Attention! Breathe in and out while using this escalator
A wander through Myer at Christmas time, usually reveals nothing more than the depth of human depravity come holiday season. In years gone by I’ve learnt little apart from the fact that you never get between a middle aged woman and the last set of Sheridan sheets, unless you want to make a beeline for the first aid department afterwards. That is, of course, until now.
The other day I discovered that there is something else to be had at a Myer store, apart from the inevitable coronary when you add up your receipts. An education.
In a marriage of technological advancement and the debilitating fear of litigation, Myer has brought us one step closer to no longer having to wipe our own bottoms, with the informative pamphlet: ‘Escalator Safety Information’. The ‘Genital Herpes Facts Pack’ of the technological world.
Long has the escalator been the poster machine of the sedentary lifestyle. A device which has managed, through the genius of just a few moving parts, to entirely remove the need for us to use our lower limbs.
Yet, all these years we believed that, with the body in a complete state of suspended animation as it moves from ‘Haberdashery’ to ‘Ladies wear’, nothing could go wrong. Oh, how naïve we were.
Apparently that 11 second ride to your new pair of underpants is a perilous journey, fraught with obstacles, danger and certain death. In fact, it’s truly lucky that up until this point, any of us have made it out onto the street with our black and white bags alive.
A quick scan of the instructions reveals such indispensable gems as ‘face the direction you’re travelling’ and ‘hold onto the handrail’. The only crucial piece of information I observed missing was ‘don’t forget to breathe in and out while moving’.
Are we as a society so litigious and just plain stupid that a shopping centre really has to produce a pamphlet teaching us how to safely stand still?
The next time we shop at Coles are we going to be presented with brochures on how to navigate the treacherous and untamed wilderness of the supermarket aisles? Will we have guides at ATM’s to show us how to insert our card without inserting our fingers? Are waiters going to distribute informative leaflets reminding us not to forget to swallow our duck l’orange after we’ve put it in our mouths?
This is ridiculous. If you are stupid enough to want to lick the comb plate and brush guard of an escalator, then you deserve to see your tongue coming back around when it’s made it’s full rotation.
If you see the journey from Level 3 to Level 2 as a Coney Island slide then I wash my hands of you if you end up face first in the crotch of a mannequin, and if you think it’s a genius idea to stick your hand in the rotating escalator belt, then you deserve to be deprived of the ability to point a finger.
Surely at some stage we, as human beings, need to take a tiny bit of responsibility for equipping ourselves with some basic knowledge.
If we are stupid enough to not know how to use an escalator, then we should brush ourselves off, deal with the embarrassment of falling face first into the Lancôme lady, and take ourselves home - not to the nearest law firm.
Nothing in the resulting modifications that, that escalator and its surrounds will endure post litigation, will ever remove the fact that you’re a klutz.
Shopping centres have already taken away the need for us to walk up stairs. Surely they don’t need to think for us as well.
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