so I just stood there, blocking the elevator door, looking at them. This, in turn, caused them to stop and give me even more dirty looks. After a few seconds, though, light dawned. Parents - probably grandparents - seeing a middle-aged guy get off an elevator after being sandwiched behind a whole bunch of wet teenage girls, grinning. Then they make an assumption.

At that point, I made an assumption. I'll just note that I was the only non-white person I'd seen all day, and it was starting to grate on me; but I really just let myself assume it wouldn't have been an issue if I'd not been, well, me. I was wearing a collared shirt, non-blue jeans, and carrying a computer bag - and I'd had a haircut recently, with grey visible. I looked much less like a reprobate than usual. The only thing odd looking about me, for that hotel? Yep, you guessed it.

I gave them a large grin, extended my arm, and flipped the bird at each of them in turn. For a good two seconds each. About one foot from each of their faces. Then I left.

Posted by jbz at April 7, 2005 6:43 PM | TrackBack


Heh. Well, sandwiched in between the fifteen-year-olds at one end and the likely-grandparents at the other, I felt quite...middle. :-)

Posted by: jbz at April 15, 2005 12:52 PM

i was surprised that you described yourself as middle-aged. it didn't sound right. despite your hair turning, nothing in my mind's arsenal makes that term stick to you, no matter from which angle i approach it.

Posted by: gethen at April 15, 2005 6:04 AM

Fantastically funny depiction of how the world can come together to conspire against you, topped by a personal triumph.

Good for you :)

Posted by: Adam Sweet at April 12, 2005 1:40 PM
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