Saint John — The escalators at Saint John’s City Market have been out of order since March, and have been plagued with breakdowns for several months before that.
While Saint Johners have been grumbling about the slow repairs, an unexpected positive benefit has befallen the city: obesity rates have plummeted over the past few months since the 22-year-old contraptions have been broken.
The Manatee visited UNBSJ and spoke with a guy in a lab coat who assured us he’s a scientist. He claimed that the sudden drop in residents’ BMIs is more than likely linked to the broken escalators. “This raises questions about whether permanently getting rid of the escalators could benefit the health of the overall city,” said the scientist. “The correlation is indisputable. In fact, Saint John residents living closer to the market have seen the most drastic drop in weight, with a sort of ripple effect of fat loss moving outward from there.”
“At first, when I saw that ‘out of order’ sign, I was pissed off — I mean, who wants to walk when they can be carried uphill?” said a trim-looking Mayor Mel Norton. “But now that I’m starting to see some definition in my abs and glutes, I’m thinking we should become an escalator-free city. And while we’re at it, why not get rid of elevators? And even cars?”
Saint John has suddenly become the fitness capital of New Brunswick, leaving pedestrian-friendly and yoga-obsessed Fredericton in the dust. This demotion is not sitting well with the capital city. “Fredericton is pretty flat — or at least the downtown area is,” said northside Fredericton resident Carol Hughes. “We’d have to hike all the way up Smythe Street every day to get the same fitness benefits Saint Johners get from just a stroll in their hilly uptown. It’s not really fair to compare the cities. Plus the students are back in town, and they’re all packing on the ‘freshman 15,’ so that brings us down a little.”
Saint John city staff have looked at options for fixing or replacing the escalators, but have scrapped any concrete plans, despite complaints from market vendors who say they’ve lost business. “We’re just going to see how much healthier we can get,” confirmed the mayor, admiring his lean profile in a mirror at Brunswick Square. “If, as a city, our weight loss plateaus, maybe we’ll fix the escalators. For now, I’m really liking what I see.”