Classic Dishes...

Slow Motion Moment

I’m about to go to sleep, but I had to write this one as the events were all fresh in my mind.

It was about ninety minutes ago that I got home from a particularly wonderful night out, helping some friends out with a hockey exhibition. Indeed, it was such a fine night that it will probably get its own entry sometime later today. But right now, I’m not here to talk about that.

I think we’ve all experienced a Slow Motion Moment at one time or another in our lives. The nutshell of a Slow Motion Moment is this: something dreadful is about to happen, and the Moment begins. For the duration of the Moment, life is now moving in Matrix-esque bullet-time, Indeed, the Slow Motion part of the Moment starts about a quarter- to a half-second before the actual incident that triggered the Moment takes place. This is so you can get a good solid look at the incident from start to finish, and even get that false sense that you could have done something to prevent it. Not that you could have…once a Moment is underway, there is no force of nature that will keep it from playing out to a conclusion. In fact, I believe that interrupting a Slow Motion Moment would rip a huge hole in the space-time continuum and swallow up the very Universe as we know it in a fantastic explosion of supernovaing stars and Cheesy Poofs.

So I arrived home, tired and content after a long night of good work and a double cheeseburger and fries from Denny’s, and I walk into the elevator lobby in the bottom floor of my building, punch the button, and watch the door open immediately, as it does so often when I get home at a late hour. And I’m not thinking twice about it, and I step into the elevator, sifting through my keyring to locate the one which will release the lock on my front door.

And the Moment begins.

Slowly, oh so slowly, the keys slip through my fingers. I have a lot of keys and fobs and such on my keyring, to the point that friends of mine have commented on it. I also have four fingers and an opposable thumb on my left hand, so you would THINK that one of the latter would be able to intertwine somehow with one of the former and keep the keys safely within my grip. But, this being a Slow Motion Moment, this was not to be.

Nope. The keys tumbled gently from my hands. And a detailed analysis of the trajectory of the keys as they left my hand, combined with the force of gravity, made my blood run cold. For I knew precisely where the keys were going to hit when they reached the ground, and it wasn’t good news at all.

You see, my faithful readers, there is a gap of about an inch and a half between the elevator door and the car itself. And it just so happened that I dropped my keys at the exact time necessary for them to fall neatly through that gap, coming to rest with an unceremonious clatter some eight feet further down at the bottom of the elevator shaft.

A friend of mine brought up a very good point about this: Nothing good has ever come from keys. The only things that can happen to you when you have keys are bad things: they break, or fail in some other kind of mechanical fashion. Or they get trapped behind one of the locks they are designed to open, such as we do when we lock them in the car. Or they get lost outright. Or, in this most bizarre of cases, they are quite simply out of reach at the exact time you need them most.

So at 2:00a on a Saturday night, I experienced the unique pleasure of waiting out in the cold for 40 minutes while the maintenance guy (who, while understandably displeased at being awoken, was surprisingly tolerant of my ultimate act of dipshittedness otherwise…I guess that good karma of saying “Good morning!” on my way out to the car every day to go to work was paying off) drove out to me, and recovered my keys in a three-minute operation – he ran the elevator up to the top, stopped it, forced the door open (there’s a hole you can shove I-think-it-was-a-screwdriver into that detaches the outer door so you can open it manually), and climbed down a conveniently-placed access ladder to arrive at key-level. It will probably cost me a fortune. And I will pay it gladly.

I’m a big fan of biometrics right now.

1 comment to Slow Motion Moment

  • Nathan Beeler

    I had a similar slo-moment last night. I decided to take pity on my cooped up dog and brought him to the grocery store with me. He’s generally well behaved on car rides and he likes to get out of the house, so no big deal. The bad news comes when he sees other animals out and about. He’s a pitbull, so it’s in his nature to whine or growl at them and become visibly aggitated. This is mostly just annoying to me.

    So when I finally got home I pulled my car next to the sidewalk and saw a cat stretching nearby at the same time he did. I fumbled to try to get his leash from the back seat while the cat disappeared under the truck in front of me. I thought, “great, he’s gonna go apeshit trying to get the cat while I’m trying juggle getting him and the groceries into the house”. Being a responsible pet owner I decided just to take him first and come back for the groceries. It didn’t matter.

    The cat jumped up on the still-warm hood of my car and looked quarely at us, as if to say “I’m not afraid of you, stupid pig dogs”. That’s when the slo-motion time scale began, and it ended when my dog’s skull had put a two foot long spiderweb pattern in the middle of my windshield.

    I, of course, yelled at the dog. But the damage was done. Not to him of course, but to my wallet – his head is his least vunerable spot. Fortunately I only had to pay the deductible and miss a half a day of work taking care of it. So in the end it was just a minor annoyance.

    But the worst part of the whole thing is that the cat didn’t even budge from my hood until I honked my horn many seconds later. Cats are evil.

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