March 24, 2009

True story: I’m going up a very long escalator at the Atlanta airport yesterday (if you’ve ever been to the Atlanta airport, you know the ones I’m talking about – the ones that take you from the terminal trains up to the various concourses) when opposite us on the down side I see this woman (I figure she’s only about 30% of the way down) cooing over how her toddler wants to – get this – walk down the escalator. That’s right – walk down a steep, moving escalator.

I hear her say, “You want to walk? OK….”

I immediately think to myself, “lady, I don’t think that’s a good idea”, but before me (or any other rational person present) could say something, you know what happened:

Almost immediately the child fell. And, as you might expect, he continued to fall. Like, All. The. Way. Down. The. Escalator.

We couldn’t see it from our vantage point, mind you – no one going up could because of the layout and the fact that we were moving up, up, and away from all the action. But that didn’t mean we didn’t hear it.

Bang.

Thump.

Bump.

Bang.

Thump.

I think we were all in shock. We’re still going up, but everyone is looking back to see what was going on. The kid’s crying as he’s toppling ass over tea kettle like some small bag of groceries, the mother is too shocked to do anything but start screaming, and everyone else is in motion. It was weird and strangely fascinating, like something you’d see in a Monty Python skit.

I think the child had stopped falling by the time I came to the top, since by then all you could were the child’s screams from way down below. The guy next to me shakes his head and says, “great mothering”. Indeed.

Questions of the day:

1. What kind of idiot would allow their toddler to try and demonstrate their walking prowess on a moving down escalator. A long moving down escalator?

2. What kind of lasting psychological damage might this episode cause the child? Will he grow up as an adult with an aversion to escalators? Will he only take stairs or an elevator? Or might this result in something greater – like fear of any downward-moving object?

3. How much you wanna bet the woman sues the airport for negligence?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:12 | Comments (4)
4 Comments »
  1. Mom Blogs – Blogs for Moms…

    Trackback by Anonymous — March 25, 2009 @ 3:22 am


  2. Good judgement is not a prerequist for being a parent. Back when I was a small child, no one thought it was dangerous for a parent to put their child in their lap while they were driving. My dad let me “drive” often…who knew???
    We can all have judgements about this reason or that reason and judge another harshly and call them stupid or idiots when it is possible it was just a moment involving a lapse in judgement and perhaps has nothing to do with “bad mothering”. And that is my judgement.

    Comment by Jana — March 25, 2009 @ 5:38 am


  3. 1) I agree with Jana. Not sure what the mother was thinking but I remember walking up and down escalators when I was little. I also remember my sister STANDING on the front seat of the car.

    2) I’m told I put my arm through a wringer (One of those old-time clothes wringers) when I was two or three at my grandmother’s house. I’m also told I tipped scalding hot water on myself the same year. I don’t remember either.

    3) That’s about the safest bet you can make right now.

    Comment by Rob — March 25, 2009 @ 12:32 pm


  4. Thanks Rob, thanks Jana. I never realized how important toppling down an escalator was to someone’s formation as a responsible adult.

    I guess it’s a good thing the only creatures I play father to are rabbits!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — March 25, 2009 @ 9:14 pm


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