Well, escalators are back on the list of “scary things.”

I opined last week about how the increasing ridiculousness of today’s movies and television shows have conditioned us to fear new things that likely would never happen in real life. For example: zombie attacks and sharks raining from the sky.

But since we see it on TV, it becomes an actual visualization as opposed to an abstract idea. And if you can visualize it, you can fear it.

But we need to go back to the old things that we used to fear as children, and remember that they are still much more likely to pose an actual threat to us.

Like escalators. As a child, you used to become anxious when the step you were on neared the top. Don’t lie to me. You double checked that your shoelaces were tied, and you were always prepared to leap the final two steps towards stable ground.

China escalatorIt’s every child’s worst fear to be swallowed by an elevator. But then we grew up and realized that our worries were unfounded, and worst case scenario, maybe stepping off an escalator a second too late might scratch up our shoes, or something. Nothing to be afraid of, right?

THINK AGAIN. In China on Sunday, the worst happened. A mother, moments after stepping off the top step of an escalator inside a mall, found the floor panel beneath her collapsing. In a final act of heroism, she tossed her 2-year-old son to safety before she vanished into the abyss. And she died.

And it’s on video.

Honestly, it’s not that bad. Yes, you’re watching the final seconds of a woman’s life, which is eerie, but there’s no blood spraying everywhere like something you’d see in a Kill Bill movie.

And that was seriously some James Bond shit to save her kid. It’s sad that he no longer has a mother, but soon enough he will recognize that his mom basically sacrificed her life to save him. Kind of brings a tear to your eye.

Apparently, the victim’s family, as well as the general Chinese populace, wanted the video to go viral out of hope that public outrage would create a demand for greater accountability among the Chinese government. In case you didn’t know, the Chinese Communist Party controls the flow of information there, and keeps everything pretty hush-hush.

It’s pretty much why the average person knows virtually nothing about the world’s most populous country.

But back to escalators. We must respect these machines. Sure, they kindly escort us from one level to another, but as evidenced in China, they are death traps waiting to happen.

Honestly, I prefer the stairs. Not because I’m afraid, but when presented with the choice, I will always choose the option that offers the most exercise. We’ve become lazy.

Even when using a moving walkway inside an airport, I still walk. I love it because it makes me feel like I’m a superhero with lightning speed. Sometimes I go to airports just to walk on them, and then leave. It’s a gigantic waste of time.

There was one incident when I was in a Las Vegas hotel several years ago and tried to drunkenly run up a down-escalator, tripped, and smashed my kneecap into its grooved edges, but I won’t get into that. It still brings back painful memories.

Whether it’s out of fear, or the desire for more exercise, let’s make a concerted effort to avoid escalators so we can remind them that we made them, and by golly we can destroy them.


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