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Comedy Stories

Short Delay in Service

“Hey—that looks like quite a load! Do you need any help?”

It’s the new guy from account services. Is he coming into the elevator with me? He’s even better looking close up. Much better looking. Did I put on antiperspirant or deodorant this morning? Either way, this might be a problem if he stands too close.

“Hold the door. Please, just—hold the door!”

Just hit the OPEN DOOR button for God’s sake. It literally is the one that reads OPEN DOOR. Stop stabbing all the buttons. One says CLOSE. One says OPEN. You have a 50% chance of getting it right.

“Oh, okay!”

Why did I just hit the CLOSE DOOR button?

Nervous laughter.

Do I sound like a goat? A baby goat is called a kid. I’ll start kidding around. He’ll like that. I’ll stick my leg out and the door will politely close on it before it cautiously opens again. Then it will be just the two of us.

“I almost sacrificed my leg for you. Of course, I could have just hit the right button instead, but I definitely have a leg up on you.”

More nervous laughter.

I am braying now, like a baby donkey. I’m a foal. I’m a fool.

“Thanks.”

Oh no, I thought she was getting out. I was hoping to be alone to fart.

“That’s a lot of files. Are you scanning those files for back up? Being backed up is painful.”

Should I offer to help him again or will that emasculate him? Oh, mother of God. He smells like sandalwood. And I don’t even know what sandalwood is.

“Yeah, I’m moving them from the bowels of the basement to the 17th floor storage area.”

Why didn’t I make two trips? I’m going to drop all of this crap. I should have grabbed an intern to help me. Is there a bathroom on 17?

“Hey, did the lights just flicker?”

Or is there just a nimbus around this beautiful man’s face? I’m not sure that he noticed that I noticed him noticing me at the last department meeting. He stutters a bit when he’s nervous. That just makes him so much moreokay look, he’s effing hot. Just face it. Red. Hot.

“Yes, I think—”

Oh no. We stopped moving. I’m losing my grip on these files. I’m losing my grip on my sphincter. Why didn’t I put the files in a box at least? I’m such an asshole!

“So how’s your first week coming? I— ”

What the? He just dropped all of his files on the elevator floor. Almost on purpose. Our feet are instantaneously buried in manila folders, loose papers, and binder clips. He looks utterly dejected. I want to comfort him, watching in horror as my left arm raises by its own accord to touch his shoulder in collegial support. Don’t pat him. Don’t pat him. Don’t pat him. I’m now patting his shoulder like an elderly aunt. There, there. Pat. Pat.

“Sh-sh-shit.”

I’m standing here with some cute co-worker whose jaw just dropped at my inability to hold three dozen file folders in an elevator. My intestines are gurgling, and I think the elevator just actually stopped.

“It’s dark.”

I’m in a metal box with the man of my dreams and the lights just went out. We may plummet to our death if the elevator cable unspools. But I’ll die with him. Totally worth it.

“Th-the emergency lights sh-should go on in a few seconds.”

There they are. We are bathed in a red light. Why is she staring at me? It’s my stutter. Why do I even bother speaking out loud?

“Good.”

Why can’t I blink when I look at him?

“THERE WILL BE A SHORT DELAY IN SERVICE. A SERVICE TECHNICIAN HAS BEEN CALLED.”

“I g-guess I have time to sort out this m-mess.”

I need a bathroom almost immediately.

“I guess it would be best if I help address this mess.”

Who am I now, Dr. Seuss? I am squatting down in a darkened corner of the universe with the father of my unborn children. However, it is now hot as hell in here and my armpits are dripping. I am positive now that I did not put on antiperspirant or deodorant. I smell like an 8th grade boys locker room. I will weld my elbows to my sides to avoid my body odor from sickening us both.

“T-thanks for your h-help. I can’t believe I p-personally have to move all these files. This is all so irregular.”

My squatting down in this condition has been my greatest singular act of bravery. Now I’m in pain. If it were just another man in here, he would totally understand. I would just let it rip, then we’d laugh about it. He’d probably try to best me. Then it would be a fun competition instead of wholesale agony.

“THERE WILL BE A SHORT DELAY IN SERVICE. A SERVICE TECHNICIAN HAS BEEN CALLED.”

“All righty. Here are all the files as good as new. That didn’t take long—did it? I’ll help you get these to 17.”

Now I’m his mother, helping him pick up his mess and putting a figurative bandage on his booboo. There is no way he will see me as a romantic figure now. I have absolutely entered the friend zone. We will laugh at our bad puns in the employee’s lounge. He’ll ask me to set him up with one of my friends. At the holiday party, he will give me a friendly one arm hug. I’ll never know what sandalwood tastes like.

“Th-thanks, again. I really appreciate your h-help. It’s been a very long w-week.”

I am new in town. This is the closest thing I’ve had to a real conversation with anyone in weeks.

“I remember when I first started here. The learning curve was pretty steep. If you ever want to grab a cup of coffee—”

Hi. My name is Desperate.

“That would be great.”

You are incredibly kind.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

““THERE WILL BE A SHORT DELAY IN SERVICE. A SERVICE TECHNICIAN—”

“Hey, folks. Sorry for the trouble.”

“No problem. It wasn’t stuck for very long.”

“The timing was perfect.”

“ S-so coffee around 3:00 p.m.?”

“3:00 sounds perfect. Or we could go right now?”

I should really quit when I’m behind.

“Actually, I need to do some p-paperwork right now.”

For at least a half hour.

“Let’s check the control panel real quick. Holy cow! W-What’s that smell in here?”

“I don’t smell anything. Do you?”

“No, nothing. Maybe just a hint of sandalwood.”

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