How to Build an Elevator: Seven Steps to Success by Vizzini

Disclaimer: Ethan Jo, upon careful review of Vizzini’s advice, does not guarantee that success can be reached according to these procedures. Building an elevator requires experience with electronics, structural forces, and, most of all, ample money. Vizzini mentions none of these crucial elements. Proceed at your own risk.


So, you’ve been hired to help build an elevator? That’s a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition. Now before I hear the word “think” escape your lips, I must explain that you were not hired for your brains. Building an elevator will not require brains as long as you follow my tips. I have the keenest mind that has ever been turned to elevator pursuits.

First: choose your location carefully. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the cliffs of insanity with a kidnapped princess and two bungling fools, only to discover that there is no lift. 

Had I not planned on this and brought an ADA-compliant giant with me, the kidnapping would have been an inconceivable failure. Likewise, make sure you place your elevator in a location where it can serve all the floors in the building. 

Second: Know your elevator’s capacity. An overloaded elevator will not only run unusually slow but also can let men in black catch up with you. By a stroke of misfortune, I once ended up on an elevator loaded to three times its rated capacity. By the time we reached the top, the other elevator, with my archnemesis aboard, was, inconceivably, almost upon us.

Third: Make sure it is automatic. An automatic controller will never make excuses or have hurt feelings. Most importantly, you will never have to find yourself a new giant because the automatic elevator will never complain.

Fourth: Don’t build it left-handed unless, of course, you’re left-handed. When you’re in a hurry, you can’t spare the time for that. What’s that? If you use your right hand, it’s over too quickly? Oh, have it your way.

Fifth: Now for the actual inner workings of the elevator. It’s so simple. All you have to do is divine from what you know of science. Is it the sort of thing that would make the elevator go up or down? Now, only a great fool would say up, because as we all know, what goes up must come down. Assuming you are not a great fool, though you’re no match for my brains, you can clearly not choose down. So you cannot choose either. Inconceivable!

The obvious solution, therefore, is to choose both! Hahaha! My dizzying intellect has defeated the laws of physics! Now you know which way the elevator must go.

Sixth: Never get involved in a lift war in Asia. You will waste your resources vying for the title of the fastest elevator in the world. 

Seventh: Only slightly less well known than number six: Never touch a positive against a negative when voltage is on the line. If you do this, you will get a short circuit, which means sparks, smoke, damaged equipment, and possibly a fire. 

Finally, here is the most important thing to keep in mind when building an elevator: Don’t mess up. Ever. If you do, I will most likely find you unemployed, in Greenland, and will have to hire you to start a war, a much more prestigious, but more dangerous line of work. Good luck on your project.



Image credits:

Reiner, Rob. The Princess Bride. Twentieth Century Fox, 1987


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  1. How does anyone build an elevator without these tips? Inconceivable!

  2. Haha I love this

  3. LOL love the princess bride

  4. I didn’t realize I was reading this in Vizzini’s voice until halfway through it. Awesome article Ethan 😂

  5. Avonmore Wheatley :) :) XD XP

    this is wonderful!!!!

  6. Oh my word!!! This had me laughing nearly the whole time. XD Nicely written, Jojo!! “Princess Bride” is such a classic too, and I love the way you wove quotes in throughout the whole thing from it. 😂

  7. This is the like most beautiful thing I have ever read!! The Princess Bride is my favorite movie ever 🙂 You put this together so well; awesome job!!