Monday, March 19, 2012

When Elevators Attack, Part I

Back in my college days, a lot of craziness occurred. Unfortunately, since this was before the days of cell phone cams and YouTube, most of the antics were unseen to the world. So, now and then, I have to do things the old fashioned way and tell you a story about the time I was at Mississippi Valley State...

If I were to tell you that I almost got killed on an elevator, then you would think that it had fallen, right?

I stayed on the 4th floor of my dormitory during my sophomore year. The previous year, I was on the 3rd floor, so the elevator wasn't much of an option unless we had groceries. However, that extra floor made it worth standing around and waiting on the elevator to come.

This one lazy Saturday, me and the fellas decided we were going to play some basketball. It was me, my roommate Tim and four other guys. We all get on the elevator, press the button and it makes its descent. Between the 1st and 2nd floor, there was an abrupt halt to the elevator and then an alarm.

"What happened?" Tim asked.

"I think it's stuck." I said.

At that moment, one of the other guys spoke up. His name was also Tim, but to avoid confusion, I'll call him Charleston (since that's the city he was from originally). "I can't stay in here!" he yelled.

I looked over my shoulder, not taking Charleston seriously. Being stuck in an elevator didn't seem like a big deal to me at the time. Boy, did he change my mind on that! Charleston pushed his way from the back of the elevator and tried to pry the doors open with his fingers. "I can't stay in here, man!" he yelled again.

By now, the five of us are staring at him and our collective light bulbs have popped on in our heads. This guy is claustrophobic. He can't bare being trapped in this tight spot. Especially with five other people crowding his space. One guy made the mistake of trying to calm him down by putting his hand on Charleston's shoulder. "Dude, chill out!"

The next thing we know, Charleston's arms are flailing around wildly. He struck two of the guys in the face. One guy tried to bear hug him from behind, but Charleston was from the deep country. He displayed the strength of six tractors as he broke out of the bear hug and went into a panic trying to get the doors open. The more he panicked, the more the elevator shook which was making us all nervous. We decided instinctively that we could only do one thing: take him down.

Each of the guys grabbed a limb. You would think that a group of guys putting a man on his stomach would be easy, but not Charleston. He thrashed around like a mad man and busted a few lips in the process. Finally, I put him in the headlock and the guys were able to pull his legs from under him. "Hold him!" started Tim, "Hold that fool!"

Charleston landed on his stomach and we all had a lock on him. It was about 30 seconds into the headlock that I realized that I was actually locked onto Charleston's neck a little too tightly. I felt drool running down my arm and realized that I was choking the dude out. "Whoa!" I thought to myself, "I don't want to 'Radio Raheem' the guy."

(If you don't understand the Radio Raheem reference, then you need Netflix in your life)

I eased up on my headlock and heard a gasp of air come from Charleston. By that time, we heard some voices from outside of the elevator, "Are you all okay?"

"Man, get us out of here before this dude kills us!" Tim yelled.

Within minutes, we heard the scraping of metal against the elevator and then the doors popped open. Once the doors opened, Charleston's fight returned as he scrambled towards daylight. "Be careful coming out, man, or you'll fall into the shaft!" one of the guys said.

Charleston scrambled out and was helped to the floor. Once he got there, he laid on his stomach for at least three-to-five minutes. We all slid out of the elevator, not even thinking that if it started again, that we could be sliced in half. 19-year olds don't fear much.

Once we were all out, the two guys who pryed us out just stared at us and our injuries: two busted lips, a nose bleed, cuts and scratches. "Were you all wrestling in there?"

"Pretty much!" I replied.

I'd almost been killed in an elevator... by a mad man. Not a serial killer type of mad man, but a man who was terrified. They may be more dangerous than a serial killer. I thought that would be one of the wildest stories I'd ever tell from my college days, but little did I know, it would be topped by another story involving an elevator...



  1. Wow, Aerosmith had it all wrong. Carnage in an elevator??

  2. I'd have cold cocked the dude...straight KO so he'd chill. Being trapped in there I'd be fine with...all that jumping up and down and bugging out not at all. And before you scoff...yes I can KO a grown ass man with one right hook cause I'm bad ass like that!

    *thumbs the side of her nose, does the head nod, then brushes her shoulder off*

    Yeah...I'm pretty awesome.

  3. I always take the stairs....just in case

    1. In most cases, I would be cool with stairs too up to the 3rd floor. After that... (ding!)

  4. Oh man...if your OTHER story about an elevator is anything like my story...I CAN'T WAIT!

    Just sayin'...

    P.S. Don't believe the hype!

    1. Now I want to hear your story. Is it something you've blogged about already? I'll admit that my 2nd story is actually a little unique. LOL!

  5. Your blog ate my comment I left here originally. I would NOT have been okay with elevator wrestling! I do not mind the tight space for a limited amount of time (as long as it wasn't hours upon hours) but the jumping up and down would have freaked me OUT! This would have left me only one option and that is a KO punch!

    Before you shake your head...I have a mean right hook and could totally KO a dude if need be cause I'm crazy bad ass like that! *head nod and brush my shoulder off* yup...that's how I roll.

    I can't imagine that many grown ass men battling a freaking out guy in a small college dorm elevator...that'd be a nightmare to me. Glad you made it out.

    1. LOL! I bet that right hook is mean! :) I was cool until that elevator started shaking violently. I was pretty nervous about it falling and at that point, we had to take him down. Luckily for him, we knew him. Had he been a stranger, then a KO may have been the option.

  6. A crazier story? Do tell! I'd think that one would've taken the cake!

    1. The next one is actually a little more crazy than this one. It was something that just doesn't happen every day. I won't give it away, but it was a lot more of an unpredictable situation.

      Thanks for commenting.

  7. I'm claustrophobic.

    I have never been stuck in an elevator (although this is a pretty big fear), but I don't think I would freak out like your friend. Instead, I think I would opt to kind of sit in the corner, hugging my knees and crying.

    1. YB, I would have welcomed that, trust me! It would have been a lot easier to deal with than fighting a cock-strong man-child looking to escape.

      BTW, I laughed out loud at the advertisement you have on Brandon's site about making Kimmel laugh.


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