I’m not a big fan of stairs.

Is it because I fell down them once and twisted my ankle? No.

Is it because they’re the main part of the worst Led Zeppelin song ever? No.

Is it because they block the handicapped? No.

And when I say “no,” what I really mean is “yes.” But the rationale doesn’t stop there. Stairs are tedious and unrealistic, and people who use them for moving more than three floors are just pompous.

“Oh, look at us, we have energy!” Bastards.

For us red-blooded, proud Americans, the elevator system works fine. But, even better, we can take pride in the escalator system. Indeed, escalators might be the greatest invention since the stapler. (Hey, staplers are great and, perhaps, are the perfect answer to vertical movement issues.)

Stairs require energy. If you disagree, you are either in too good of shape, are hopped up on Godberry Power Thirst or have no acute knowledge of basic biology. This energy could be better spent walking to classes, studying or having sex. However, elevators, as I stated last week, are not conducive in design for socializing, despite their energy-saving abilities.

Enter escalators. They are the perfect hybrid of engineering: the freedom of stairs combined with the exercise-avoiding powers of elevators.

But wait – it gets better! Those who have a little gusto in their step can still actually climb the escalator and burn some calories. And if you’re in a rush, you’re not at the mercy of people on another floor stopping your ride.

But wait – it gets better! The escalator is conducive to conversation. The steps work to put you and your friends on an entirely different plateau than strangers.

But wait – it gets better! Think there’s a particularly attractive person on the same escalator? Well, you can’t check people out in an elevator (and don’t think I’m creepy – you’ve done it plenty of times, so don’t kid yourself).

But wait – it gets better! Occasionally you might get stragglers blocking the way. This unfortunate occurrence can generally be solved with a polite “excuse me.” But if you’re with your friends, you can use the time to make fun of the fat one. There’s always a fat one.

But wait – it gets better! Escalators are fun. You know how you can slide down a stair railing (fun, though not possible in many staircases)? Well, escalators allow you to ride the rail too – and, best of all, you can do it both up the escalator and down the escalator. It’s the most fun you can have on a moving staircase that isn’t attached to a truck.

But wait – it gets better! Unlike elevators or stairs (except for those rare glass ones), escalators always come with a fantastic view. Perhaps it’s a department store, sure, but you can pinpoint exactly where every part of the store is. If one of your travel companions gets lost, the escalator might allow you to catch a glimpse of them. This is especially true if you’ve ever ridden the escalators at Universal Studios in California. This is by far the most captivating escalator experience of all time, because they stretch for what seems like a mile, and you can just gaze over acres and acres and acres of breathtaking landscape.

But wait – it gets better! Escalator is also a really fun word. Stairs? Boring. Elevator? Meh. Escalator? Mmm, fantastic. If you part ways with your friends after traveling up or down, and they say “Later!” you can turn around and shout “Esca-lator!”

Most sadly, UR does not utilize the escalator. Despite the many greatnesses that can be said of escalators, they do not exist anywhere that I have seen on campus and, unless Strong Memorial Hospital is hiding one, they are as absent as students from a Friday morning economics recitation.

I would applaud any effort by the administration or Board of Trustees to look into implementing an escalator system. Maybe be bold and put one on Danforth Hill – God knows Towers residents would be appreciative.

In the meantime, at least I have JC Penney.


They moved in packs, resembling clouds of yellow pain. Their intent: to drive students into buildings, away from campus center, and just generally insane.

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