A Problem With Fear - Or Laurie's Anxiety Confronting The Escalator

Laurie is not exactly a hero. Lifts, escalators, spaghetti covered in red sauce, automatic doors, underground trains and loud voices all pose a threat to him, for, any one of these could mean death or at least danger. Laurie only manages to make it to work of a morning because his sister Michelle takes him there herself, whereas Laurie’s girlfriend, Dot, is there to make sure he gets home safely. No sooner has Laurie survived another day, than the night begins. What a life he could have if only there were some kind of technological development that could rid him of his fear! Michelle, whose brother’s phobias have been familiar to her since childhood, has been developing one such miraculous invention for a company named Global Safety Inc. ”The Early Warning 2 Safe System™“ provides immediate reassurance and, what’s more, intervention in prickly situations.
But what happens if one of Laurie’s worst fear fantasies actually comes true and a woman is strangulated by her scarf on the escalator? What if lifts suddenly go berserk and just about everything else that Laurie has imagined in his worst nightmares occurs? Laurie’s high-tech early warning safety system appears to have run amok and his entire environment seems to have gone wild. What to do? But, wait a minute, there seems to be a connection between Laurie and this series of unexplained occurrences. Could Laurie have the means to save himself? Could he even save the whole city? Will Laurie the scaredy-cat become Laurie the hero?
by Gary Burns
with Paulo Costanzo, Emily Hampshire, Camille Sullivan
Canada 2003 94’

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