The Practical Escalaphobe

So the other night I had the great joy of seeing Dave Gorman and Jay Foreman performing live in Newbury, and also meeting both gentlemen after their respective acts.  They were absolutely lovely, although I wound up slightly embarrassed as it turns out I have an enthusiastic ‘pick me, pick me’ (apparently) whoop.  Or at least that’s what was said when I gave my little cheer following the request for those with an irrational fear to give a cheer, and I had to then say what mine was, in front of around 150 people, being completely on my own (Thursday night is poker night for a lot of my friends, so they were there instead).

This got me thinking on an idea I’d had some time ago to write a poem about my very silly and completely irrational fear – escalaphobia.  No I didn’t make that up, it is a real word for a real phobia, and it involves escalators.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the British term, I’m talking about those staircases which move.  Now I’m pretty lucky as I only have a problem with the down side, up is no problem to me at all.  Unfortunately I have panic attacks when I do use them and pretty much stop breathing or being able to see.  You can imagine how ‘interesting’ trips around London are using the Underground.  But I don’t let it stop me, oh no…

The Practical Escalaphobe
I’m a practical escalaphobe,
Don’t let my terror stop me.
The panic and the fight for breath,
The inability to see.
I’m a practical escalaphobe,
I know my fear seems strange.
Up is fine but down is bad,
A fact I’ve tried to change.
I’m a practical escalaphobe,
And I haven’t passed out yet.
But my friends still get concerned,
Ready to catch me they always get.
I’m a practical escalaphobe,
Although I sometimes try too hard.
Like attempting the longest in Europe,
My nails, the handrail scared. 
I’m a practical escalaphobe,
And keep trying to use them I will.
Whether I must ride them down,
Or use them as stairs when they’re still.
16/02/2012 + 08/04/2012

If anyone is interested, I found this blog post on the subject Elevator World and a website on the subject Fear of Stuff – Escalators.


Filed under Rhymes

16 responses to “The Practical Escalaphobe

  1. i love where this takes you. very funny!!! it’s great that you can make fun of yourself


  2. Haha! I love this. I don’t particularly fear moving escalators, but feel terrified if I have to walk up or down a broken one. The steps suddenly seem huuuuuge.

    My entry:

    • Going down one I have to keep reminding myself that they’re just stairs, but they are just the right spacing for my legs. Some of the stairs you get are awkward in their spacing, too small to go one at a time but too high or too deep to go two at a time.

  3. What a great word! will use this at work tomorrow. Thanks

  4. kez

    LOL I really feel for you …have had a few nightmares on escalators my self one involves shoes laces, a very small child, and a heroic man. Great write and fun although I know it’s a phobia thank you for sharing x x x

  5. hypercryptical

    I worry about the first step on going down – just in case I miss It! (After that I’m fine!

    Anna :o]

  6. Kay Salady

    I can’t go on them without someone standing directly behind me with their arm around my waist. Oh, we all have phobias! Ha-ha-ha! Cool one!

    • That doesn’t work for me, for does facing the other way, closing my eyes, looking up, looking to the side, being sandwiched between two friends… A lot of people have to live with it, but not a lot own up to it or realise that it’s something others face.

  7. Dear disjointed, I am so grateful to you! Now I know what my grandmother suffered with–and she was only afraid of going down, as well! Amazing that there is a website just for fear of escalators! And just so you know, we here in the U.S. call them escalators, as well! I continue to be intrigued by you having as your close circle of friends all those poker players! Maybe the willingness to take chances rubs off on you, do you think? LOVE you calling yourself a practical escalaphobe! This post was actually a lot of fun for me! Hope you have a fun-filled weekend and that your published work gets sold out over and over!

    • Only some of my friends play poker, I know them as they are also my pool team, I’m about the only non-poker player 🙂

      It was a comment I made in passing one day about it and the phrase stuck in my head. It’s a pretty accurate description. Glad you had fun with it, my work here is done 😉

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s