Friday, May 5, 2017

The Earthquake Button...St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Leeny Del Seamonds, me, Tim Lowry, Bobby Norfolk, Dovie Thomason, and Angela Lloyd.

I am here in beautiful, and no longer rainy St. Louis, Missouri where the 38th annual Storytelling Festival is happening.

I am having a wonderful time telling with some fabulous tellers. New and old friends are thick on the ground here.

I worked with some eighth graders today.

Two of the girls got bold and came over and told me they liked my stories.

I took a selfie with them.

You want to know how to get a whole bunch of eighth graders to volunteer to take a picture with you? Pick two to take a selfie. Then...

After that, take another. Then...


But that isn't even the most fun thing that has happened on this trip.  The most fun thing happened in the elevator.

The David asked me about a button in the elevator. It was a button I had not noticed.

Perhaps you are not seeing the oddity, though I suspect you have. Let me point it out a bit better.

There is an Earthquake button in the elevator.
I have never in all of my life seen an Earthquake button in the elevator.

This brings up all sorts of things.

Who thought this up?
What does it do?
Does pushing it cause earthquakes?
How do you know when to push it?
Is there some alarm that goes off that encourages you to push it?
What would such an alarm sound like?
Does it flash in case of emergencies?

The list of quandaries multiplies the longer I stare at this tantalizing thing.

We asked the young concierge.

He didn't know.

He assures us it will most likely stop the elevator on a floor and let you out.

We asked about the alarm.

He didn't know.

He said he'd check. He still hasn't gotten back to us.

I find myself drawn to this button.

I find myself wanting to make up stories about this button.

I find myself desirous of thinking up other types of buttons one could put in an elevator that might evoke thought in the people who are riding from floor to floor.

What buttons would you put in an elevator?

Inquiring minds really, really want to know.

And how would anybody know to push this button?

Happy Vertical Travel!


The young concierge responded to the question of how do we know when to push the earthquake button.

He asked management and they told him, "You really do not want to know."



  1. Existential Quandary button. Abyss button (you have to stare into it to see it -- and it stares back). Do Not Press button.