After an exhaustive 5 month-long search of the Queens’ Building on the Mile End campus, Richard Elfman (19) has finally been located and brought to safety.
Jim, the man who found Richard and led him to the outside world, recalls the tale. “I mean yeah. I was up in the 4th floor, west wing. I called out for him, and after I heard the rustling I managed to coax him out of a corner with a bit of food. He was wild after such a long time wandering the building. Not many people know that there is a fourth floor, but that’s just because summoning the gatekeeper is a pain in the back-side. I’m not too sure how Richard managed it, but he’d somehow got past the gate, through one corridor that adheres to the time zone in Western Australia, and bargained with the colony that’s set up in the abandoned filing cabinets”.
Jim paused at this point, and glanced at a scar on his arm with fear, but eventually continued:
“It’s lucky we found him alive, to be honest. I haven’t had the guts to ask him what he was eating all that time. But let’s just say there was a distinct lack of sentient desk chairs when I last checked”. At our puzzled look, he expanded “You know, less than there usually is up there”.
The man heading up the operation, Jim from IT, was chosen because of his 20 years experience working in the aforementioned building. “Oh yeah, I mean I’ve got some real experience going up there. It’s turned into a type of job security; no one else will risk entering past the third floor!” Jim laughed a little too hard at this, “At first I was terrified, got lost for a week once and it felt like five years. I had a wife, somewhere around E505, but I’ve never managed to find her again. Sometimes I wonder if she even existed at all…” Jim became very non-responsive after this.
We decided to approach Richard himself to ask about his 5 month experience, however due to the shock he is currently only able to grunt various syllables and then run away.
For years here at The Print, we have been warning students against entering the Escher-like hell-scape that is the Queens’ Building, but sometimes our pleas go unheeded. We must ask why these students continue to recklessly play with their lives in this way.
One student who has previously survived the Queens’ building said “Oh yeah, I was gone for about a week, so not that bad. It’s like bureaucracy manifested into material form in there. But I had to visit the Study Abroad office on the third floor, so what choice did I have?”.
This is an all too familiar story from those who managed to make it out of the Queens’ Building alive, and we continue to raise the concerns with the University.
Image: Reading Tom/flickr