I am about to start the night-shift in my taxi when the windscreen washer light comes on in the car, so I drive to MiniMoney to get some new windscreen washer liquid. It is cheap there. I drive down into the basement, and through some rollup doors and into the car park. It is dark and everything appears to be shut. It must be passed closing time so I decide to leave.

I drive out through the rollup doors only to see a heavy steel gate sliding to close off the exit, trapping me in the basement. I get out of the car and check around for a button to press or a lever to pull to open the gate, but can't find anything. Am I going to be stuck in this basement all night... just when my shift is just beginning?

I head for the lift and thankfully it is working but it only takes me up to a Pakistani resturant on the 2nd floor. I explain to the owner what has happened and as I am speaking I realise that he must think I am a madman or a liar because the story I am telling sounds so ludicrous, and the more details I supply him with then the more improbale the whole thing sounds. I keep thinking to myself he must think I am a robber or off my rocker or something.

Anyway with some reluctance he decides to call roving security and he gives me their telephone number and I have to relate my tale of woe to them. The story does not get any better with the telling, and from the questions the security headquarters are asking I can just feel that they consider me to be highly suspicious, The security says they will send a car around with a guard to open the gate and they tell me to go down to the basement and wait in the taxi.

The resturant owner lets me through a couple of fire doors and I head down some stairs to the basement, only to find the bottom door locked. So instead of being trapped in the basement with my taxi, I am now trapped in a stairwell with no exit either up or down. I try the lift and what do you know it has been shut off as well.

This is how I imagine hell to be. Having to be somewhere but unable to get there no matter how hard you try. The old devil rolling stones in my path. Luckily I have the security phone number on my phone and I give them a call and I tell them that I am no longer trapped in the basement I am now trapped in the stairwell. "What with your taxi sir???" "we've got a right nutcase on the end of the line here Jimbo" is what I imagine they are thinking.

I wait 10 minutes. Nobody turns up. I wait 20 minutes I think the security must have thought it was a crank call. I wait 30 minutes and call security once again and I am told an officer will be there in a few minutes. Most likey they have been briefing him on the phone on how to deal with the maniac trapped in the stairwell. I stay calm and friendly. I practise a smile and hope it won't be misconstrued as a Jack Nickelson lunatic grin.

The security officer arrives and lets me out. I resist the urge to give him a thankful hug since he may have interperated it as an attack. We make our way to the big stainless steel gates and he goes to a small box on the wall and tries to open it. He has almost a hundred keys on a chain, and none of them will open it. He then goes to a bigger box and tries all of his keys once again, but it will not open either. You see when the gates of hell are closed on you then not even and angel in disguise can help you.

The security guard phones his headquarters and they give him instructions to go outside the building and there visible through the stainless steel gate is a small black sensor. He swipes his hand in front of it and the gate slides open.

Just think how lucky I am. Imagine if I had seen that small black box on the outside of the gate, and had put my arm through the railings to open the gate and it had shot open. I might have ended up not only trapped in the basement, but also with a broken arm.

Now that would have been a story:-)