On my way to the gym before work, I take an escalator up out of the train station to the street, and I have to admit, it’s probably the best part of my morning.
As I walk up the steps (I will cut you if you stand in my way on an escalator) there is this robotic recording playing telling me to “Have a nice day” and “Please lean forward on the steps.” It’s all very Nice And Good. Every time it wishes me a good day, I nod and think, “You too, my friendly robotic steps.”
It can be such a good experience that it often gets me thinking about how escalators came to be. Who was the guy that one day decided that it is just ridiculous that steps don’t move for you?
Escalator Inventor Dude: [Walking up a flight of stairs, he pauses, and looks down at them] “I’ve got to tell you, there has gotta be a better way than this.”
Dude’s Friend Who Sometimes Eats Waffles: [Stops abruptly behind his friend, looks up at him quizzically] “What are you talking about? They’re steps.”
Escalator Inventor Dude: “Well, why don’t these damn steps do some work? I mean, they just sit there and make us do everything. They think they’re so smart too. Just look at them – look at them!”
Dude’s Friend Who Sometimes Eats Waffles: [Looks down at the steps] “Man, my shoes are just sub-par.”
Escalator Inventor Dude: [Increasingly frustrated] “What? No dude. Don’t worry about your shoes. I’ve got something better than that, I’m going to invent stairs – that move for you! No more doing all the work yourself – oh no – the stairs will be working for us now!”
Dude’s Friend Who Sometimes Eats Waffles: [Still looking at his shoes] “I don’t know what I was thinking wearing these.”
It truly takes a man of brilliance to come up with the idea to make stairs move. The only guy who trumped the person who invented escalators was the man who invented elevators. He just wanted to walk into a box and have it take you places – now that’s ingenuity.