What is so wrong with travelators?

I’m scared of escalators. I just am, have been for a long, long time. It’s a long way down you know.

I’m fine once I get on, but it’s the getting on that poses a problem. If you’ve ever stood behind me, as I inched my big toe to hover further over the rolling steps of evil, you have probably wished there was a flight of stairs nearby. Had there been stairs within 750 paces, I would have been descending them.

I’m not afraid of heights, so my fear of and distrust for escalators has nothing to do with altitude. Although the top floor of House of Fraser in Dundrum deserves a special mention for making me think I could fall all the way down to the very bottom every time I’m there.

Once, on an escalator in Paris, I lost hold of my wheely suitcase, and watched, aghast, as it hurtled towards some unsuspecting fellow escalator passengers* on the steps below me. I still picture the scene, regularly, as I dither and conduct an insane conversation in my head. It goes something like this:

Me 1: Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod.

Me 2: People are looking at you. Stop freaking out.

Me 1: Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod. It’s a freaking escalator. Look at all the little ant-size people all the way down there. If I fall, I’ll squash them dead.

Me 2: Cop on. How many times have you seen a newspaper headline which reads: “Woman squashes people after fall from escalator”???? Get a move on.

Me 1: You’re mean. Okay. I’m getting on. I’m doing this. Go me.

Me 2: This happens every time, I’m off to the pub.

Me 1: Look at me, I’m flying without wings. I love you, escalator.

So, I ask you, what exactly is wrong with travelators? Or even the escalators that have a little flat bit before the drop? Well? Some escalators have these, but they’re a minority in this country. What did I do to escalators in a previous life? I would love to know.

*Are people using escalators passengers or is there a ‘technical’ term, I wonder?


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