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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tube Escalator Skiing or The Lives of Bored Idiots

With the awful news from Blacksburg, Virginia yesterday, along with the regular bad news drumbeat from Iraq, this hasn't been a week for high comedy. Still, everyone needs a break from the seriousness of the world sometimes (I've been taking the advice of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie lately and reading Wodehouse) and so I mention this in passing: Apparently, someone has figured out how to ski down the escalator of the Angel Tube Station in London.

For those familiar with the history of British skiers (See Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards), it would seem that skiing anyplace in Britian, much less down the longest escalator in Europe, would be a hazardous hobby on the order of juggling chain-saws after giving someone a vigourous olive oil rubdown. Nonetheless, someone has done it and in the public interest I feel compelled to point out the potential hazards and (no pun intended) downfalls of such sport, lest it catch on during some rush-hour.

The Hazards and Downfalls of Tube Escalator Skiing

by Earl Fando (non-skier)

  • Really obliterates the finish on your ski wax
  • Incessant mocking by local buskers when you fall. The worst of the lot are the ones who know the American Wide World of Sports theme music and play it, loudly proclaiming "The Agony of Defeat" in a weak Jim McKay impression.
  • Escalator entrances make for poor starting gates
  • No room to slalom
  • Getting sucked under the escalator if your skis catch at the bottom
  • Collisions with drunken pub trawlers from the Angel Pub or bag-laden fruits and veggies shoppers from the Chapel Market
  • Constables favour ski jumpers over regular skiers because they're more exciting
  • Helmet and goggles make it difficult to read warning labels and public notices
  • "Minding the Gap" on Tube stops where the escalators end precariously close to the tracks
  • Over-agressive fish and chips vendors
  • Ski-poles get caught in the grooves on the steps
  • Difficult to carry ski equipment and use the Travelcard at the same time
  • The miserably long lines to get to the top of "the slopes"
(Hat tip: London Underground Tube Diary, a recent Blogger Blog of note, you lucky bastards.)

Update: According to a BBC article, the skier in the video was a Norwegian, which explains how he managed to stay on his feet.


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