What's another word for something that grows, that gets bigger over time? (Not THAT, dirty bird. More like danger, or fear, or a stupid unjustified invasion of another country.) Hmmm.....

Oh, that's right, escalating. Thank you, Thesaurus dot com.

I am petrified of escalators.

I always have been. One year, the fam and I were at Veteran's Stadium in Philly, cleaning it in preparation for our annual cult convention*.

We were at the Vet really early one morning cleaning, working our way to the upper levels to scrub toilets and seats and stuff, and my sister tripped on the escalator. The power was out in the whole building (they gave us power for the assembly, but not the clean-up phase), and so you'd think the damage would be minimal. Slight misstep + non-functional escalator = minor owie. You'd be wrong. She hit the jagged edge of the escalator step right in the fleshy part of her kneecap and ripped out a chunk of knee that we could've throw on the barbey for dinner. There was blood. There was flesh. There was a passed-out 6 year old. It was not cool.

It was just me and her, and so I picked her up in one arm and with the other hand I scooped up her knee and we headed off to the infirmary. Turns out, you can't just tuck the glob of flesh back into the hole from whenst it came and throw a band-aid over the whole thing and have her knee grow back. So much for my 12 year old medical ideas.

You'd think this would do it for me, that this would be the defining moment between me and the escalators, but OH NO. I tell you this just to illustrate WHY I fear them so. I was afraid of them well before that, and I am still.

I am one of those annoying people you get stuck behind who doesn't walk up/down the escalator. I stand, feet touching both sides to brace myself, white knuckles gripping the rails for dear life. And that's when I'm alone. You should see me with my kids on one of those death traps. We have to tie shoes tight before we get on. They all have to hold my hand. I literally can't breath.

The is absolutely no good reason for this. I have never personally had a foot chopped off because a shoelace got stuck in one; I have never seen one collapse, but you can only imagine how well this went over in my head. This is merely an irrational phobia brought on, I can only imagine, by my severe distaste for forward momentum in general (I hate roller coaster and swings, too).

But dear lord, they scare the bejesus out of me.

*Yes, every year the Vet rented us their space for the weekend so we could have this big ass convention. They charged us almost nothing for it, since we did such a freaking bang-up job cleaning the place. This is how I got to see Live Aid for free; I just mumbled about heat stroke and took a walk. That walk just so happened to take me to the part of the Vet that overlooked JFK Stadium. Free. Concert. Tickets. Not totally free, though; we ended up cleaning JFK's parking lot after the concert, too. I think that may have been the first time I'd ever seen a joint.