Thursday, February 23, 2006

Escalatorphobia

Just a short note about people I can't stand on the Metro (which also happens to apply any place where there is an escalator). It seems that about 50% of people (almost always female), can't seem to figure out how to step onto a moving escalator platform. It's the darndest thing.

I watched a twenty-something girl, without any apparent physical limitations or obvious disabilities, walk up to the escalator with the crowd of 1000 other rushing riders, and completely stop at the base of the moving stairs to gauge how she should line her footstep up with the moving steps. She nearly caused a pileup. The strange thing is, this happens all the time.

I simply can't understand why someone needs to stop walking in order to step onto an escalator platform. The steps don't move that fast. And why is it always women who do this? I'd like to know a psychological answer to these things. It's become a little pastime of mine, every day as I ride the subway, to see if the person in front of me will develop an instant fear of moving steps. It happens about half the time.

Maybe I'm just Superman, but I don't even have to look at the ground when I'm stepping onto or off of an escalator. It's simple - you just keep walking. Magically, your feet will land surely every time. Folks who can't manage this need to ride the elevator when it gets crowded, because they will end up either hurting themselves or someone else. Amazing. To quote Seinfeld, "I mean hey... who are these people?!!"

UPDATE: Holy crap! "Escalaphobia" is a real thing!

5 comments:

Becky Wickstrom said...

Not that I'm an escalaphobe, but in the defense of women everywhere...try it in heels. Fancy footwear changes everything. A step is not just a step in 3-inch heels. Just the other day the heel of my shoe got caught in a crack and I stepped right out of my shoe onto the nasty Metro Station floor. Here I am dodging a million people, trying to pry my shoe out of the crack while hopping on my tippy-toe and balancing in a skirt. Imagine if this happened on the escalator. Why am I saying this here...I'm going to blog this.

Dan said...

OK, granted. But this is not just a dress-up phenomenon. I see people do this everywhere - in all kinds of shoes. I mean, seeing a woman do this in heels would make sense to me, negating the urge to blog about it. The woman today was wearing red flats (yes, I notice these things since I sold women's shoes for 3 years).

Becky said...

First men's figuring skating now women's shoes? If you weren't married...

Dan said...

Touche...

ArAdHanA said...

Hmm..call it a coincidence or wateva!
I was jus about to write a post on my being an escalaphobe wen i came across this one..gee!
Now I din really like those expressions"hey..who are dese ppl"..etc. or "maybe I m supreman"..seems like u r ridiculing ppl who suffer frm dis phobia..only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches..!