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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today's most misplaced anger award...

goes to the woman I saw this morning run down an up escalator, and then about three feet from the bottom take a face dive.

It looked like it hurt, but I'm sorry. I had to laugh. It wasn't funny that she'd fallen and scraped her elbows - and possibly her knees under her trousers.

What was funny was how she reacted. On her hands and knees at the bottom of the escalator, she swore for about 30 seconds. Then she stood up and began hitting the hand rail, that moving hand rail, and cursing at it. Finally, when a man who was actually taking the down escalator down (and for some strange reason he didn't fall) helped her steady herself, she began slapping at his hands and cursing him too.

See, the trick to avoiding the humiliation is pretending you don't care. I guarantee you if that had been a guy he would have gotten up slowly, wearing a poker face. And he would have carefully and deliberately dusted himself off, before walking off casually as though falling down (or up) the wrong-direction escalator was part of his normal routine.

I have to go now. I need to go drive north in the southbound lanes of I-95. I dare anyone to tell me it'll make traffic look any different than it usually does.

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  • dayum! she forgot to take her meds....

    have fun on the highway!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 PM  

  • Saying "I meant to do that" helps throw people off too.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 1:24 PM  

  • I can't believe you didn't stop to help me!

    Um, I mean...


    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 2:20 PM  

  • Whatever happened to looking backward as if some inanimate object had deliberately tripped you and warning everyone within earshot to "watch your step, that one's a doozy!"

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 2:24 PM  

  • so she is in too much a hurry to take the down escalator down and falls down and then takes the time to curse the escalator and the man trying to help her...

    After all that, did she ride it all the way up or just part way up??

    By Blogger dennis, at 2:44 PM  

  • James, I gotta tell you that this post had me in tears of laughter. You account of how she acted after the fall did a good job in conveying the humor in what you saw but you hit a home run when you explained how a guy would act.

    Damn, that's some funny stuff.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 2:59 PM  

  • That is funny. I can't help but think that she was having a really bad day and that didn't help one bit....but hey, at least we got a good laugh out of it! (hehehe)
    As for driving north on the southbound, it's been done many times...usually by little cottonheads wondering why the rest of the traffic is going the wrong way!! LOL

    By Blogger Claudia, at 3:04 PM  

  • Graceful recovery from a stupid act is a lost art.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 3:09 PM  

  • Ellen de Generes (or is it Degeneres?) has a hilarious routine about this. I strongly recommend it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:12 PM  

  • A guy was running down the escalator one morning and I just barely missed me. Had he knocked into me I swear I would have drilled him in the back of the head.

    'Course, the doctor says I have "elevated blood pressure" and that I "need to chill."

    By Blogger Matt, at 3:54 PM  

  • I strongly fear the down escalator.

    By Blogger mist1, at 5:21 PM  

  • Haha... That's so awesome... I wish I could have seen that. Crazy people are funny. :)

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 5:44 PM  

  • I would have laughed my ass off at her. I also would have laughed at myself if I had done that. Well, actually I would have gotten up and flipped off the escalator then laughed.

    By Blogger Jay, at 10:39 PM  

  • I hate when you do something and make a fool out of yourself. I would laugh at myself...but others well they give you blog material!

    By Blogger bardouble29, at 10:50 PM  

  • miss me much? i kinda died this week. im okay now. anyway my abuelita fell down an escelator when i was just a wee bonnie lass.

    now... i never feel comfortable on them.

    this has absolutely nothing to do with the point of your post but i really didnt know what else to say. ;D

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 1:27 AM  

  • Good luck with the driving! You forget about the physical dangers posed by escalators until you try to get your four year olds onto one!

    Our misplaced anger word: Snap.
    My concern: that the twins use it way too often!

    By Blogger Michael C, at 2:46 AM  

  • except for leaving out the "quickly looking around to see if anyone saw that" I whole heartedly agree with how we men would handle that.


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 2:52 AM  

  • I try to avoid down escalators - but not to the extent of trying to run down the up one, particularly during rush-hour.

    & to think I once lived in central London & travelled on the Tube without batting an eyelid!

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 5:59 AM  

  • This reminds me of a story that happened in a busy New York department store. A couple of men were moving a heavy couch past the bottom of the Down escalator when one of them tripped and dropped the couch, blocking the passage of those coming down.

    The first half dozen or so agile shoppers had to leap over the couch. Those that were near the top managed to turn and run the wrong way back up the escalator.

    Those poor unfortunates in the middle tended to pile up into a human ball at or near the bottom until the couch could be moved away.

    I think the whole thing took about seven seconds.

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 6:45 AM  

  • in the graceful recovery dept, whats the best way to recover from getting caught picking your nose in traffic when the driver next door catches you?

    By Anonymous dreaming, at 10:36 AM  

  • btw James, we haven't seen you report at the roll call lately. Let us know how you did!

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 11:38 AM  

  • Nothing wrong with a little schadenfreude every now and then.

    By Blogger Evil Spock, at 12:09 PM  

  • *ahem*

    I wouldn't go down the up escalator in the first place. Or, vice versa.

    SWF - taking my holier-than-thou ass out of here.


    By Blogger SWF41, at 4:02 PM  

  • Ya know, I miss a lot of good stuff taking the stairs.

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 9:44 PM  

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