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11/12/2013

Confronting a demon: The elevator from beyond

1458424_658352747537785_572448403_nDALLAS, Texas - The walls began to move in, and the ceiling started to slowly descend on my head. The lights were on, but it felt like complete darkness. A darkness from hell. 

The first tear came. Then the second. And the third. Slowly a torrent of tears descended on my face like the rain that swept Noah into God's rushing waters.

This was the end. I was going to die. Alone. Cold. Scared. In a freight elevator. And there was nothing I could do about it. I didn't even have a volleyball to talk to.

Yet here I sit typing away a modern day hero. I made it out of the depths, and now I will use my story for good - to serve as an inspiration to kids. A memoir. NBC movie of the week. IMAX film. A weekend with Oprah. The lecture circuit for $500,000 per appearance. Autograph shows with Johnny Manziel.

On November 6, 2013, at 4:45 a.m., my life changed forever when I walked into the freight elevator in the CBS Radio Tower in Dallas for my weekly radio spot with Mr. R.J. Choppy and Shan Shariff on "New School". What I could not know was that for the next 45 minutes I would be stuck in the Elevator From Hell.

Since I pride myself on approximate punctuality, both men knew something was wrong when I was not there at 5:30 a.m. That's when the show starts. I'm usually there before then. Usually. They had to panic.

UnknownWhat they could not have known was that 12 floors below I was in my own panic room. I walked in, pressed "12" and the doors closed. Nothing. I pressed the "door open" button, and it did - there was light. It was like that scene at the end of "The Perfect Storm" when the crew of the Andreal Gael saw the storm clouds part to see the sun before the darkness returned.

The doors closed. I was trapped. Forever. Destined to die in an elevator. I had a decision - die on the dirty elevator floor, or dig in and fight my way out - swallow my pride and call the emergency elevator button.

Only through sheer will and determination did I not have to use the potty (thank God). I am not sure if I am clausterphobic, but my will power kept the walls at bay. The only thing my brain power failed to do was create a cell signal.
 
After 40 minutes, and tireless efforts, stress won. I pounded on the doors, but despite my ability to bench press in excess of 80 pounds nothing would budge. I cried. I tried to drink my tears to sustain me, but, who was I fooling? The elevator was winning.
 
Encased in defeat's warm blanket, I wrote the following note on the back of a Kenny Rogers Roaster napkin: "Dear world - you screwed me. Again. It's all your fault."
 
ImagesYou laugh and make your little jokes, but you weren't there. What is your punchline is my nightmare.
 
One minute later, as I finished describing where the sunken treasure is located in Hurst, Texas the doors opened. God had answered my prayer. Now a hero, I would go up a different elevator, just a bit dusty but not defeated to do the show.

One week after this traumatic event, on November 13, 2013 at 4:45 a.m. my plan is to confront this demonic elevator and slay the beast. I'm taking the frieght elevator.

So much good has come from this ordeal. I no longer take my for hair granted, and the building people called me to apologize and said they will give me a $25 Starbucks card.

One word: Venti.

 

Twitter @MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Gail Weathers

You are a brave man. Thank God you don't take your hair for granted anymore.

The 'M' Shamalon

Great article. It reads almost exactly like the 2010 movie 'Devil'. Scary stuff.

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