Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Escalator Decompression Chamber

Help those that have travelled too far and fast to come back to the land of the living.
  [vote for,

As I went amongst the thronging hordes over the holiday period I came across a terrible affliction. The general location did not seem to matter as the stricken were to be found throughout the town. They were, however, specifically isolated to the areas immediately at the exit of escalators (inside shopping centres, malls, and department stores).

The presented symptoms would include disorientation, shambling gait, and, infrequently, a sudden communication with a neighbour in conjunction with a raised arm and extended index finger.

My theory is that these symptoms point towards a syndrome caused by the moderate increase or decrease in patient's elevation (approximately one storey) over a not-unacceptable period of time. Regardless of the cause, the symptoms tend to disappear after some moments (with varying degrees of dissipation). Yet, this is not the whole story: although the effects are temporary on the individual they are still put in harm's way and present a hazard to surrounding people as the hustle and bustle of the busy shop, mechanically encouraged by the very escalator that has struck them dumb, threatens to trample them.

My proposed solution is to cordon a small area next to the exit of the escalator ('chamber' may be a misnomer). Here, the newly zombified shoppers can gather to regain their senses in a zone safe from being crushed underfoot. I envision a chaise-longue placed on a yellow cross-hatched area accented by a bollard with a blue flashing light and an old-school alarm clock that goes off about 15 seconds after a patient arrives in the zone.

Not only would this 'decompression' area serve to remedy the bends-like escalator syndrome of the hapless, it would also have the societal benefit of clearing my path from such human debris.

Jinbish, Jan 03 2009


       //Escalators were very novel and exciting things at the time//
And who says they're not still?
coprocephalous, Jan 05 2009

       Perhaps they should just stop serving alcohol on escalators?
hippo, Jan 05 2009

       Ironically enough, [hippo], I spent Hogmanay (New Year Eve) in a shopping centre: the 'Vegas' event was held in the food court of Ocean Terminal shopping centre in Edinburgh. I am reasonably sure the the symptoms I describe are not alcohol-induced, nor are they caused by wonderment at the "moving stairway" contraption reminiscent of the wonderful iron horse. It must be a deep rooted affliction from which these individuals require serious help.   

       An alternative to the stated idea would be to have a hole in the floor directly at the exit of the escalator. This would require escalatees to be on their toes when they reach the end, lest they fall to their doom (or a crash-mat on the lower floor).
Jinbish, Jan 05 2009


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