Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Commuter Terrorists - The sleeper Agent


Give her a Bag Battering and she'll wake up!

The Sleeper Agent is one of the most basic enemies you will encounter in the commuter war. They're basically cannon fodder and basic grunts that pose no real threat to an experienced Subway Warrior. However they can be highly annoying to deal with. The sleeper agents come in all shapes and can be young, or old, male or female. 

What the Sleeper Agent does is sleep. He/she likes to sleep during the commute and particularly likes to do so when sitting next to you. He/she often finds the lack of pillows on the train inconvenient but makes up for this oversight by using the person next to him/her instead. The sleeper agent typically start nodding off slowly and carefully, probing the ground before a full on assault. It starts with a head briefly brushing against your hand or shoulder and then returning to the upright position as the person seem to be aware that he/she might be causing some discomfort to the subject. However, if you do not strongly mark your territory another intrusion is sure to occur. Depending on the aggressor it can be a series of brushes lasting slightly longer and longer or it can be an immediate and full on "head on shoulder" invasion to the precious private space on the train.

I have now successfully fended off these annoying combatants on a regular basis and the key is to put down your foot early and scare off any further attempts. The basic move that I perform when a sleeper agent is probing the ground is the "Quick Shoulder Shrug". The move consists of a quick shoulder shrug, keeping the body apart from the shoulder perfectly still. Speed is also of essence, it should be performed quickly without any other visible sign of annoyance; you should keep reading that book, playing with your phone or whatever it is you're doing. Often this move is all it takes to scare the aggressor off, either waking them up or going for easier prey on the other side.

The move is sure to at least temporarily stave off any attempts but in many cases once is not enough in which case I repeat the move, a little harder each time until the aggression is halted or more radical moves are deemed required.

One move that is also available is the "Fake Surrender" where I pretend to give in to the invasion for a few minutes lulling the sleeper into a false security then I suddenly do the "Oops I dropped something on the floor and need to pick it up" and in an instant remove the stable ground from the aggressor. On rare very successful occasions this can cause the sleeper to free fall to the seat behind you and is sure to both wake them up an shame them into submission. Remember to look at them afterwards like you think he/she is crazy to amp up the shame a notch.

There are times when the Shoulder Shrug is not enough to scare off determined aggressors and the Fake Surrender is not suitable. Those are the times I take to weapons to hold my ground! My weapon of choice is my business bag that I usually have in my lap during the train rides. I first slyly move my upper body slightly away from the aggressor who slowly follows in hope of regaining its new found pillow. Due to the magic of gravity it usually means that the aggressor also leans slightly forward, I wait for a few precious seconds, move the bag in my lap slightly towards the aggressor and then quickly pump my knee upwards in a quick movement lunging the bag quick and hard against the vulnerable face of the aggressor. This move basically always work leaving the aggressor semi-awake and in pain without realising exactly what really happened. I call this move the "Bag Battering".

Again, during all this, I can't stress the importance enough of acting like everything is perfectly fine. The reason for this is to avoid escalating the conflict to a train rage incidence. After all, these moves are highly effective but should only ever be used in self defence when all peaceful options has been exhausted.

However, there are times when even I surrender, either by getting up and standing or let the invasion run its course... The Drunk Sleeper Agent is the most fearsome type as they are particularly insensitive to pain, reek of sweat and alcohol and are unrelenting in their invasion attempts; The Terminators of the Sleeper Agents if you will. Know when to run and when to make a stand! Another fearsome scenario is having Sleeper Agents on both sides simultaneously attempting an invasion forcing you to fight a war on two fronts...

Remember the first rule of the Subway Warrior: There are no innocents and all aggressors should be dealt with extreme prejudice, women and men alike are fair game. The only people who should be spared are younger children (teenagers are fair game!) and frail elderly. This might sound hard and merciless, but that is the way of the Subway Warrior! Some of the most toughest Subway Warriors are women, so keep that in mind and show no mercy.

11 comments:

Rey said...

Man, I've learned so much from reading this post! Can I be your disciple? I'm ready to learn the ways of the subway warrior

Anonymous said...

what about the case of a cute young lady falling asleep on you ?

NeonRaine said...

I'm too small for the shoulder shrugging to be effective, especially against salaryman. But I will be remembering the Fake Surrender. I really hope I don't lean on anyone if/when I fall asleep. I've gotten really good at dozing standing up so I like to think that I can stay really still whilst napping.

Will said...

I do my best to honor you next time I board the moving metal people pipe. Thank you for showing me The Way.

Chris said...

Your "Commuter Terrorist" series makes me feel good about being an Inaka mono motherfucker.

I couldn't deal with all that BEFORE MY JOB EVEN STARTED....fuuuuuck no!!!

shadowzach00 said...

when i go to japan make sure i use your advice lol

kathrynoh said...

I usually don't mind except when it's one of those salarymen who use the greasy hair oil. I'm pretty sure that shit will stain if it gets on my clothes.

Steve (Living in Japan) said...

What an info! I'll surely take note of that when I'm on the subway...

Anonymous said...

Hey, cool content, but WordPress breaks it up on my monitor. Maybe it's the plugin you have on the site. Have you considered a different CMS?

Martin said...

-"... shame them into submission."

Spoken as a true professional!

Mr. Salaryman said...

Rey - Are you truly ready to embrace the Way of the Subway Warrior? It is a lonely savage life and means giving up much of what makes you human but will ensure that no one will ever defeat you on a train ever again!

Anon - Doesn't matter, cute or ugly, young or old, they all get the same treatment!

NeonR - Yeah, the fake surrender could be a good move but who are you trying to fool? You know as well as I do that you lean on people when sleeping. Let's hope you don't do it on me lest you will experience the full power of my anti-sleeper move set!

Will - Make me proud!

Chris - There are definite benefits to not having to ride the rush hour trains in Tokyo... Easily the worst thing about working here... Before the job starts and then to top it off to get all the way back home... I need to set up a home office...

Shadow - Please do so and you can always try some out in your home country although I cannot say what the consequences could be

Kathryn - You're an enabler, that's what you are ;)

Steve - Do so indeed but use it with care! With great power comes great responsibilities!

Martin - No, spoken as a true Subway Warrior!

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