HALIFAX – A sales manager in your building has broken the pleasant quiet of the Monday morning elevator ride to ask a group of strangers yet another deeply inconsiderate personal question.
While you didn’t notice him at first, sources say the man entered behind a delivery trolley despite attempts by several riders to close the doors before him. The man, who very much wants you to know his name is Lawrence, once told you that cauliflower gave him “weirdly smelly burps” even though you had never spoken to him, are not coworkers, and the subject of cauliflower had not to your knowledge been raised in the elevator previously.
Somewhere between the lobby and your office, the man cleared his throat, causing several women in front of you to cower slightly in preparation for whatever unwanted interjection was forthcoming, and asked some or all of the riders, “Say, gang, I was thinking of getting into religion. Which one do you think is the best?”
At this, no one answered though witnesses report several people took out their mobile phones and began to stare at emails.
“I was raised Unitarian but I dunno. Some nice Mormons came to the house who were real friendly and we ate my old birthday cake together. My neighbour is a Jew. There are lots of Hindus in India, you know.”
The gentlemen, who you have also observed asking strangers their sexual orientation, which political party they support, and at least four tall women whether or not they were assigned male at birth, proceeded to his secondary tactic, of cornering one specific rider and asking them directly.
“You,” he turned to a young man who either didn’t speak English or was pretending not to, “What kind of God-guy do you like?”
When we spoke to Lawrence, he told us “I sell photocopiers for a living, and what inspires people to buy photocopiers? Ice-breaking! A little bit of discomfort is worth it if it gets you revved up to sell units! Strangers are just yesterday’s friends!”
At press time, the elevator had slowed to a crawl and a woman came on carrying–oh no, is that curry? please don’t be curry—as the gentleman’s lips curled in recognition and he began to lift his index finger as if to ask a question.