Trivial Rant #001: People Standing Still In the Middle of Escalators

I consider myself to be a calm, reasonable person. So if I develop scarily high blood pressure and die an untimely death before my mid-30’s, there will be only one explanation.

People standing still on escalators. Right in the middle. Blocking my only chance of getting past them without looking like an escaped mental patient who will probably die an untimely death before their mid-30’s thanks to high blood pressure.

She looks like she'd move.

Once again I’m going to go for a cheap blogging trick, this time by choosing to explain myself with a list.

1. Brief History of Escalators (for the three or four people out there who are interested)

Escalators were initially created as a novelty ride combining the heart-pounding thrills of moving at an achingly slow pace and staring at the back of people’s heads. Eventually someone (follow the link above if you really care) figured out that they could be used as a functional part of a mobile society. Mobile. Okay, this list item isn’t really a reason why I’m annoyed, more just general background and an opportunity for me to make fun of the daredevil thrill-seekers of yore.

2. General Human Laziness

Unless you are on one of those monumentally tall escalators they have in places like airports or the London Underground, it will take the average person 4-8 steps to reach the top of an escalator. This will burn approximately 1/2 calorie if that sort of thing motivates you. If you’ve skipped breakfast or are suffering a mid-afternoon energy slump, I suggesting popping 1/4 of a Tic Tac to supply you with the energy needed for the excursion. 1/8 if you’re going down.

Just think how far these could get you.

3. People’s General Lack of Purpose

Escalators are located in a variety of places – public transportation hubs, museums and large shops are just three examples. When I’m in a place with escalators, I’m generally there for a reason – I have somewhere to go, art to browse (or pretend to browse in some cases, no judgement there), things to buy. Not to stand around mindlessly bopping my head to Lady Gaga (more of an issue in shops). I can do that at home. I have chosen not to. Please respect my decision and let me pass.

Sometimes it’s not my decision either. And if I haven’t chosen to be where I am, there is probably somewhere I am required to be – work, a meeting, an appointment. Please don’t make me late. If I’m late I’d rather it was on my terms, not yours.

4. Escalators are Boring

Escalators are not fun. They are not pleasant. Unless the escalator in question is surrounded by fields of blooming floral decadence accompanied by the singing of angels and/or a mind-blowing live thrash guitar performance, I’m really not having a good time. I just want to get off the thing.

5. Exceptions

If you are rendered immobile by issues you really can’t help (old age, carrying heavy baggage, the company of children who have yet to understand basic social conventions, extreme tiredness, or a physical handicap) – you are excused for standing still, but still please try to keep to one side.

6. Stairs

Some places do have the option of stairs, which I will gladly use if they are available. Many places hide these stairs in incredibly obscure areas of the building, further stretching out the time I have to endure the dulcet tones of Ms Gaga. It’s still better.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 10:53 am  Comments (130)  
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