When I was a kid, I had a fear of escalators. The part that scared me the most was not the going up and down bit, it was the fact that the gray, ribbed stairs disappeared into some horrifying realm that you could only enter as flat and splat. I was convinced that I could be sucked into it if I didn’t step off the darn thing in time. And of course I didn’t want to look clumsy as I stepped off; we were usually at fancy department stores after all. So the trick was to step off the escalator gracefully and confidently while secretly hiding the fear of being pulled into the abysmal depths of torture. My heart would race at each end of the horrifying trip, and would recover with overwhelming gratitude when the treacherous mission was accomplished.
What didn’t help was one of my earliest childhood memories was stepping on an escalator at my parent’s wedding at the (super classy) Hyatt Regency. My twin sister, who may have had similar angst, and I were wee little girls in beautiful dresses, holding our grandmother’s hands on either side as we all stepped onto an escalator together. The part I remember most was that there was a green glow from underneath the escalator. Not kidding. A green glow—the Goblin of Hell beaming his emerald light to distract poor escalator riders so that they would fall into the very pits of despair. And that is exactly what happened. We fell. All three of us. And Grandma wasn’t a tiny person. I don’t even know how it happened really, my mind blocked out the sequence of events, but I still blame the Goblin of Hell. Grandma Rose probably blamed the wee little girls.
The point is: Be careful on escalators. Okay? Especially the ones that glow green. And if you do fall, you may not be sucked into hell, but flat and splat won’t feel very good. Sorry, Grandma.