Some of you might be wondering why my family and I haven’t been out in public for several days.  Well, I guess it is about time I told everyone.

See, I had this dream growing up that I would someday be like the cool engineer dads in the movies.  You know, the ones who live in fun but chaotic houses full of clever gadgets and neat inventions.  I wanted an alarm clock that set off my toaster and fed my dog from a can.  I imagined pulling a lever downstairs that would dump my laundry into a machine that would sort my clothes and wash them, and then transfer them to a dryer that would fold them and lay them neatly in our dresser.  I had big dreams.

So, as soon as we moved into our house, I started looking around and making plans for possible improvements.  Certainly, the first issue was the stairs.  There were just too many of them.  We all despise stairs.  Something must be done.  So, last week I set to work replacing my tiresome old stairs with something better. I installed an escalator.  And it was magnificent.  A shining gateway up to our second floor.  A reverse waterfall of metal magic. I proudly turned it on Wednesday evening and my family and I all held hands and rode up together.  We were a family of raptured saints ascending into the clouds.  My smiling children hugged my leg and announced I was a genius.  My wife held the baby up to pat the face of the man whose brain he would one day share.  I had arrived.

Still giggling to ourselves, we turned to look down into the living room.  It looked so small now.  So distant.  Our smiles froze in place.  The house was silent apart from the gentle whir of the new escalator.

“So,” My wife said finally.  “How do we get back down?”

My eye twitched frantically in response.

We have all tried several times since then, in desperation.  We get a running start and fling ourselves onto the machine.  We pump our legs like mad, getting almost to the bottom, but it always ends with us collapsing in exhaustion and getting gently deposited, once again, in the bedroom hallway.

While the children keep themselves occupied with slinky races on this strange floating island, I have been busy in the nursery constructing a family of parachutes out of old sweaters and baby blankets.  I think we should be descending into the backyard sometime late Tuesday afternoon.  But if anyone wants to stop by tomorrow to escalate us a pizza, it would be greatly appreciated.