I work on the third floor, but — thanks to science’s failure to deliver flying automobiles back in the year 2000 — the MVoD is parked at ground level. Also at or near ground level are the dispensers of beverages, microwaveable foodstuffs and conveniently packaged snacks, ((I originally typed “conveniently packaged snakes,” which would certainly make the vending machines more interesting.)) not to mention a host of offices and conference rooms. Thus, there are a number of reasons for me to move between the first and third floors of the building throughout the day.
There are two elevators in the building, the use of which reduces the number of vertical steps between the third and first floors (and vice versa) from forty-four to zero, likewise reducing the amount of physical exertion necessary to travel between those floors. For this reason alone, I should avoid the elevators at all cost. My job and most of my leisurely pursuits require very little physical activity, so I should get exercise whenever possible, even if it’s just four flights of stairs.
Laziness often wins out over common sense, and I find myself riding the elevator instead of taking the stairs, especially if someone else has already summoned the vertical conveyance to my current floor. Shaky rationale often reinforces laziness in this case, for surely I am saving valuable corporate dollars by decreasing the cost-per-passenger when I join someone else in an elevator that is already bound for my destination.
This week, building maintenance swept in to aid laziness. Painting in the stairwells has produced fumes, turning those enclosures into nausea-inducing gas chambers and making the elevator all the more attractive as a means of traveling along the z-axis. Unless, of course, the previous passengers consisted of two individuals returning from their smoke break and a third carrying his bag of recently-microwaved popcorn; the combination of the two odors is enough to turn the stomach and conjure images of Marlboro Lights drizzled with melted butter.
Perhaps it’s an as-yet-untapped marketing niche: Buttered Popcorn cigarettes could take their place on the shelf next to the ubiquitous menthol and never-expressed-but-always-implied burning dog ass flavors. ((There goes my G-rating for today.)) Tempting as it may be, I’m not going to jump on that potential cash cow. I’ll let Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds fight over it. I’m nothing if not magnanimous.
There’s a lesson in all of this, I suppose. Something as simple as “take the stairs, you lazy bastard,” but disguised in layers of abstract symbolism and metaphor to make it seem deep and philosophical. Time for me to try my hand at proverbs, I guess.
“Even the laziest dog knows the proper time to lift his leg.”
Yeah, that’s it.