Friday, February 27, 2009

Cognition Switch Is On

Some years ago I saw a nature program where they showed how some natives would capture monkeys. They'd put seeds in deep holes they had made in the side of some sandstone formations. The holes were narrow enough for a monkey to get a hand down to grab the seeds. But once they grabbed the seeds and made a fist, they could not extract their hand. Consequently, as their captors approached they'd flail about unable to escape because they wouldn't let go of the food. So why do I bring this up?

When you're approaching the closing doors of an elevator you can normally get them to open back up by quickly waving an arm in between them. This has always worked in the building where I've been employed for over 11 years. Today was different. Holding my freshly purchased bottle of strawberry-kiwi juice I inserted my right arm between the closing elevator doors only to have the doors clamp down firmly. And I mean firmly. Then the alarm buzzer sounded telling the empty elevator that the doors were not completely closed. Now under these circumstances some people would probably worry that their arm would be ripped away or something. But for some reason my first thought was of the nature program where the monkey wouldn't let go of the food only to meet his or her doom. And I resolved to use my superior reasoning and logic abilities to keep both my arm and my juice. After all, I paid a buck-fifty for it. By the way, two people are standing behind me, watching silently.

The doors wouldn't open and they had a pretty good grip on my right arm. I slid my arm out a little and the doors squeezed shut a little more. So I did what any logical person would do. I inserted my left arm into the gap. Tilting the top of the bottle back in my right hand, I grabbed the top with my fingertips and pulled the bottle out. It was a tight squeeze and the audible scraping sound as the bottle came out caused one of the people to ask, "Uh...are you really stuck?" Since I had my juice out I could now pull my right arm which came out with less noise than the bottle and some very minor scrapes. The doors closed and the elevator went on its way.

2 comments:

Jacque Hendrix said...

Man! That's scary. I've read stories of serious injuries from such situations.

I mean hey! How in the world would you be able to ride your bike and drink beer at the same time with only one appendage (I'm referring to your arms).

Hank said...

Hmm, a cup holder and a straw maybe?