It all started with Greek class. It's on the third floor of the newest building on campus, a building which contains an elevator. One day, one of the Greek students decided to take the elevator rather than the stairs, and gradually more students joined him, including our son Sam.
Eventually, the young men saw the potential of this elevator in setting a record, like how many guys can we stuff in here? So over the course of a semester, they managed to get 21 young men in said elevator. Last Friday was the last day of Greek class for the semester. Naturally, these spiritual young Bible college students decided that, in honor of the last day of class, they must break their own record. An innocent freshman walking by looked in and expressed his amazement at the amount of people in there, and naturally the young men in the elevator encouraged him to join them. So - naturally - he did. The 22nd man.
The doors closed and the elevator began its descent. Then an odd thing happened. The elevator lurched to a stop, but the doors didn't open. Then an automated voice began reciting the location of the elevator and the address of the college. Then the elevator phone buzzed, and a friendly woman's voice announced, "This is the Lancaster Fire Department. What is your problem?" The young man nearest the speaker answered, "Ummm . . . we're stuck?" The lady proceeded to ask several questions to determine the extent of the problem, and concluded her conversation with the news that she would contact the administration of the college so that the elevator could be un-stuck and the boys could be freed. This was not the news they wanted to hear.
For the next 40 minutes, the boys waited. One of them was just sure his college career was over before it even got started. Ground rules were set: no claustrophic panic and no . . . ummm . . . gaseous emanations, if you know what I mean. Curiosity about why the elevator had stopped began to circulate, and someone eventually noticed the sign above that said, "Weight limit 3,500 pounds." They began to wonder just how much weight they had in there with 22 young men, so someone whipped out his calculator. Beginning in one corner, each young man announced his weight . . . 160, 135, 180, 240 - awwwww, man, lose some weight - final tally: 3,606 pounds. Hmmm. That could be the problem.
A cell phone rang. It was the assistant dean of men. A not-very-happy assistant dean of men. He wanted names - 22 names. Seven names were those of room leaders, one of which is one Sam Hutchens, who is also a tour group member and works in campus security. Fine young man. We know him personally.
When the elevator finally runs again and deposits them back on the third floor - to walk down the stairs - it's a somber group that emerges. They had the sense to realize that, although this would make an amusing story, it was not likely to be amusing at this initial contact with the school authorities. They came out of that elevator a tad smarter than they went in, apparently. The assistant dean of men awaited their arrival on the main floor. He was not extremely angry, but he made it clear to the record-setting Greek scholars that this behavior was not acceptable and would not be tolerated in the future. Each young man assured the assistant dean of men that he clearly understood this fact. Then the dean announced that they still had time to get to chapel - yes, they were all late - very late - to chapel - and don't forget to key in to register that they had attended chapel. Better late than never, of course. Would twenty-two guys coming in on tiptoes draw any attention?
Each boy has earned his demerits. Most of the demerits for horseplay, but some for being late to chapel. Let it be known that this set of parents is not amused that their son has demerits and not amused at his lack of discretion (although we are not the least bit surprised - there is a difference). But the story will definitely go down in family - and most likely school - history. And we actually did get a chuckle or ten out of it. Because our son's father would have likely done the same thing at 20. But not his mother. No way.