I finished a piano tuning at a large apartment complex just west of the loop. This place had escalators. I was half way down the escalator when someone at the top accidentally released a large old fashioned suitcase. It was the kind of suit case that you have to carry, is rectangular, and has no wheels. It looked heavy. It fit perfectly in the escalator and came tearing down towards me. There was no place to step aside and let it pass. I made a ruff calculation that the oncoming suitcase would hit in about 1 second. You might think “what’s the big deal; you just put your hands on the side of the escalator and elevate yourself enough to let the suit case roar safely under and thus avoid a broken leg.”
The problem was I had my tool case sitting on the escalator stair right next to me. The tool case of a piano tuner is like his right arm. One has many specialty tools that he has collected over the years and some of them expensive, others are homemade tools or modified. Your tools are like your friends. If you want to cause major depression in a piano tuner, steal his tool case. So my dilemma was this: Should I save my leg or my tools? I thought “it’s possible it won’t break my leg, maybe just crack it a little. And it’s going to take a long time to replace my tools. Not to mention it will be expensive and I will have to replace the case as well. A case can cost over $300.” What to do?
I jumped up of course. And the suitcase slammed into my tool case. They both went sliding down the escalator like two dogs in a race. When my tool case hit the bottom it sprang open and all my tools went flying. When I got to the bottom I began frantically retrieving my tools. The perpetrator came up to me and said he was sorry and then started walking away. I wanted to slug him or at least sue him. I said,”can’t you at least help me pick up my tools?” So he did, and then he walked away. In the end my tools were OK and my case had a scuff mark on it. Who knew escalators could be so exciting.