Wired up, but going no where

By Rosanne Lin, Shanghai Star. 2002-03-14

Elevators scare me. A peculiar problem for someone who lives in a city populated by mammoth, Las Vegas-style skyscrapers.

But the idea of being suspended mid air in a crowded metal box by a simple steel cord terrifies me. Frankly, I think any rational person would share my concern.

How can anyone trust the validity of some yellowing paper slapped up on the imitation-wood wall of a hydraulic closet. Remember, this is a contraption that at any given moment can carry you to your death. I have seen carnival rides that were less intimidating.

The only thing that frightens me more than an elevator is an elevator prone to regular power failures. A real problem if you happen to live in my building.

At least once a week I find myself prostate on the metal floor, cloaked in darkness, grappling for the flashlight I usually carry in my bag ?as if being able to illuminate random patches of my potential sarcophagus will really help the situation.

In my frantic blindness, I plea for the quick construction of a nuclear plant in the vicinity of Shanghai: the closer to my building the better.

My experience as a environmental research assistant fails me, and I think: To hell with radioactive emissions! Besides, I think three-eyed fish may prove an exciting new culinary triumph, especially in Guangdong Province.

Delirious, I pray to the gods of energy ?Apollo, Thor, OPEC, Dick Cheney ?asking them to intervene on my behalf. No, I don’t want to end my life as a recycled pop can; yes, I will cease to frequent anti-Republican websites.

But is this really a solution?

Probably not. The real solution can only be found by identifying the real problems, which I bet include a failure to adhere to building codes.

If you subdivide an apartment built for a family of one into several hundred units; what do you expect? Well, of course big profits. But people must also remember that this situation can only result in an unusually enormous strain on the building’s electricity delivery systems, leading to overloading and regular power failures.

People need to be more aware of the dangers of flouting government regulations. I realize that some guy with a with a tool box and a handful of wires may appear knowledgeable when he says, “Ah those experts don’t know what their talking about. They are too careful.? But for whatever crazed reason, I will take the word of a “careful?government expert with an electrical engineering degree over the word of a guy with a handful of wires any day.


Copyright by Shanghai Star.