Get a move on!

Photo by Analyn Cuarto
Photo by Analyn Cuarto

Why people who stand on escalators are a plague on society

By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor


We’ve all been there. Rushing down the SkyTrain escalator, seeing the bus sitting in the distance, exhaust leaking out of its tail pipe, the driver slowly treading towards the mechanical beast. You can make it. By gods, you will make it. If only this guy in front of you would keep moving.

“Go Go GO!” you shout at him, silently, in your own head, as the bus doors close. You hurdle over the Compass Card fare gate, get tackled by a TransLink security officer named Neal, and watch as your bus drives off into the sunset without you. Your commute has been extended another torturous 15 minutes.

Naturally, the stationary man on the escalator is to blame, and all those related to him, whether related by action, or by blood.

Human kind has created many marvelous feats of engineering. We’ve laughed in the face of evolution, trading in our mediocre legs and weak lungs for rubber, engines, and cup holders. We’ve corrected eyesight, harnessed the power of the sun, and—most miraculously of all—created escalators that make us travel faster. Literally stairs that move you more quickly in the direction you are going.

But we’ve become lazy.

Instead of using these great revolving stairs of steel to hurtle us more efficiently towards our ultimate goal, we simply stand. All human motor functions cease. We allow ourselves not to be pushed forever onwards, but to be carried. And I think that it is despicable.

“But going up stairs is hard,” you shout at me, in your own head, staring at a newspaper (or a computer screen—there’s that technology we talked about earlier). Well life is hard, and if you aren’t willing to put in the effort to walk up a few steps, there’s really not much I can do about that. But at least stick to your side (not of the argument, of the stairway).

We live in a free world, a world where people can move about in however fast of a motion that they so desire. You may not walk up escalators, hell, you may not even walk down them, and that is your right. But don’t you dare take that right away from me. I’m looking at you, person who stands in the middle of the escalator. I’m looking at you, lady who places her suitcase beside her on the escalator. And I’m especially looking at you, teenage couple who stop to make out while riding on the escalator.

Have a little bit more awareness of those behind you, and move over to the right side. The slow side. The wrong side.

Photo by Analyn Cuarto
Photo by Analyn Cuarto

And eat my dust.