Thursday, July 08, 2004

CONSTITUENTS: What Exactly Is 'Escalator Goo'?

Ever since I've come back from vacation, for some reason I have become more tolerant of tourists standing on the left side of Metrorail escalators. When they're in a large group and parting the waters would require more than four "excuse me"s within eight escalator steps, I've let them go, sucked it up and just stood there.

So I found it interesting standing all the way down the long escalators at the Woodley Park metro station Wednesday morning observing a group of visitors on their way down to the mezzanine.

"Hon-ne, I've got some escalator goo," a middle-aged woman declared.

"What, Mary?"

Escalator goo? I know that Metro escalators can emit odd mechanical odors, and perhaps cry out an occasional squeal, but I didn't know that so-called "escalator goo" could come from the handrail.

She lifted up her hand, and sure enough, she was brushing off a sticky material off her left hand and wrist. I was perplexed. She brushed her hand on her shorts.

She got to the bottom, and she stopped to figure out what went on.

What was the escalator goo? It was a Sunny Delight, which she had in her left hand. (She was leaning the left side of her body on the handrail to maintain balance.)

"Oh never mind. It's just Sunny D! My hand smells like OJ!"

Laughter ensues and everyone went on their way. Crisis averted.


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