Friday, July 2, 2010

The Prince's Pet Peeves: Broken Escalators

So one of the worst things about riding the DC Metro Rail system to work everyday is that the escalators never, ever work. Now, unfortunately, when escalators stop working they become stairs, and we all know what we have to do when we come to stairs. Walk up them.

Normally, this isn't that big a deal because you are only walking up a 15-foot tall flight of stairs and its a nice bit of exercise. Its still annoying, because I fully expected to be lazy on my way up. Or if I'm feeling particularly spry, I'll trot up the escalator in an attempt to look like I am important and in a hurry.

This pet peeve of mine really hits home when the big escalators go down, which is more often than I am comfortable with. What makes this suck even more is that the Metro system is home to some of the longest escalators in the world.  My particular stop's escalators tops out at under 90 feet, but that's still a lot longer than you may think and it pisses me off to no end to have to walk up them.

The steps are very short and choppy and it makes it difficult to take them two at a time like a stud, so you have to slowly trudge up this long bastard. Sometimes, by the time I get to the top, my knees are aching and my whole day has started off in the toilet.

In one particularly awesome instance, two of the three escalators at my stop were down with the center one going down but blocked off. The far right escalator was jam-packed with people who were trying to walk up it and get to work. As I waited in line to go up the far left escalator, I noticed all of the people on that one had stopped and some were turning around so they could come down the broken escalator and then go back up the other broken one. WTF?

In any event, this lead to 15,000 people going up and down one narrow little escalator and having to walk the entire way. Things almost got really ugly when some hipstery douche with an attitude and a death wish decided to walk down the opposite side of the lone available escalator with two-way traffic. He eventually moved over to the other side because people were yelling at him, which was a good thing. If it had turned into a game of chicken with me, I would have pitched him over the side. My machismo and sense of entitlement would not have allowed me to back down. Then I probably would have had to use my diplomatic immunity to beat a murder rap. I would probably have become a Washington, D.C. folk hero in the process, which, surprisingly enough, I am not yet. I need to work on that.

So in summation, broken escalators = shitty stairs = pissed off Prince. Any questions?


  1. One question: Why don't you just take the damn elevator?

  2. Because the elevators are for old ladies.

  3. I know, so why don't you take it? ZING!!

  4. We really do. It's always a delight.

  5. Those escalators give me a bit of a panic attack. They are so un natural. Why didn't they make a landing section. It's just soooooo steep.