Z for short

"To write more, write more." This is my writing notepad.

Silent elevator

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Writing prompt: Who is the last person you’d want to be stuck in an elevator with? And why?

Many people find the silence in a packed elevator awkward. Maybe that’s why elevator music was invented – fine as long as it’s not pan flute.

My Irish street poet hero Pat Ingoldsby wrote a poem about this silence. I haven’t asked for his permission to publish the whole poem, so I will just relate the story. It’s about a man I probably wouldn’t want to be stuck in an elevator with:

The elevator, or lift as it’s called in UK English, was full of people and no one knew what to say to break the silence. Then one man “spoke with great sincerity” and told the others that his doctor had assured him that as long as he took his medicine at the appointed times, he wouldn’t feel the urge to whip out his butcher’s knife in crowded lifts and wave it around his head. “Isn’t that great?” he asked. Then he looked at his watch: “Oh shit,” he said.

The last line is: You have never heard a silence like it.

The title of the poem is typical Ingoldsby: HE THOUGHT THEY’D BE THRILLED TO HEAR IT HE REALLY DID


Written by Solveig Hansen

April 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

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