Entrance Denied: Metallic Levels of Exclusive Membership

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Doorknob by Steve Slade

Image by Steve Slade

I enjoy watching syndicated TV sitcom Frasier. In an episode called “Door Jam, the lead character Frasier and his brother Niles get embroiled in the hierarchy of membership at a posh spa. In this part of the episode’s script, Frasier and Niles have just enjoyed a most soothing time at the spa. But their blissful relaxation is upset when they notice a member, who happens to be a Senator, accessing a secret door to a highly exclusive area”to which they have not been invited. The humorous scene speaks to the competitive nature of metals:

Clerk: I’m sorry. That area is restricted to our gold level members.

Niles: You have a gold level? How do you get in?

Clerk: You’d have to be on the list.

Frasier: Well, we ARE on the list.

Clerk: The GOLD list.

Frasier: This is absurd! I am a member of every exclusive club in this entire town. You must have a reciprocal membership with one of them.

Clerk: I’m sorry. But you’re more than welcome to enjoy the many amenities of the silver level.

In a later scene at the spa, Frasier and Niles discover another door leading to, what they suspect, is another exclusive area. This time, the door is made of platinum. The attendant instructs, “I’m sorry. Sir? You’re not allowed through there. Please remain in the relaxation grotto.

Of course, Frasier and Niles refuse to obey and stubbornly go through the platinum door and unexpectedly wind up in the alley. In addition to the lesson of not being seduced by the social grades projected onto metals, another lesson is: Don’t judge a metal door by its material and, in particular, its sheen.

Nate Burgos

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