RAVENSWOOD — After retreating into its annual hibernation period back in October, the escalator at the Ravenswood Mariano’s store has just begun to show the first signs of a spring bloom, delighting customers and staff alike.
Neighborhood residents and store regulars are pleased but surprised about the unexpected early spring taking place inside Mariano’s on Lawrence.
“I was stunned when the escalator was already dormant way back in early October,” said Stanton Swarthmore, 29. “As the winter went on, I was really starting to wonder if the escalator would ever come back to life, but here we are in mid-February and it’s already starting to bloom! Climate change is wild, man.”
Another Mariano’s shopper and Ravenswood resident, Kimberly Flat, 34, said she’s actually complained about the escalator a number of times in recent months. “Now I feel bad, though,” said Flat, “because obviously I just needed to be a little more patient. Mother Nature works on her own timetable, you know? We don’t control the seasons any more than we control the machinations of the universe itself.”
Mariano’s general manager Randall Quark said it’s nice to see the store’s customers looking a little perkier after a long winter of cold-battered, grimacing faces. “We know that our Mariano’s Market customers felt the store was a little drab this winter, and we understand that folks were frustrated about the escalator hibernating for so long. We are pleased to say, however, that customers in our store will soon have a plethora of spring blooms to look at as they walk up the stairs alongside the escalator.”
Quark added that customers should expect to see tulips blooming in the next few weeks, and, with any luck, blooms will continue all the way through the end of summer. “We’re hoping to have tiger lilies and sunflowers come August, and we’re asking customers to avoid stepping behind the yellow maintenance barrier in order to protect the delicate natural environment of the escalator.
Numerous shoppers have been overheard saying that the escalator, which all winter stood motionless as a reminder of the cold hostility and harshness of a Chicago winter, is now brightening their day with its tender green shoots—a sign that perhaps Punxatawny Phil was right, and an early spring is in store after all.