Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Imaginary elevator

[Two people recognize each other as they wait for an elevator.]

“Oh. Well, hello. About that joke — I have to admit, it’s pretty dated. And I can see how it must have struck you as offensive. I should have realized that not everyone is going get a joke that relies upon knowledge of department-store elevator operators, and that calling out something about lingerie could sound enormously inappropriate. Believe me, I won’t be making that joke again.”

“Well, I’m glad. Really, it’s not my responsibility to instruct grown men about what’s appropriate and inappropriate in public spaces. But your reference to lingerie did suggest, in a rather crass and public way, a preoccupation with women’s bodies. Still, I’m willing to take you at your word that your joke was meant as an elevator joke, nothing more.”

“It’s good to know that.”

[The elevator arrives, the door opens, and they enter.]

“What floor?”

“Notions and Sundries.”

[They laugh.]

Whatever happens in the aftermath of a recent incident of elevator trouble, it is unlikely to take the form that I’ve presented here. My elevator is entirely imaginary.

The ambiguity about who’s making the joke at the end is intended.

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