On Elevators

Recently I brought up the idea of the elevator pitch, and that got me thinking about elevators. I’m not new to elevators, but here in Los Angeles I ride elevators far more often than anywhere else I’ve lived.

Elevators, it seems, create strong opinions in people.


A metal box, a cage or a death trap appear often among the not-so-varied opinions I hear of elevators. Truthfully, I can’t blame people for such a negative view of the vertical transports. They do have a varied history of issues. Fortunately, given today’s modern safety measures elevators are rather safe.

Portrayals of Portals

The way elevators appear in film and television seems negatively one-sided. Nearly every week there’s some poor pregnant woman trapped in an elevator where an unsuspecting hero must help out when she happens to goes into labor.

Then on another channel there’s a medical intern stuck performing MacGyver-type surgery to save the guy having a heart attack. Oh, and they’re also stuck in a broken elevator.

While elevators are a repeated dramatic storytelling device, I think they’re so much more.

Fun in a Box

Remember riding an elevator when you were a kid? It was fun. The going up, the going down, the jumping. Kids always want to jump in elevators to get extra hang time.

How are elevators not exciting? I mean, there’s glowing buttons:

Riding an elevator is like opening a present. Those metal boxes are full of mystery and fun. When the door opens to get on, you never know what you’ll find. There could be a man, woman, or vampiric poodle riding inside.

And then, you get to do it all over again when the elevator stops to let you off. It’s the excitement of the unknown.

I love riding elevators.

Now if they’d just fix the one in my building:

Guess I’ll have to take the stairs again.


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