24 Comments

  1. I can’t answer those questions, but I’d like to add one of my own. Is there anyone else who thinks that the caption might have worked better if the suitcases had been called “baggage” (instead of “luggage”)?

  2. Why assume it’s an up escalator? A down escalator would make much more sense here. I don’t have an explanation for the demon standing on the escalator, though.

    “Baggage” would not work as well as “luggage,” due to the connotation of a mental issue that hinders someone who has baggage.

  3. @ Usual John – “…connotation of a mental issue…
    That’s exactly why I suggested the change: if there were ever a candidate for mental issues, this creature looks like a prime example.

  4. I see it as springing from an “irritations of daily life” impulse (like Human Cull if you’ve seen that, or long ago Hatlo’s Inferno). And he is soooo bothered by people leaving their bags on the escalator steps, spread so you can’t even climb by them, that he transforms the violator into a taunting demon.

  5. And, y’know, from an establishment, public norms point of view, the Prince Valiant guy could be seen as the actually evil one. “Why are these people in such a hurry that they can’t just stand still and allow the escalator, or moving belt, to take them to the destination in very little time actually?”

  6. I thought this was hilarious! I travel a fair amount (or used to before…well, why bring it up…you know) and the amount of times I have been blocked from getting from A to B by people inattentively dragging their luggage behind them or spreading it out on the escalator as it is here, with no concern for others who might be in a hurry and trying desperately to get to the gate before their connecting flight takes off is unfathomable.

    A depiction of them being a daemon is too good for them, I say. Better a sea slug with toenail fungus.

  7. At some busy locales, I’ve seen signs on escalators or transport belts saying something like “Stand to right, walk on left, no running”

  8. I imagine the idea is that when the luggage gets to the top of the escalator it will stop and the knight behind will be jammed into it and be forced to trip over it.

    I suppose this is a common experience among people in airports and escalators. And I imagine different people find different things annoying and assume their readers will find it equally annoying. I find that this very rarely happens to me and the few times it does has been when I’ve been standing too dang close to the luggage in the first place. In which case it’s my own damned fault; not the person in front of me being too slow.

    This kind of reminds me of that Jerry Seinfeld routine: (paraphrased) “Don’t you hate the people in airports how go to moving converyor walkways… and then stop! It’s not a ride! There aren’t going to be any animatronic pirates jumping at you”….. Um….no. It is a ride!. The entire purpose is to give people carrying heavy luggage a chance to rest and be conveyed. It’s not there to shave a few precious seconds off your speed walking record.

    (The only time I had an issue was in the istanbul airport were there was an escalator the fed of into … glass doors that opened inward, manually, and there was two feet clearance between the top of the esalator and the doors.)

  9. mitch4: At some busy locales, I’ve seen signs on escalators or transport belts saying something like “Stand to right, walk on left, no running”

    I always understood this to be the socially accepted rule at airports, regardless of whether I saw such a sign.

    woozy: “The entire purpose is to give people carrying heavy luggage a chance to rest and be conveyed. It’s not there to shave a few precious seconds off your speed walking record.”

    Can’t it be both?

  10. “Can’t it be both?”

    Not really. If you are in a big hurry it is always faster to avoid the conveyers and briskly trot on the ground. If you go on the conveyors you will have to walk slowly and carefully around those who are correctly and justifiably stand still to the right. I suppose maybe the extra mile an hour it gives you could be practically faster if you are willing to bottle your irritation of having to thread around the people who seem irritatingly slow, but if so you do have to put up with the people who stop. They have right to stop and you have other alternatives (briskly trotting along the ground). And that can even apply to escalators. (Actually, the places I find most irritating are places that only have escalators and no stairs.. I usually prefer stairs even with heavy loads as they are faster.) But there’s no excuse for rude conveyor behavior. There is always the bottleneck free ground. The cost of the conveyor is that you might have to deal politely with possible bottleneck and again “no runnning”.

  11. woozy: If I’m trying to go very quickly, I’ll avoid the conveyors. But the conveyors still save a little time if I walk on them at a normal speed on the left, while others stand to the right.

    Yes, of course others have the right to stop on the right side, and no one should be rude, but you seem to be arguing with Seinfeld, not me. I’m saying resting and adding a little speed are both legitimate uses of the conveyor.

