And now, a photo essay to illustrate that I can be a jackass moron, even when I’m not sitting at the keyboard. Those of you who are squeamish about reading about idiots’ near-death experiences or viewing badly-composed grainy cell phone pictures should probably turn back now. You have been warned.
At right is a photo of the elevator in the basement of my office’s parking garage. It’s this elevator that I trudge into every day to begin my day of being shackled to the radiator in my cubicle. Occasionally, if we’ve been especially productive, the overlords will open the curtains a crack, so that we can catch a glimpse of sunlight. Or they’ll skim most of the rat parts off the noontime gruel. Still, it’s better than Microsoft.
(I kid, I kid. I love my job. No, really. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)
Anyway, this is the elevator. Please to be noticing the low, three-foot railing along the walkway leading to the glass door in front. We’ll be discussing that later.
Here we have a happier pic — the view from the elevator, taken while leaving the building after a hard day’s slaving. The glass door is almost within reach, and freedom — sweet, sweet freedom — is just beyond.
I’m a little giddy, just thinking about it.
Again, notice the low metal railing past the door. That’s just about to come into play.
Now, we’re through the glass door, and in sight of the getaway vehicle.
(That would be the Nissan, not the much fancier car located beside it. The overlords are generous to us peons, but not that generous.)
At this point, the only barrier between me and a delicious three-day weekend is that low black railing. Being just a tad excited — and not the oiliest stripper on the pole, so to speak — a thought occured to me, bold and daring:
‘I bet I could hop over that railing, to save a few seconds. I might even click my heels together mid-jump; how cool would that look?‘
These are the sorts of thoughts one has when the ‘Weekend Fever’ flits through the three working neurons one has left. Still — and how famous are these last words? — it seemed like a good idea at the time.
So I burst through the door and made my approach, reaching out for the railing to launch myself over.
I should point out that my plan was doomed from the start. I’m about as coordinated as an epileptic turkey, so there was little chance I could execute the sort of maneuver I’d planned. I was destined to end up with skinned knees, a sprained ankle, or busted front teeth, at least.
Luckily, I’m also old and fat and slow, and so had time to see the view at right. The view which includes the very solid and painful-looking pipes running approximately three feet above the railing. Anything larger than a border collie jumping that rail would get a solid conk in the head, at best. A six-foot goober like me would probably catch a pipe in the neck, and probably a railing in the back on the ‘dismount’. Not exactly the way to kick off a weekend.
I jiggled to a halt at the railing and inspected the pipes. They were, indeed, very solid — and important-looking, to boot. If I’d gone ahead with my ill-conceived launch, I might have cut through the water supply for the whole building, or possibly the internet or electrical connection.
This, of course, made me rethink my plans once again. Because really — how cool would that be? I stood for a moment, pondering the likely effects of gravity, acceleration, and small shards of splintered metal on a spongy human body. I weighed that against the coolness factor of bringing a whole office building to its knees ‘accidentally’, and the likelihood that I’d be able to drive away — or limp, or crawl — before anyone thought to check the basement.
It was then that I saw the label in the picture at right. If you can’t make it out, it’s a bright orange sign on the smallest and otherwise least frightening of the overhead cables, and it reads, in a clear and friendly font:
I think the cable was also emitting a faint but ominous hum — though that may have just been my spine shivering involuntarily. With that, my bravado shrunk all up inside me, and I walked gingerly around the railing, keeping an eye on those pipes all the way to the safety of my car. Whereupon I sped the hell out of there, and commenced the weekend sans incident, injury, or incarceration. But only barely.
There you have it, folks. Tune in next time for another episode of What Asinine Thing Has Charlie Done Now?. Will I pee on an electric fence? Leave the windows down in the car wash? Taunt an uncaged gorilla?
Only time will tell.
(But I am not touching those pipes. I may even start parking on the street. Yipes.)Permalink | 3 Comments