Failure: The Grand Escalator Exodus of NYC

This post is part of the “Blogging from A-Z April Challenge”! The “F” themed inspiration for today is “failure.” Enjoy!

They say perspective is everything. And I think you can tell a lot about a person by how they react when things don’t go exactly according to plan.

But I think my reactions to failure are a bit excessive.
I love failure; mine, yours, your cat’s. It’s HILARIOUS. Am I wrong? In my opinion, there’s nothing funnier.

One of my favourite, personal failures of epic proportions, is what is now referred to as “The Grand Escalator Exodus of New York City”

Last year, I moved from New York to Toronto, by myself, by bus. So yes, every single one of my belongings came with me in two obscenely gigantic and embarrassing hot pink and Hawaiian flower-printed suitcases.

The bus I was taking was leaving from Penn Station, a huge train and bus exchange located midtown Manhattan. Needless to say, it was packed and incredibly busy.

After finally figuring out where to go (the place is HUGE), I discovered that in order to get there, I would have to get down what was quite possibly the world’s longest and most intimidating escalator.

I had come to a stop at the top of said escalator, briefly, before I realized that the increasing amount of people waiting behind me were getting impatient. I didn’t even think twice about the logistics of what I was about to do, I just realized I had to hurry, so I stepped onto the moving stairs of doom with one foot and pulled my bags on behind me.

Or rather, I tried to.

A diagram to aid in understanding the logistics of the scenario. (Or perhaps just confuse you more due to apparent lack of artistic skill.)

A diagram to aid in understanding the logistics of the scenario. (Or perhaps just confuse you more due to apparent lack of artistic skill.)

But the bags were too heavy and too big and before I could pull them on with me, my left foot was being carried down the escalator. As the space between my left and right foot (still at the top of the stairs) increased while I tried to figure out what on Earth was happening, I ended up sliding into the splits and being taken down without my bags.

I was stuck in this position for a good 30 seconds before my left foot reached the ground floor, and in this time, I was all but peeing myself laughing, split over the span of at least 10 steps with no way to get up. In between my fits of laughter I noticed the lady above me, dressed in a grey business blazer and skirt, carrying down one of my Hawaiian printed suitcases, looking absolutely horrified.

It came to my attention that practically everyone in Manhattan was staring at me, (which is saying something; spend even a month in that city and you become almost completely desensitized to strangeness) and felt as though I should let them know I would be alright. In between fits of laughter I managed to choke out, “I’m ok, I…I do ballet!”

Soon the entire first and second floor of Penn Station was laughing along with me, and when I finally reach the bottom I was greeted by cheers, clapping, and the two unlucky strangers who felt they were responsible for carrying down my bags after me. I thanked them profusely, and continued towards my gate, stumbling along with everything I owned, minus my dignity.

Seven hours later, with an additional seven hours left on the bus ride, I still wasn’t able to contain myself. As everyone tried to sleep I kept picturing the scenario in my head, laugh-crying to myself, and praying to every imaginable God that no one with a youtube account had filmed the debacle.

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7 thoughts on “Failure: The Grand Escalator Exodus of NYC

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