However, here are some idiots you will encounter in real life who turn your relaxing times of effortless movement into some serious stair wars.
#1 The Sneeze Master
The bible said it best when it said "may he who is free of sneezing cast the first stone". People everywhere sneeze, especially in the western world where everyone has to be clean and germ-free, and as soon as germs appear, everyone's defense is totally down and unprepared.
The sneeze master is a person who will sneeze in all directions while standing on the escalator stairs. What is the worst scenario for you? Slowly drifting into the sneeze cloud a person in front of you created, or not knowing whether someone from behind sneezed onto you or held his hand in front of his face. Either way, you will spend the next hours of your life wondering if your head is full of crap (not from the inside, on the outside) - until you find a sink to wash your whole head.
#2 The complete moron
This is the kind of person who always stands on the wrong side of the escalator. In most civilized countries, there will be a side for people standing and a side for people walking along the escalator. If the escalator is crowded, no problem. If you can't move, you can't move. But some people seem to make it their hobby to just stand there, wrong side of the escalator, and chill.
These people are dreamers who are completely carefree of everything that happens around them. There is only one excuse, although this excuse applies only to some people...it's the...
#3 The Traveller
The traveller has an excuse for standing on the wrong side of the escalator stairs. He or she is used to standing on the other side. It's the same as with road traffic. Some cars drive on the right side, some on the left (also known as the wrong side, because it's the opposite of the right side).
Escalator people who would like to just stand are supposed to stand on the normal driving side. It's just the general side of all traffic, whether it's by car or by foot. If you drive on the left side of the road, you also walk or cycle on the left side, and if you're slow, you stay on that side and let others overtake on the other side.
Travellers are not complete morons (see item #2). The main difference between complete morons and travellers is that travellers cause stress to themselves more than anything else. They will often recognize their mistake, turn red and explode with embarrassment, while complete morons just don't care.
#4 The Safety Fanatic
Do you ever notice how some people get on the stairs of the escalator, but their movement is as clumsy and careful as you'd imagine an elephant getting on the escalator for the first time?
It looks like this: Foot reaches out for stairs, then pulls back, then goes back out again, then the rest of the body follows in a very hectic and unbalanced fashion.
The safety fanatic looks like a village person who has never been on a train, car or plane before. The worst part is that they disrupt the flow. And they confuse you. If you think the person in front of you is taking the usual step forward, you might even bump into them because they like to leave an EXTRA space in front of them free. Extra extra, not just one empty step in between them and the person in front of them. No. Two empty steps.
#5 The Creep
The creep is a person who doesn't leave ANY space free. He or she (no, actually mostly he) will enter the escalator so damn close to you that you can usually feel his facial textures on your butt. It also raises your pickpocket alarm because their body parts will be all over your belongings because they are just standing so close to you that everything you OWN is in some way being touched by this person.
On another note, you can sense their breath, smell, obesity, whatever else there is.
#6 The Inseparable Couple
When I talk about people in public, I often refer to some kind of "blood clot", and this one is certainly the one in terms of escalator people. An inseparable couple is when a man and woman (boy and girl, girl and girl, boy and boy, transgender and nongender, bla bla bla) are standing next to each other.
Standing next to each other on an escalator is not a bad thing as long as one of the following criteria are met:
- The escalator is crowded anyway
- The person standing on the "no standing" side is staying alert and moving out of the way if necessary
- The escalator is situated in a place that doesn't need people to be in a hurry
Usually, however, the typical scenario is that the couple doesn't care. The two people are either so much in love, or so involved in a conversation, or so self-centered that they just accept that blocking other people's way is part of life. And I hate them.
#7 The Awkward Companion
Sometimes, when the escalator is crowded, people stand next to each other. Usually, that's tolerable, but sometimes, the escalator isn't even fully crowded and still, strange people are standing next to you. A catholic nun might be standing next to a punk rocker, a pedophile priest might be standing next to a little child, a drunk football fan might be standing next to a millionaire golfer, and so on.
It's just awkward when people stop walking and decide to wait NEXT TO YOU on an otherwise relatively empty escalator. I guess some people just enjoy the awkward company.
#8 The Wrong-Way Walker
Believe it or not, there are people who decide to walk up a down-moving escalator. In about 90 per cent of the cases, it's children who think they're really smart.
Sometimes, it's grown adults. Once at an airport, where the escalators are flat, there was a grown woman coming towards me, and I was wondering why. I was really, really wondering why. It was so damn obvious that my feet were not moving, yet she was totally focussed on getting on the escalator line that I was moving on towards her. It was only when her feet already touched the line that she realised that this was a worse idea than moonwalking the floor next to the machinery. So she eventually got it and walked past on the normal floor.
#9 The Staircase Competitor
This one isn't especially annoying, but I'll include him anyway. Some people are so much in a hurry that they would rather take the stairs because it's quicker than taking the escalator next to it.
While this is often the case, it's also relatively funny to see someone struggle so hard to get up the stairs, yet when we both arrive on the next level, we're still next to each other and the other person is out of breath. Pretty, pointless, huh?
#10 The Irresponsible Acrobatic
One of my favorites. This person likes to use things that are forbidden on an elevator. Like bycicles, or especially lovely, a pram with a baby in it. Lovely. Then they have to keep the balance and perform all kinds of acrobatics. The great thing is that, while it goes well most of the time, there is probably a certain percentage of fatal freak accidents every year, but I don't really wanna know.
So...which idiotic escalator person are you?