Parents can't seem to resist the urge to play amateur horror movie director when teaching you the importance of tying you shoes. "You don't want to end up like that boy two towns over whose shoelace got stuck in the escalator at the mall. They're still cleaning his toes out of the grate with dental floss." After years of riding escalators without incident, you begin to suspect that you're more likely to make a face that gets "stuck that way" than get your foot eaten by the escalator at the mall.
"I thirst for child-blood."
Escalators are hungry like the wolf -- in this case, an unseeing, unfeeling robotic wolf that appears to grow hungrier once it tastes blood. "Shoelaces will get sucked up ... like sucking soda through a straw. It'll suck it right in." That's not a quote from a guide to parenting with existential terror, but from nationally certified escalator safety inspector Kevin Doherty. And once the escalator has your shoelace, well, not even food metaphors can convey the shit Doherty's seen on the job: "It's unbelievable what an escalator can do to human flesh."
Are you listening, Hollywood? That's the sound of an unexploited horror property.
Toes and entire pieces of feet have been chewed off by escalators. And if the victim reaches down to try to free himself from the human paper shredder, that's when things can go from bad to worse. Like grizzly bears and sharks, you apparently don't want to mess with an escalator when it's in the middle of a feeding.
For instance, in 2003 a girl lost part of her hand when she reached down to free her shoe, which the escalator was in the process of eating. In 2005, a 34-year-old cook made the mistake of wearing a hood on an escalator. Nobody's sure if he was reaching down to free a shoelace or seated when the escalator got hold of his hood, because by the time they found him, the escalator had sucked his hood into its comb plate, dragged him to the ground and strangled him to death.
Once it developed a taste for hipster flesh, no one with a scarf or fedora was safe.