Last week, I experienced a much-less amusing version of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet.” Yes, it was “Trapped in the Elevator Vol 1.“ Since my editor won’t accept a one sentence column (this week’s attempt: “Go HK!”), allow me to elaborate. Since 2009, I’ve lived in one of those new high-rises in Sheung Wan. It’s pretty awesome because you’re smack dab in an old-school neighborhood filled with Chinese medicine shops so you feel superior to people living in SoHo (where I used to live), which is only filled with drunk white people. My building offers “free breakfast!” in the morning consisting of an old apple and a loaf of bread and has a swimming pool that’s only 3-foot deep but inexplicably has two lifeguards attending it. But by far the best part is the elevator. Even though I’ve been there almost a year, the elevator is still covered in plastic on the inside like you’re in some sort of “American Psycho” death scene. I’m considering carrying an axe and just waiting around to see if my neighbors get the reference. Now, I live on the Hong Kong 47th floor, by which I mean I live somewhere in the mid-30s since buildings skip the superstitious floors like the 4th. I have a partial sea view and full view of the fat guy in briefs watching horse racing in the building across from me. I might suggest that he be a bit more social and Jockey Club it to watch the races but that would require the elaborate effort of buying pants and maybe even a belt to keep said pants up. So Wednesday, my buddy Cris asks me to fill in for their basketball team so I put on my uniform, shoes, and my I’ll-soon-be-an-old-man ankle brace? I’ve seen a preview of the future and it’s terrifying: the old guys playing ball are basically bionic—plastic sleeves, duct tape, shoulder pads, you name it. I wouldn’t be surprised if some guy showed to the match in a leather gimp suit, screaming “LET’S DO THIS!” It’s 20 minutes before the game so I hop down in my elevator (i.e. Murderworld 3000). True to form it descends one floor, makes a sound like a small animal being shot, and shudders to a stop. The lights flicker off and the elevator shudders again. All I can think is, why am I wearing this fucking stupid ankle brace. I am going to die and the police will find my mangled body and a well preserved, beautiful, left ankle. A voice comes through the speaker asking if I’m OK. I tell them I am. Then I realize the voice can hear me but completely cannot understand anything I am saying. It’s like they hired a deaf motivational speaker to monitor the elevator. “Be happy,” he says, while I scream, “HEEEEEELLLLPP ME!” “OK. Good job!” he responds. This back and forth goes on for 30 minutes after which time I decide the best thing to do is lie on the ground and wait for help. At this point it’s not so much scary as it is boring. Amazingly, though, I get cell-phone reception, so I amuse myself by calling my girlfriend saying things like, “When I’m gone, remember me”; “Please tell my family I love them”, and “Don’t worry—we’ll be together in heaven” as she freaks out and calls the Fire Services Department. Another 20 minutes pass. This is getting really terrible. Twenty minutes more and then: the doors slowly open. Thanks, random maintenance guy! The door is off-centered about four feet so I crawl out and down. “We need to ride the working elevator to the ground floor” he says. “Sure,” I respond, like an idiot.