Friday, July 20, 2007

Not so fast you

amble verb to walk at a leisurely relaxed pace

Escalators are stairs that move. They move so you don’t have to. All you have to do is step on and step off. Lovely idea. A gentleman named Charles Seeberger invented the modern escalator in 1897. If he could see us now, hop-skipping down Tube escalators like man-sized string puppets he’d probably think we were deranged. He spent gawd knows how long perfecting his moving staircase so we can travel up and down without so much as flexing a calf muscle and here we are, us London loons, using his escalators like Evel Knievel launch ramps. Not me though, not any more. These days I stand on the escalators. I don’t hurtle down them, I don't fly at them two steps at a time, I stand, perfectly relaxed, just as Mr Seeberger intended. Ulcerative colitis has slowed me down you see. During the worst period of my current flare up I was too weak and in too much discomfort to go anywhere fast. I was forced to take it easy. There was no more rush, rush, rush, stepping into the road to overtake the dawdlers on the pavement. No more careering about like my tail was on fire. I just went from A to B at a nice, leisurely pace. And it was fine, nothing bad happened, the world didn’t stop; I didn’t turn into a pumpkin if I was 5 minutes late. It made me realize I didn’t need to dash about everywhere. So now even though I am a bit better and I can get around quicker, I don’t. Now I amble.