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The five types of escalator wildlife in KL

Written by
Joyce Koh
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Illustration: Aster Teoh

1. The Clogger
When it comes to an escalator, the Clogger suddenly loses all ability to move and prefers to stand still while the escalator transports it upwards. What makes it a Clogger is the fact that it’s genetically programmed to stand in the centre, impeding the passage of others. This large family includes a subspecies with giant headphones to ignore the queue forming up behind it, the group that travels in packs to clog up the entire escalator, the shopper laden with shopping bags that should have taken the service lift instead, the two friends who just have to continue their conversation side-by-side, and the one that sits on the escalator. Then there’s the pièce de résistance – the individual that just stops as soon as it gets off the escalator. Watch from a safe distance.

2. The Couple
There’s something about ascending or descending platforms that makes the Couple want to show their partner some affection. Scientists are currently trying to understand the effects that the escalator has on the reproductive systems of these critters. Perhaps Couples of unequal heights are finally balanced, or standing on a moving platform for 25 seconds doing nothing is too much for them. Make your way to the nearest shopping mall to see this species in action.

3. The Clomper
No matter the time of day, the Clomper will always be in a hurry. You will hear them coming from the constant passive aggressive mutterings of ‘excuse me’s, coupled with extra loud clomps as it clatters up or down the escalator. When the Clomper meets a Clogger, you’ll be able to identify the two Clomper variations. One will resign itself to its fate and wait silently for the journey to end. The other will fight tooth and nail to get its way and push through. When that happens, it makes for good wildlife television.

4. The Cleaner
The Cleaner surreptitiously tries to clean its hooves on the stiff bristles that run along the side of the escalator. While these bristles are meant to ensure the safety of all who take the escalator, the Cleaner probably believes the urban myth that these bristles are part of a long-running government campaign for hoof hygiene.

5. The Confused
In need of a better sense of direction (or eyesight), the Confused is a poor creature that’s always getting on an escalator from the wrong direction, resulting in embarrassing situations. It’ll jump backwards in shock, grunting in horror at the escalator’s betrayal. After getting over it, the Confused will then stagger off to terrorise other escalator passengers.

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