A man was discovered today in a nearby shopping mall trapped on an escalator trying to make it to the next level. Jorge Gonzales says that he has been climbing those stairs on the escalator for 37 years and still hasn't made it to the top.
"No me puedo salir adelante," he said. "No es posible llegar ariba."
In fact, analysts say that Jorge has only increased his position by about 2 inches on the escalator since he began his ascent in 1970. Spokespersons for "El Vaquero" ("The Cowboy"), a coyote contracting service out of Laredo, Texas who helped Jorge get across the border say that they are not surprised.
"There are many Jorge's out there who find themselves trapped," said "El Vaquero" spokesperson, Debbie Eagles. You also see them at the entrances of some stores stuck in revolving doors. Some of them just haven't been exposed to that kind of technology before and become fascinated."
The US Census Bureau estimates that there are, in fact, 7 million Jorges in the United States right now with more on the way. There have even been reports of Mexican border crossing "schools" opening up to accommodating that kind of traffic.
When asked what was the attraction to "El Norte" Jorge commented through an interpreter, "The dollar is stronger in Mexico, depending on the day, sometimes 10 to 1, pesos to American dollars. Even a low salary in the United States is a lot back home. And, back home they don't have many escalators either. I also don't have to worry about the "pincha loco" in-laws dropping by. They're 3,000 miles away."
Jorge declined to comment on what "pincha loco" meant, but did say that it wasn't very nice.
Los Angeles Times Bureau Chief for Latin American Affairs, Heckler Tobar says Mr. Gonzales is only telling part of the truth:
"It's like this. If you have two pots full of crabs on the stove and in one pot you have American and Japanese crabs, and in the other, you have Mexican crabs. In the American/Japanese pot, crabs are going to be watching other crabs try to get out. They will watch their technique and try to emulate them. And some of them will even help them get out expecting a favor in return when they are on the outside. But in the Mexican pot the crabs at the bottom are going to pull those trying to get out back down into the stew with them, so that no one will get ahead and they all perish together."
Customers at the department store see Jorge as a steady fixture and always wave to him when they walk by. Department store managers say that Jorge is a diligent worker and always shows up to climb the elevator on time. He will even work during American holidays and on weekends. But, they say as with any aging worker that there will be a time when Jorge won't be able to keep his steady pace anymore, and, like an old dog, he will be too expensive to keep around anymore. That will be the time to let him go says store manager, Bon Voyage.
But spokesperson's for the store say that all has not been in vain that they are considering erecting a statue for Jorge out the graciousness of their own hearts and placing it near the main entrance of the store with the caption: "In memory of Jorge, diligent, hard-working employee, social climber and friend who refused to let the rest of the crabs pull him back into the pot with them."
No one ever heard the escalator repairman who came in for routine maintenance of the escalators ask, "What's he doin' goin' the wrong direction on that thing?"
Analysts from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill were baffled at the repairman's comment.