After a windy Sunday spent shopping for giftable DC novelties at the Smithsonian museum stores and around Gallery Place/Chinatown, my wife and I headed into the Metro station to head home and rest our feet. As we descended towards the Red Line level, I noticed two teenage girls walking around the mezzanine escalators. Then, with a look of mischief, one of them nonchalantly reached out pressed the Emergency Stop button on the Up escalator, resulting in a loud buzz, a squeak, and, as should be expected, a stopped Up escalator.
I must point out that there was no emergency in progress, that no one was riding on the escalator in question, and that there was absolutely no reason for this girl to push that button and stop that escalator, thereby giving a hard time to everyone who had to go up to the Gallery Place Metro mezzanine from the next arriving train.
I looked sharply at the girls in annoyance, but they were already casually strolling down the still-moving escalators to the Green Line, tittering to themselves, no doubt congratulating one another on their ability to successfully push red buttons marked “EMERGENCY.”
It makes me wonder just how many of the numerous stopped escalators on Metro aren’t actually broken but are just waiting for a station manager to start them up again, thanks to dumb idiot button-pushing kids without any sense of common decency.