Elevators (inaccurately called "lifts" in stupid places), are torture devices invented in 1523 by the Spanish Catholic Inquisitors searching for a more efficient method of "repressing" the Jews, Protestants, and their Satanist in-laws. The 16th century design, although crude by today's standard, set the bar for torture devices to a higher level. Over the years, the original design was modified extensively until it became the modern object of torture it is now. As of today, the elevator has become a staple of the civilized business world, despite numerous attempted sanctions by so-called "peace-keeping" pansies.
Elevators in History
From its conception in 1523, the elevator was meant to inflict pain. After nearly half a millennium, the elevator has undergone many revisions to ensure that this goal is met and in style, too. The original design for the elevator was quite basic, consisting of merely a large metal box suspended from a substantial height with an iron chain. The box, with the person about to be tortured inside, was raised to the suitably high level and dropped. If the person survived the fall, he was taken out of the box and the process was repeated until the torturee was ready to confess his sins. If the fall had accidentally killed the accused, well, he was guilty anyway.
The original design was practically untouched for about 338⅓ years, and had recently fallen behind in popularity to the new device named the "Iron Maiden." However, in 1861, an American by the name of Eli Whitney combined the original elevator design, his previous knowledge of other torture devices, including the cotton gin, and his revolutionary system of interchangeable parts to completely revamp the elevator into the most popular torture device today. Whitney had a vision about the limitless potential that elevators possessed. He believed that the simple metal box could be transformed into a sort of "all-in-one" torture device. It took five years of intense designing, testing, more designing, more testing, and finally commercialization for Whitney to complete his vision. The finished product was revealed at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower on July 4, 1867. It was an instant success. Whitney became fabulously wealthy and many important corporate heads had the best time of their lives inviting their personal assistants to "try out Mr. Whitney's amazing new invention." This night of celebration was made even more interesting by the fact that the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower was not due to be built for at least 30 more years.
At the unveiling, Eli Whitney introduced three new methods of torture that the elevator could execute. These were the "Cramming with People" method, the "Fake-Out Sudden Drop" method, and the "Head-Squish" method. All three were wildly effective, and Whitney's amazing new elevator model was purchased by every company owner who attended. Consequently, the United States Department of Labor recorded an almost double amount of worker productivity in the following year. By 1930, elevators had been installed in every skyscraper on the east coast, and were steadily gaining ground in western cities such as Chicago and St. Louis, as well as in many Western European countries.
It was in 1930 that the elevator was given its final major modification to date. Inventor George O. Squier had been a disciple of Eli Whitney's since the elevator had debuted. However, he felt that something was still missing. He pored over Whitney's designs for hours, searching for the last piece of the puzzle, the addition that would make the elevator the kind of torture device that would someday be taught about in history books. At last, on October 13, 1930, inspiration struck. The ultimate torture was revealed in a dream late that night in the form of a single word: "Muzak." It was also revealed that Squier was going to burn for eternity because of this. But Squier didn't care. He was going to be rich! When Squier awoke, he immediately got to work. He studied ancient tomes, searching for the meaning of "Muzak". At last, in a 50-pound, dusty record book from the Spanish Inquisition, Squier found the answer. Squier promptly designed his own elevator, now with the inclusion of elevator music, and became filthy rich until the end of his days, at which time he was summarily thrust down to hell for unleashing such evil onto the world.
Avenues, Streets, and Boulevards of Torture
Over time, the elevator has become the "go-to" device when someone needs to be tortured. Here are descriptions of the five standardized torture methods that the elevator can administer.
The "Cramming with People" method
This is accepted as proper office etiquette when introducing a new employee into the company. The secretary on the ground floor will direct the new worker to the elevator. This is where the first stage of the torture begins, often called "breaking them in." Some time before the new employee reaches his floor, the doors will open at a different floor and the elevator will be jammed with the company's most disgusting workers, specially timed-for-release so as to maximize the discomfiture of the new employee. The fat, smelling-of-sweat one, the one with fleas, the one with the irritable bowel syndrome, and the one with cyclic vomiting syndrome are all combined with the new hire inside the cramped elevator.
By the time the new guy reaches his floor, his arrogant, cocksure attitude of, "Oh, I just got hired, I'm king of the world, la-di-da-di-la!" is now gone forever, and in place is the appropriate attitude a new hire should have. That being of course, something like, "I hate my life. I'm going to jump off the roof of the building just as soon as I give my body and soul to this fine, upstanding company for however long the good CEOs who run this fine company can tolerate my miserable, loathsome existence."
The "Fake-Out Sudden Drop" method
It's been a while, and trouble is starting to brew. One of your employees, a certain Mr. Smith, has fought back against his revulsion. He's coming up the building unmolested, which is not good for worker productivity. Fortunately, you have another facet of the elevator which is at you disposal. On your control board, locate the button named "Bladder Override." Press it. The elevator will suddenly plunge to earth, scaring the spit out of your employee. The elevator will eventually slow down and release the guy at the ground floor. If all goes well, he should be crawling out, at which point you should yell at him for goofing off when he should be working. Completely demoralized, the employee will return to work. A proper execution of he "Fake-Out Sudden Drop" method will keep your employee in the highest possible productivity mode for about 72 hours.
