Thursday, December 10, 2009

Commuter Terrorists – The Hanger

I sometimes realize how bad I am at actually following up on previous promised posts, but since "the commuter terrorist" series I started back in September deserves to be followed up, here comes the promised description of "The Hanger" and the difficulties that this entity can cause on his fellow travelers. Since I myself have not yet figured out how to properly deal with these people I would appreciate any advice on the subject that I can try out the next opportunity (which will come far far too soon, I'm sure).

Imagine how you enter a particularly crowded train, all seats are taken and there are people lined up in front of the seats, but you see an opening in squeezing yourself in in the middle of the lane. Ending up in the area by the door is commuting torture in a crowded train, not only will you end up with foreign limbs all over the place, the reek of sweat, too strong perfume and warm uncomfortable humidity, no, you will also have to move and rearrange yourself each time the train stops at a station letting people on and off. So, entering the middle of the train is usually a pretty wise strategy even if it means that you will have to use some force and try to manage one or two "Blockers" on the way.

"The Hanger" starts his (I’ve never encountered a female hanger) act as you are standing right behind him (and he’s standing in front of the seat), things are usually pretty tight, but there is usually some room to twist the body a little so you don’t have to stand in constant full-body-to-body contact. It is not an extremely comfortable position, but it's better than standing by the doors and you have a good position to move up when someone in the corridor get off the train. Then the Hanger makes your life unpleasant, as you are standing there in peace zoning out, trying to just endure until things get better or you get off, and all of a sudden you notice how someone's hair is getting in your eyes and mouth. That is the Hanger. The Hanger doesn’t really care that it's crowded and you're standing right behind him, he decides to make his life more comfortable by holding on to the "hand ring handle" (hey, you tell me what they’re really called!) This position might make him feel very relaxed in the crowded train, but that his hair keeps getting in the face of the person behind him doesn't bother him.

I always thought that was a bit odd since I would be uncomfortable knowing that my hair is going all over another persons face. Usually this person is also rocking a little back and forth as well so it comes in waves hair in face – away – hair in face – away. I find this extremely uncomfortable and have difficulties dealing with this, things I have tried is moving and squirming about a bit everytime, but that usually causes more problems to the surrounding people than the Hanger who doesn’t care. An option I have seriously considered is giving in to the train rage and give the Hanger a mild headbutt to alert him to the error of his ways, but that could turn unpleasant...


Martin said...

Im sorry, didnt really understand the bodyposition of the hanger. Does it have to be a long hairy man, taller than yourself?

However, some loud sneezing and coughing might solve this problem, and perhaps even other problems like the blockers?

Chris said...

Give in to the rage!!!!
Kill them..

There laughing at YOU!! They don't respect YOU!! They want to take precious from YOU!!

do you....ever hear the voices??


Kevin said...

Very much enjoy your posts.
Its really all about position. If your face to back-of-head with the hanger you need to move off to the side a bit. Often easier said than done. There's only so much space.
That said, its time to start giving in to the rage!!
The other day when getting off an express train two idiots had just had to get on before everyone had exited. I saw one coming, held my ground resulting (allowing) him to run into me. After ripping off my headphones I barked, in Japanese, that its normal to let everyone off the train before boarding. Punctuating the statement with "アホ!". He apologized and didn't get the seat he was so desperately after.
Really felt good to let that out that day!

Anonymous said...

Act like you just spit a lung cookie in his hair. Or if you feel evil that day do it..........disclaimer: I never said my idea's were good or legel, but they would work!

Martin said...

Great Kevin! I used to do some similar rugby practice every morning getting of the train to school bashing idiots trying to push me back in. Actually i was preparing a shoulder charge every morning, often bopping some bastard back out again. Great fun, no one ever complained.

However, this was in Sweden. And scince mr Salaryman is rather fragile, and that every japaneese is an expert in Karaté. I wouldn´t advise him to do so.

Karen said...

Chris is talking sense Mr. Salaryman. You better listen to him.

aimlesswanderer said...

Faking a cough given how paranoid they are about germs would seem to be more effective, if only confirming that furriners are contagious and disease ridden.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Martin - I should've provided some informative illustration, but I think you've gotten the gist of it now with all the additions.

Chris - Yes, I think you're on to something here but be careful *they* are listening!

Kevin - Well, I've been tempted, but I usually don't yell, I just move right through them the way Martin suggests, and even though I'm fragile, I still live.

I actually feel that anonymous and Aimless are on to the least dangerous tactic here... I should try.

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