What is it with stairs?
There are stairs pretty much everywhere you go. Unless you are disabled you will have gone up and down many flights of stairs in your life.
And yet, many people seem to struggle to know how to handle them.
Well, let me re-phrase that: many men seem to struggle to know how to handle them; women seem able to take them in their stride (so to speak)
My ponderings on stairs were brought about the other day as I was approaching a perfectly normal flight of stairs. In front of me was a man, walking at a perfectly normal pace; a little slowly if anything. As he reached the stairs, he suddenly burst into a run. He dashed to the top of the flight of stairs, whereupon he resumed his previous leisurely pace.
Odd, I thought, but this is by no means unusual behaviour – I have noticed it many times before.
The other thing that men often do is take the stairs two at a time.
I accept that the height of the stair is a little on the short side for most people, but two steps is invariably too high. With our extensive experience of stairs we should surely realise this.
Those taking stairs two at a time seem to be taking part in some strange lunging exercise. Very good for the glutes I’m sure, but you nonetheless inevitable look like a bit of a prat.
Two steps are too high for even the longest legs: in fact, the lankiest people look even worse, like some kind of demented wading bird.
So what is it about stairs that makes men rush so much?
Do stairwells stir some ancestral memory of a cave, and therefore a place of potential danger to be traversed as quickly as possible?
Or maybe somewhere deep in our psyche we are haunted by repeat viewings of Indiana Jones films and fear that a large stone ball will appear at any time to chase us through the stair well.
Maybe we will never know, or maybe it is a topic worthy of further research and a potential Ig Nobel prize.