Good afternoon and Happy Thanksgiving! It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce the third chapter of my story Power Grid Failure. This week the person who is known as Him is cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
Yes. We are having Vick’s VapoRub Turkey.
Yes, we are having a lovely…what?
We are having Vick’s VapoRub Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I am very excited.
No, you insipid Maltese. That is most definitely not what we are having for Thanksgiving dinner.
It is this year’s hottest recipe. I saw it on Tik Tok.
Are you mad?!
No. I rubbed Vick’s VapoRub all over the turkey early this morning.
Him is just about to put it in the oven. I can smell the delicious fumes from here. I am breathing very, very well.
We’ve got to wash it off! How…why…I don’t even what to know! Hurry! Good grief! How am I supposed to enjoy a wonderful meal and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving now?! I must rush off but before I go here is chapter three of Power Grid Failure. Adieu!
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the parti poodle
“Do you think we’re trapped in here?” Windy asks Martin as they stand inside the dark unmoving elevator car.
“Try the emergency button again,” Martin says.
Windy tries pushing the large red button for the fifth time. “It’s hopeless. We’re stuck in here, Marty.”
“Don’t call me Marty. Only my wife calls me Marty and I hate it.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t see a way out of here.”
“We’ll do like they do in the movies. I’ll open the ceiling, climb up on top and look around.”
“Don’t people end up falling that way?”
“Only bad guys. I’m a good guy.”
“I’m not sure that makes sense…”
“Of course, it makes sense. I’ll get up there and survey the situation.”
“Honestly, Martin. You’re afraid of heights.”
“Where did you get that idea?”
“It’s in your files.”
“You went looking through my personal files?”
“I’m an HR representative. It’s my job.”
“Just get ready to hoist me up, will you?”
“I genuinely don’t believe this will work.”
Mr. Peak takes off his wool blazer and loosens his tie. “Okay, now make a step with your hands like this,” he demonstrates lacing the fingers of his hands together. “I’m going to put my foot right there and hoist myself up to the ceiling, shove it aside and pull myself up.”
“What if your weight breaks the cables and we go plummeting to our death?”
“Good grief, we’re not going to plumet to our deaths, Windy. I’m going to have a look around and see if I can find a way to get us out.”
“Do you think you’ll be able to see?”
“Of course, I’ll be able to see.”
“But there’s no light in here. What if there’s no light out there?”
“The emergency lights should be switched on by now.”
Windy shakes her head and hums skeptically. “I will help you do this, Martin. But after you’re up there, I’m going to bang on the doors to see if anyone can hear us.”
Martin sighs and shakes his head. “Fine. Just help me up.”
Windy attempts to get as wide a stance as she can in her restrictive pencil skirt. She bends her knees for support and Martin puts his right foot on her hands and pushes with his left. He reaches for the ceiling and suddenly notices he cannot open the top.
“What’s the matter?” Windy asks.
“I can’t open it.”
“It doesn’t open.”
“You know, I have a nephew who works for the fire department. I think I remember him saying they don’t have elevator ceilings that passengers can open anymore.”
“Well, I think he said so people can’t get on top of an elevator and fall. The only way to open the top of an elevator is by a key only firefighters have.”
“Come down here, Martin.”
Martin steps down off her hands.
“Let’s try knocking on the doors and see if someone can hear us and get us out.”
Martin sighs and nods his head. They start pounding on the elevator doors.
“You seriously play Dungeons and Dragons?” Sloan asks Adams.
“What’s your hobby?” Tiffany asks Sloan.
“I play racquetball.”
“You…really?” Adams says.
“Well…you don’t look like you’re in all that great of shape.”
Tiffany’s eyes widened, surprised at Adam’s candor. She snorts despite herself.
Sloan turns red and takes a step into Adams. “For your information, I play racquetball at my apartment complex five times a week.”
“Do they have weights at your apartment complex because those are great for building muscle.”
“I wouldn’t talk if I were you, D&D boy. You aren’t exactly winning any Mr. Universe contests.”
“You know, maybe we should go and see what that tech writer and janitor guy are doing.”
“Fine. Let’s go.”
“I’m going to try and open the doors,” Reynolds says to the elevator.
“What?” Windy says on the other side.
“The janitor is going to try and open the doors,” Crystal says to the elevator a little louder than Reynolds.
“He’s a janitor,” Windy says. “He’s not maintenance.”
“Look, lady,” Reynolds says to Windy. “I used to work in maintenance at one point so give me a chance here.”
