Discover Challenge: Numbers

The last few years of my corporate life before blessed retirement I worked in a Johannesburg high rise building with 29 floors, all very modern and lah-di-dah. We had banks of elevators (referred to as lifts in South Africa) serving different common floors, and used by dozens of workers going up and down every single minute of the day. Stepping into the lobby you had to select the desired floor number from the wall panel whereupon the number of your elevator would flash on the screen.

We then queued up in front of the appointed elevator and waited for the doors to open. Once inside the elevator, a preppy computerised voice would inform us of our progress by announcing each floor. With so many people riding up and down, the elevator, without fail, stopped on every floor. Guess on which floor I worked!

This challenge reminded me of an old song by Jeremy Taylor, a retired English folk singer and songwriter who has spent much of his life in South Africa. He never hesitated to address social problems in society through his song lyrics, but always in such a way that his followers took no offense and were encouraged to laugh at themselves. In South Africa he was best known for the iconic song Ag pleez Deddy, but his elevator song (in the video below) was always my personal favourite.

Download this song on your iPhone and next time you get into an elevator, you can hum the tune under your breath; riding up 29 floors will become a pleasure – guaranteed!

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