AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.
CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?
BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.
JEREMY FUGLEBERG: I am currently at the base of an excellent Otis escalator in the First International Bank in Casper.
CORNISH: That's assistant managing editor Jeremy Fugleberg. He claims the pundits have it all wrong. There are actually four escalators in his state.
FUGLEBERG: There's an up escalator and a down escalator. So we'd like to consider that two escalators. In the other bank in the other side of town, Hilltop National Bank, there's also an up and down escalator.
CORNISH: And outside of Casper, according to The Atlantic's website, there are no escalators at all.
BLOCK: This, of course, would be disappointing news to the late, very late Nathan Ames. He is the Saugus, Massachusetts, man credited with patenting the first escalator in 1859. Escalator editor Fugleberg says despite this shortage, his state manages to go up and down in a variety of structures.
FUGLEBERG: Wyoming is very proud of its ability to get from floor to floor in some form other than escalators. Believe it or not, Wyoming is jam-packed with stairs and elevators that are very popular and used all the time.
CORNISH: There's no denying the thrill of going up and down without effort. Even a hardened editor such as Jeremy Fugleberg finds the free ride worth demonstrating.
FUGLEBERG: Three, two, one, I'm stepping on the escalator. Riding up, there's wood paneling around, chandeliers above me. We have chandeliers, quite a few. Near the top - and now at the top, turning around, it's a very fast turnaround. Now going down the escalator. Now, I'm nearing the bottom. It looks about the same as when I left. And here's one small step for man but a giant leap, giant leap for the rest of the country.
BLOCK: As to the political argument equating escalators per capita to senators, he's not buying it.
FUGLEBERG: If we're handing out political representation based on escalator numbers, then we're going to see a boom in many places with a lot of escalators making pretty scary claims about how many senators they should have in the U.S. Senate.
CORNISH: That's Jeremy Fugleberg of the Casper Star-Tribune. Following on his train of thought about the relationship of escalators to senators, our crack interns tried to ascertain the total number of escalators in New York state. They were unsuccessful, but we'll hazard a guess that Senators Schumer and Gillibrand would have plenty of home state company.
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