Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stairs & Escalators

How do you take stairs? Not why or where . We now the why, because it's safer & easier than jumping. And the where is to get to the other level, be it up & down. But how? Is it grudgingly and scornfully? Is it carefully and methodically? Or is it like the building's on fire and the elevator is out?
I'm more of a building is on fire kind of stair person. Seems I fly up or down regardless of the number of flights. I guess, subconsciously, I think it is good exercise. Like running up or down that single flight, required to get to and from my office, fills my burnt calorie quotient for the day. Or maybe it's the same reason I drive fast. I don't enjoy the journey, it's just in the way! I gotta hurry up and get there! Either way, I run up or down stairs.
Sometimes, if I'm feeling really creative, I'll take them 2 at a time. Better yet, even when I'm tired and not feeling like running, I will climb at a slower pace, but will still assume the look. Kind of like running in place. After all these years, I have finally realized how absurd this is, but will most likely continue to do it.
These past weekend, I entered a Dick's Sporting Goods in Indianapolis. Their up escalator wasn't working. As I looked up at what would normally be 3 or more normal flights of stairs, I almost said "Forget it", and turned around. But as I stood at the bottom, and was passed by several older yuppie-like gentlemen on their way up, and I noticed that the down escalator was still working, I decided to go. After all, everybody knows that if you have to manually move up or down a non-working escalator, the up one is the safest. So up I went, in my normal style, like the devil was right behind me. I walked around on the second level for about 15 mins, then headed for the down escalator.
Whatever problem they had or maintenance they were doing was now extended to the down escalator! I began to panic. Everybody knows it's not safe to walk down a down escalator. Especially not at my pace. I thought I would wait awhile and see if it came back on. I thought about asking an employee if the problem was permanent. After realizing that I might be stuck up there, and the thing was not going to be working anytime soon, I began to build myself up for the trip down. Then I noticed, there went those same yuppie older gentlemen, and they weren't having problems. I could do this!
I began slowly. One step, then two, then three. I began looking down. Without realizing it, I had returned to my normal breakneck pace. I began focusing on the on-rushing steps, with their metal teeth craving my flesh. The optical illusion of the lined steps began making it harder to judge the distance. I stumbled, grabbed the sides, tripped, grabbed the sides, missed a step, almost died, stumbled again, almost fed the metal teeth, and finally reached the bottom. I made it! I had to resist the urge to raise my arms in triumph, as the store was packed. I am sure if someone like me was watching, they got a rare belly laugh from that.


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