Earnest Pettie, comedy writer
It’s about time that we dropped the facade around that button in the elevator that allows you to close the door. It’s time to rename it. It’s no longer the “door close button;” it’s the “jerk button.” You know why? Because the only times people ever actually need to use that button is when they feel like being jerks. The door close button probably has never been used for something positive. I bet no one has ever actually evaded, say, an oncoming assailant by making it to an elevator and hopping on that door close button before the aggressor could make it to the elevator, sticking his pistol-holding hand through the magic sensors between the doors to keep them open. No, people use that button when they’re the only people in the elevator and they feel like it’s their personal limo. They also use it when there are four other people in the elevator and, despite the plaque’s claim that the elevator can hold twelve, they feel that five should really be the limit.
It’s the jerk button, and it shouldn’t have that weird, almost indecipherable image of two arrows pointed toward each other, seperated by a bar. First off, it’s an elevator ride not an IQ test. If you wanted to graphically represent the fact that the button requires you to be ajerk to press it, though, you should just make it a mirrored surface. That way, the person who presses the button sees himself in the image and gets to think, “Yep, that’s me. Third floor Jerk.” Also, you’d have to be a jerk to press that button and give the elevator cleaning crew the extra work to do.
For full disclosure, I’d like to admit to being the jerk for whom the button is being named. I’m impatient and I practically sit on the door close button from the moment I get in until the moment I get off. And you know what? I’ve occassionally been punished for having that impatient nature. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the Jerk Button is disabled. When that happens, you just sit there jabbing it, and when other people join you on the elevator, they get a clear view of how you were attempting to shut them out. Of course, once that happens a couple times, you quickly learn to hop over to the “What a Saint” button as soon as someone makes it across the elevator’s threshold.