  12. I’m not arguing with you. You are a well tempered thinking sane and considerate person.

    I was arguing with Jerry Seinfeld though, and I thought that was clear. That bit was egregiously clueless.

    And I apologize to Stan who is frustrated by the folks who spread too far on escalators. I’m not trying to diminish his frustration.

    I actually tend to be too impatient to use the conveyor unless they are empty and I can zip right along on them. But I still figure the price I pay for using them is the acknowledgement that there will be stopped people and I’ll have to minangle my way around them politely. If I’m in a hurry I’m not willing to pay that price so… I don’t use. Escalators… are a gray area but…. yeah… to use them you have to accept there’ll be a bottleneck of people.

  13. I remember watching Seinfeld do a bit about a detergent commercial where they showed that it could get blood stains out. Seinfeld made fun of the commercial saying “How violent is that? If you have a problem with blood on your clothes, maybe you have bigger problems than laundry!” I thought it was pretty funny, until my girlfriend at the time said “He wouldn’t make that joke if he was a woman.” “Huh? Why not?” I asked. Then she explained that she had problem with blood on her clothes on a regular schedule: once a month. I always remembered that conversation because it was a nice illustration of how observational humor depends on your perspectives and experiences, and sometimes different groups have very different perspectives and experiences.

  14. Escalators are for escalating, not for walking. Walking/running on them is a safety hazard and inefficient. If you’re trying to clear a crowded platform of commuters, if everyone stands, you get greater throughput.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-20/the-case-for-stand-to-the-right-don-t-walk-to-the-left

    Travellators are probably a similar case, but rarely do I see them as busy as in a subway station.

    In either case, anyone who is in a hurry is welcome to use the stairs or the floor. They may pass, with care, on either side if their is room, but have no right to demand a passenger using the device as intended (standing and riding) move. In particular, my wife will usually stand on the left because she holds her cane in her right hand and uses her left to hold the hand rail.

    I’ll give a pass to anyone riding either device when it is empty of others. Do as you like then.

    The most egregious example of jerkitude I’ve seen was at St. Clair West Subway station in Toronto. There are a pair of long, single-width escalators at one end of the platform, one going up, one going down. There is also a staircase. Saw some jerk insist someone squeeze to the side so he could climb up the escalator past them. Best picture I could find of these are here. https://fastly.4sqi.net/img/general/width960/86434949_cnCrwgMDOHEuivHsGTAQQIPyWBaVohk6bVRX220RrW0.jpg

  15. “If you’re trying to clear a crowded platform of commuters, if everyone stands, you get greater throughput.”

    Not supported in the citation. The citation merely cites a study that says when the escalator is longer than a certain (long) length, people won’t climb it, so if it is two lanes, one walking, one climbing, the climbing lane does not get used, so it is empty and wasted, and in that case, and that case only, it would make more sense to have people stand in both lanes rather than leave the one lane empty.

    But you would get greater throughput when both lanes were used and people were walking, because those people walking require less time to clear the escalator. allowing more people to utilize the escalator in a given amount of time.

    Whether that leads to safety problems is a different question.

  16. Funny how all of this seems like past history to me. I used to really enjoy traveling, but as seats have become more and more cramped, it has been more and more of a nuisance to get somewhere. I enjoyed my last European vacation once I got there and until I left. The train rides over there were fine, as were all the sights people and all. Now, with the virus affecting everything and my body aging, I may have had my last flight already. The bottom line is that I really hate going to the airport now.

  17. I’ve never seen an airport moving walkway so crowded that I couldn’t walk along it and thereby at least double my speed. While I disagree with Seinfeld in that there’s nothing wrong with standing on it and taking in the sights, there’s also nothing wrong with using it as an accelerator. It’s far, far faster than even a brisk walk along the ground.

  18. I guess I’m the only person who just thought that was a stairway. Maybe one of the movable stairways they used to put up next to planes to get down to the ground.

    But maybe the monster hit the emergency stop on the escalator and it’s not moving.

    Definitely the joke is that other people’s luggage is the greatest obstacle to moving around an airport (or train station, bus station, etc).

  19. Actually, I also thought there was something about it that looked more like one of those roll-away airplane stairways. Air travel would sort of explain the luggage — but maybe not, because why didn’t it get stowed in the baggage compartment?

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