Living, Really?


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My coworkers and I are a green bunch. I walk to work most days and my coworkers take MARTA because it’s smarta.

The other day, my coworkers, in separate incidents, were scolded by a MARTA official for walking on the escalators. “If you want to walk, take the stairs,” the MARTA official barked at them. Since when, and in what sorry excuse for a bustling city, does this make any logical sense? The escalator was invented to move large numbers of pedestrian traffic in a short amount of time, not to prevent you from ever having to bend your knees. Your feet are made to travel; escalators don’t change that fact.

In other (real) cities, it’s considered elementary logic that everyone knows you stand on the right and walk on the left. This is true even in London, where they do everything backward. (I know they do it the other way round in Tokyo, but it’s the future there, so I expect we will actually all be switching over soon.)

Now some folks have genuine health problems and can’t or shouldn’t walk up or down stairs. I imagine that’s about, oh, 6% of the population. The rest of you are just plain lazy. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you had to take an escalator to reach the gym, you would all stand there like fattened steers for the slaughter as it transported you to the elliptical machines.

And I get it that sometimes you don’t feel like walking up the escalator. I myself can get a little grumpy at a tall staircase or at walking uphill both ways from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf just to get to the In-N-Out Burger. But when you can’t even be bothered to walk down the escalator? Don’t you hate yourself? Don’t you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder how any sentient being could possibly be so indolent? Don’t you think of the lithe, vigorous youngster you were and think, “At what point did I turn into a paunchy, impotent banana slug in Crocs?”