Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ride escalators with caution

I think someone is trying to send me a message that I should take the stairs more often. I already shared my stuck in an elevator story last year, and recently I nearly ended up in the middle of an escalator mishap.

The escalator episode was the inaugural moment of my recent visit to my in laws in Niagara Falls. After finally arriving at the Buffalo airport (following repeated flight delays) around 1 a.m., we stepped on the lone escalator that would take us to baggage claim. The escalator was packed with people. Halfway down, we noticed a commotion. Someone had fallen at the bottom, completely blocking any way off this one-way ride. With nowhere to go, people just started falling on top of each other like dominoes at the bottom.

I soon realized my relatives and I were about to be next. Suddenly, my mother-in-law yelled to everyone behind us, “Walk up! Walk up!” As her instructions made it to the top, we were able to back up a couple of steps…just enough to buy us the extra second we needed for someone to find the emergency stop button.

In the end, we didn’t need to exercise the other options we devised in that moment (like jumping over the side or trying to ride the railing down). I did sympathize with the traumatized four-year-old boy who was in the middle of the people pile. I’m afraid he may never be able to step on an escalator again.

I’m happy to report that the rest of my trip was not nearly as doomed as that escalator ride. Come to think of it, that was my second traumatic escalator mishap. When I was a kid, my just autographed photo of MN Twins player Kent Hrbek got sucked into the mall escalator steps. My mom refused to stand in the long autograph line again for me to get a replacement. Oh, the tears.

Yeah, something tells me I may want to think about taking the old fashioned stairways from now on.


  1. Ok, the Kent Hrbek story made me tear up.

  2. LOL, Tim! Thank you for your heartfelt sympathy. I mean, Kent wasn't just a pro baseball player...he was a pro baseball player who went to the same elementary school as he was totally an inspiration (or something like that)! :)