The "Real Sudden Drop and Crash" method
This was for many years the only method of torture the elevator offered, introduced by the Spanish Inquisitors. Using this method is usually only in extreme circumstances, as using this method can often result in damaging the elevator as well as your employee. That notwithstanding, the "Real Sudden Drop and Crash" method remains one of the most effective methods for getting your employee's mind back on work and off your secretary's caboose. To execute the method, the only prerequisite is that Mr. Smith (or whomever) is at least five stories up. Falling from below that height just isn't as much fun to watch.
The "Head-Squish" method
It has happened again. One of the peons (Mr. Smith again) in your employ just won't shut up. He's made a list of demands, camped out in front of your office, said all sorts of lies about his treatment at work, defamed your mother's virtue, and threatened to sue. Normally, you would just have him tossed in the elevator for twenty minutes to get his senses back together, but just look at him, he's got the fire of determination in his eyes. He could stand almost anything, it looks like. And he's threatening to sue. If he sues, and he wins his case, that means no tax breaks for a good while. By Jupiter, you are not going to stand for this. But what can you do? Never fear, the elevator is here. Have your extremely well-paid bodyguards hold the upstart peasant in the space where the doors close, and push the "emergency door shut" button. Then send the elevator up or down a floor. Leave the employee for, oh, five minutes, then open the doors and fire him for obstructing the elevator doors. Problem solved.
The "Elevator Music" method
You thought the man would quit. You thought his squished head and subsequent firing would teach him something. But no. Now he's back with a vengeance. He's stormed the office building, armed with an M4-class machine gun with plenty of ammunition, and has proceeded to shoot up floors 23 to 36. He's heading to your office on the 40th floor. What to do? Even at this dire moment, you can rely on your elevator to solve the problem. Tricking the militant ex-employee through the direct approach will not work, so you must use a more clever lie to fool him. Example: "Mr. Smith, I have you surrounded. There is no way you can escape this floor. (emphasis on "this floor") The employee will doubtless be fooled into the elevator by your CEO-level intellect, thinking that you have no control over the next floor. That's where the ultimate torture of the elevator comes in. As soon as the doors close around him, you unleash the destructive force of elevator music. Pump some smooth jazz into the elevator to begin the torture. If you wish, you can install a video camera and/or microphone inside the elevator to observe the effect it has. Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart. The inevitable result of elevator music is completely destroying your employee's mind, and leaving him a gibbering, foaming-at-the-mouth wreck, which Mr. Smith now undoubtedly is.
The elevator had been in use for centuries without any fuss on the part of so-called "peace-keeping" societies. However, all that changed when then-Presidential candidate Woodrow Wilson made an unexpected visit to the Wells Fargo corporate building. Wilson was short on campaign money, and intended to ask the bank's CEO, Burns D. Caldwell, for some more. Alas, he never got the chance. Being a product of the American bourgeoisie, Wilson was unaware of the true nature of elevators, and so entered the box. The elevator controller on duty was a Slavic immigrant with experience in the torture field, but no experience in American politics. He mistook Wilson for a new hire and, as per company guidelines, initiated the "Cramming" method. This method failed, however, because the disgusting people who were supposed to enter the elevator to weaken Wilson recognized him, and stayed away. Perplexed by the failure of the first method, the controller began the second method ("Fake-Out"). This time, Wilson was not immune, but instead thoroughly freaked out. From there, it was a simple matter for the elevator controller to reduce Mr. Wilson's willpower into oblivion.
Mr. Wilson left the building a changed man. He refocused his goals for the presidency. He started a campaign against the horrors of elevators, promising that if he were elected, he would destroy every elevator in the country. The common people rallied to his cause by the millions, showering him with campaign money. This grassroots campaigning was the first of its kind, and was wildly effective. Wilson was swept into the White House by a landslide. His first bill as a president was an initiative calling for the immediate shutdown of all elevators in the country. It was promptly shot down by the lobbyists in Congress.
To distract everyone from his failure to deliver on his promises, Wilson pushed Congress to join World War I. Wilson spoke some "it's to rid Europe of the tyranny of elevators" mumbo-jumbo to the masses to appease them. During the fighting, Wilson drew up his famous "Fourteen Points." In Point 12, Wilson snuck in an anti-elevator clause, hoping that Congress would be distracted by prodigious use of the words "PEACE," "HOPE," and "CHANGE." When the war ended, Wilson presented his Fourteen Points. His attempt was discovered and promptly shot down again. Distraught, Wilson had a stroke and became a useless sack of meat for the rest of his presidency.
- Which nobody expected.
- Which nobody, least of all Squier, expected.
- No, I couldn't come up with anything more original. Get over it.