Take my time on every stair.
So you were trying to decide between the strawberry-red reclining chair that would have fit into the Trumps’ richly-furnished household, or the blue corner sofa bed that reminded you of a scene from a Hollywood movie.
Then the fire alarm went off. The din was deafening.
What would you do?
- gather up your wife, kids and maid, rush out of the building, and do a hasty headcount. 1, 2, 4… Oh, bother! if they could just stand still for a minute;
- glanced about curiously, craning your neck and wishing your head could do a 360-degree turn. It would be interesting to get into the thick of the ‘action’;
- continue going about your shopping nonchalantly, as if nothing happened. Well, your eyes and nose did not detect any smoke after all.
During a recent window-shopping trip, I saw a kid fiddling around the fire exit, inadvertently setting off the alarm. He ran off, losing himself in the crowd as loud ringing sounds filled the air.
Shoppers still continued pushing their trolleys along the narrow aisles.
Some had inquiring looks on their faces, but made no move to leave the store.
Generally, most remained seemingly oblivious, as if they had not even heard the fire alarm went off in the first place.
Well, that was not quite the reaction I was expecting.
Then again, I have to admit that there is also a high probability that I myself will fall into the same, ‘look-and-wait’ category as well, had I not seen that mischievous kid triggered the false alarm.
Now, what happens if there really is a fire breaking out at the store? Does it have to take the strong smell of smoke tearing our eyes to spring us into action? Water sprinkling onto our heads to make us run like a troop of mad elephants, heading for the exit?
In other developments, I am already running out of steam on my first-ever Nanowrimo attempt. Sigh. By hook or by crook, I must hit at least 25k by this Sunday, or else!
Oh, and merci beaucoup.
On air now: My Very Best, Elbow