“Can’t someone call maintenance?”
“She already tried. No one is picking up.”
“I’m going to get a couple of tools.”
Inside the elevator Windy turns to Martin and says, “They’re going to get us out.”
“I heard,” Martin says. “How?”
“The janitor says he used to work in maintenance.”
“People say a lot of things. Just because he says he worked in maintenance doesn’t mean it’s true.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that, Martin.”
“That’s why you work in HR.”
“What if he screws up and makes it worse?”
“I…have faith in him.”
Martin rolls his eyes. “Of course, you do.”
Strapping on his headlamp, Reynolds takes the stairwell down to the floor where the maintenance office is. The emergency lights light the way. Being a custodian gives Reynolds the keys to almost every room in the building. And that includes maintenance.
If one were to think about it this gave Reynolds a lot of power. And if one were to be honest it would not be the first time Reynolds has taken advantage of said power. He opens the stairwell door and heads over to where maintenance is located. He grabs his keycard on his retractable cord and unlocks the door. But once he’s inside finding the tools is another thing all together. He needs a drop key to get the loading system to open the doors. A drop key is a half a foot long metal dowl with a long flat metal knuckle on the end. Not a sophisticated tool but a necessity just the same.
Reynolds doesn’t mind rescuing Windy from the elevator, but he and Mr. Peak have history. It is tempting to just leave Peak in there, Reynolds thinks, but keeping the guy stuck in an elevator shaft isn’t the way to build back any bridges.
Reynolds starts searching on the shelves against the wall. They must keep it in here somewhere. He sees a strongbox on the top shelf. He grabs a Little Giant step ladder that’s leaning against the wall, opens it, and climbs up. Of course, when he checks the strongbox, it’s locked.
“Great,” Reynolds says. “Thanks guys.”
This of course means two things. Either he can try and figure out the code or he can break open the box. If he tries to come up with the combination for the lock, that could take a whole lot of patients and time, neither of which he has right now. There are four dials on the thing, and he’d have to get them all right. Prying the thing open sounds good to Reynolds.
He starts searching around for something to wedge between the box and the lid. But apparently, maintenance doesn’t like leaving crowbars hanging around. The room is well organized so if they wanted to keep crowbars in plain view they would have. But Reynolds is sure they keep them out of sight so employees can’t come in and borrow one to use on an annoying coworker.
Against one of the walls there’s a steel cabinet where every door had a combination lock. Beside that there’s a cabinet with a heavy metal mesh front. Aiming his headlamp straight inside he sees a couple of crowbars leaning up against the corner.
“Great,” he says. “Just great.”
Reynolds plops down in one of the maintenance chairs and stares at the locked-up tools. After a minute he picks up the strong box and sets it on the desk in front of him. He looks at the four numbers the lock is set on: 7392. He tries to open it on that setting but just as he figured it’s not the right combination. He sighs and with his thumb turns all four numbers to zero. He turns the first number to one and tries the lock. Then he turns the first number back to zero and the second number to one and tries the lock.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments of my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: FREE GUY (2021)-HBO Max
October, November, and December are usually the months when the best and the brightest films of the year make their public debut. These are often serious films determined to make their way into the minds of Oscar voters. But after a big thanksgiving dinner they are probably not the movies most folks want to sit down and watch. During the holiday most people want something solidly written and entertaining which is why this week, before the slew of heavy stories, I’m recommending this one.
Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller living a normal everyday life…except he’s not. His bank often gets robbed, there are shootouts and car chases in the streets, and he obsesses over a mysterious young woman named MolotovGirl whom he passes on the street every day. He first notices her when he hears her singing the song “Fantasy” which happens to be his favorite tune. It turns out Guy is an NPC (non-player character) in a video game named Free City, a highly popular multi-player game owned by Antwan (Taika Waititi) an unpleasant eccentric tech mogul and CEO of Soonami Studios who owns the game. Young game creators Keys (Joe Keery) and Millie (Jodie Comer) believe Antwan stole the code from their original game called Life Itself, a sandbox game which integrated a unique artificial intelligence programing into its NPCs. Millie plays the game on a regular basis trying to prove their code was stolen while Keys reluctantly holds a tech support job for Soonami Studios.
One day Guy takes advantage of his free will and confiscates a weapon from a bank robber (a real player) against the warnings of his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery) a security guard. Guy shoots the robber and takes his glasses which allow Guy to view Free City as if he were one of the real players and begins his journey as a gamer.