Remain calm and exit the building

I had to run an errand today at the Notary. As I was leaving the building, I found myself behaving like a student at the Midvale School for the Gifted. As I walked back to the office, it occurred to me the reason that I might have failed so spectacularly at opening a door was that the fire code in the US has building exits opening to the outside, never to the inside.

So I challenge you, Bugle Nation, to pay attention to building exits over the next few days. See if my defense of self holds true: It’s not that I’m slow, it is that I have been culturally trained to push a door open when exiting.

13 Comments to “Remain calm and exit the building”

  1. The Expatresse said...
    5 March 2010

    The exterior doors on our apartment building here open inwards.

  2. Moses said...
    10 March 2010

    Was there a sign?

  3. Will said...
    10 March 2010

    Not looking good so far, Anita. Back to the Midvale Maroons Dance Squad for you!

  4. Vousettes said...
    11 March 2010

    Wow. Here in Mulhouse our doors open inwards. I think that in most of the world they open inwards.

    [Remainder deleted by editor, see following comment.] What puzzles me is that you’ve been living outside the US for a number of years now, and it’s the first time a door has stumped you. I think Moses has a good point about most doors having a sign, so surely you’ll have picked up the French “Tirez” and “Poussez” by now.

    I’d be interested to know if you do a responsible job Anita?



  5. Will said...
    11 March 2010

    To: Vousettes, aka Moses, aka Keely, aka Any Number of Names over the past year or so

    This is not an open forum. We instituted a very mild rule in January, and you have not commented in compliance with that rule. Your contributions are often insulting to the contributors to this blog, including the authors and those who comment.

    Your comments purport to represent the views of contradictory and sometimes hateful personalities.

    FROM THIS POINT FORWARD: If you wish to post comments, you are required to contact the editor of Bakker Bugle Blog, account for your actions, and make assurances that you will conduct yourself appropriately in the future.

    Until the editor receives such a message, and then approves your continued participation according to his sole judgment, your comments will be deleted without regard for their content.

  6. Doug said...
    11 March 2010


  7. Will said...
    12 March 2010

    Damn right, Doug. If I ever attain personal rule over a territory, then we can talk about free speech.

    By the way, I should be clear about my previous comment: No other commenter needs to contact the editor; the requirement is directed at commenters who have not respected *this* forum and have been told so.

  8. Nial O'Donoghue said...
    12 March 2010

    Dear BB,

    I’ve been a casual observer of your site for some time, and I like some of it. I have to say that you appear to be being a touch illiberal. Let’s face it you have had the nouse to put yourself out on the web, with an audience of potentially 6bn people. In light of this you ought to be able to take a little bit of horseplay on the chin. “Hateful” was probably a bit strong, especially considering the content of some of your earlier posts.

    I mean this with the best of intentions.

    Yours (hoping to get past the censor),


  9. Jaime said...
    13 March 2010

    I am changing the focus of this discussion thread and going back to Anita’s origina post.

    First, MAJOR props for unearthing the Midvale School for the Gifted. I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw that single panel comic. I do remember laughing riotously as I appreciated both the sly humor of the artist and the poor boy’s futility in pushing, pushing, pushing at the door…that opens outwards. Years later, every time this situation arises in my own life, as a participant or as a witness, I think fondly of Gary Larson.

    Second, let’s talk about how much funnier the world was when Gary Larson was doodling and publishing his doodles. We miss you, Gary!

    Finally, I don’t think many of us notice the direction in which doors open. At least until you pull a Midvale maneuver. I’ve certainly had occasions where I’ve tried to quit a room or a building and smashed into a door, expecting it to open outwards, and received the jolt of running full body into a door that open inwards. Ouch.

    However, mindful of public outrage and the resultant building code changes that followed such tragedies as happened at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago and the Cocoanut Grove in Boston in the 1900’s, I found the following information when I googled “fire doors and building codes”:

    It appears that occupant load in the building is important but so to is the thoroughfare upon which the door opens. I’m not sure how the average person is supposed to navigate the complexities. So, this reader cautions everyone – be careful out there!

    Anita, I hope this helps!

  10. Jaime said...
    1 September 2010

    Viva la Midvale School for the Gifted!

    See today’s post from Cake Wrecks

  11. Anita said...
    2 September 2010

    Nice find, Jaime! Thanks for the link – I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  12. Jaime said...
    4 September 2010

    That confusion you are feeling? That’s *exactly* why Cake Wrecks is so popular!

  13. Sharon said...
    15 September 2010

    I like the censorship!!! & the Gary Larson & cake references!!