Tim Sandys is an artist in Glasgow, Scotland
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Commuter Transgression Protocols

Selected Transgressions

1. Doorway Stand

A short journey barely requires the comfort and restful ease of seated transportation. Accordingly, fellow passengers assume the standing commuter to be waiting for imminent departure at the next stop. Mild disruption to the cycle of entrance and exit may occur at busy platforms. This disruption can be accentuated by the individual placing oneself in inconvenient locations near door switches, baggage areas, etc. The standing commuter reaps the rewards of an uninterrupted vigil over the carriage occupants, avoiding close-quarter viral or bacterial exposure (with the exception of the hand rails). They also have the ability to assess physical attributes of the carriage occupants, allowing assessment of which commuters are sexually attractive or particularly unpleasant in appearance.

2. Misinformation

Commuters unfamiliar with timetables and destinations on an otherwise frequented commuter route may make the mistake of asking fellow passengers. This affords the individual informant the possibility of disrupting the enquirer's schedule by purposely directing them to the wrong platform, preventing them from boarding their correct train, or causing them to depart the train at the wrong stop. Deception is unlikely to be challenged due to the enquirer's assumed ignorance of the established commuter route as the informant is unlikely to be seen again. In the event of a challenge to erroneous information by a third party, a simple statement of ignorance or error can re- establish the informant's valid presence as a conforming commuter.

3. Fare Avoidance

The ticket inspector / vendor fleetingly traverses the length of each carriage, gaining access to each by use of the intervening doors between them. A typical four-carriage train harbours one inspector / vendor – thus they can only be present in the individual commuter's carriage 25% of the time. It is likely within the duration of short journeys that the inspector / vendor will not encounter an individual commuter. Protocol insists that within an eventual interaction, the commuter must purchase or display a valid ticket. The likelihood of this interaction occurring can be limited by exchanging carriages at each stop. This technique can be further augmented by the partial altering of costume such as removal of a hat or glasses, removing an overcoat, etc. As a general strategy, situating oneself at the very front seated area or very rear of a train reduces the statistical likelihood of being challenged to produce or buy a ticket over short or crowded journeys. The individual may find it useful to feign a sleeping condition, disability, inebriation or mental-health disorder to discourage interaction.

4. Door Jam

A malfunctioning open door will prevent the train from moving. An obstructed door will usually be re-opened and closed again by the driver in an attempt to prompt the removal of the obstruction, whether it be a passenger slow to enter or exit, or simply an item of luggage protruding from the carriage. A deliberate door jam can be accomplished by a utilising a variety of objects. For example, when the doors are fully open, a rubber door-wedge can quickly be employed to jam the doors and render them completely immobile. This creates the impression of a malfunctioning electrical system and is unlikely to immediately encourage investigation as to a mechanical obstruction. Another possible method would be to attach a crocodile-clip or G-clamp. In this event, the door would very likely be repeatedly closed and re-opened until the situation is investigated and the object removed. Both these scenarios are reliant on quiet or empty carriages to preserve anonymity.

5. Ticket Disruption

Peripheral to the platform, track or carriage environment, the concourse areas that herd commuters are reliant on bottlenecks created by barricades that prevent or admit commuter access through production of a valid ticket. Some machines accept tickets into their workings through motorised rollers, others require proximity to optical or magnetic sensors. In the first instance, the simple mechanism of applying glue or some such viscous or adhesive substance to one's ticket will jam, impair and damage the machine's capability. Depending on frequency of use and the overall volume of commuter traffic, it is possible that the individual disrupting the machine's utility may well gain access while it may be some time before the machine starts malfunctioning. One machine's disruption will contribute to the flow of commuter traffic. Successive sabotage of multiple machines within one barricade afford the possibility of greater disruption but will likely illicit closer observation, maintenance and suspicion of individual actions.

6. Coupling Transportation

An individual correctly positioned at the far end of the platform may deftly approach the external redundant coupling mechanism on the end of the last carriage and step onto it just as the train departs for the next platform. The windscreen wipers provide convenient hand-holds. Free transport combines with the exhilaration of open-air travel and associated physical danger. This technique has the benefit of neither disrupting the train mechanisms or commuter schedules, thus provoking little suspicion or alarm. Evening or night excursions are best suited to this technique and the individual would do well to continually observe the empty driver cab facing backwards in the event that a staff member enters the redundant area to masturbate.

7. Needle Coat (illustration required)

In the context of fast movement within a particularly busy concourse or platform, many commuters resort to jostling and striking fellow passengers with their bags or shoulders. Mild impact is permitted socially, often accompanied with instinctive, insincere muttered apology. More forceful impacts warrant longer, more conscious pauses and platitudes. The frequency of these faux-accidental impacts is directly proportional to the capacity of each space. Whether motivated by whimsy, claustrophobia or revenge, an individual may alter the parameters of this interaction by equipping their shoulder area with needles affixed to a curved band inserted underneath their upper garments. The needles protrude through the fabric but remain virtually invisible to the casual bystander. 'Accidental' impacts then have the rightful property of physical pain yet their familiar context renders them as banal as all others. The recipient of a needle-injury will likely instinctively enact the familiar pause/apology ritual yet will personally register a more serious physical pain quietly and privately for fear of drawing attention to themselves thus generating disruption to the overall commuter schedule.

8. Platform Plough (illustration required)

Quickly traversing the length of a platform or concourse during a particularly busy period is next to impossible due to the intransigence of large numbers of commuters. Use of the 'Platform Plough' is an unsubtle but effective remedy. The front blades' bright colouring display a formally aggressive and noticeable surface that will shunt commuters aside in the event that they do not see the oncoming threat. A basket fixed behind the blades is a welcome addition for the individual carrying large quantities of luggage who may be required to exert additional force to move aside problematic or stubborn obstacles. Low blood-sugar levels among commuters may provoke angry challenges to the individual using the Plough, particularly during morning rush-hour. Cladding the device in the livery of the local rail network and the donning of a high- visibility jacket or other such symbol by it's user will go a long way to assuaging dissent.

9. Derailment (illustration required)

Prolonged and lasting disruption to a commuter network can be achieved by derailment of rolling stock. The implementation of 'Pseudo Rails'; laying them over existing rail-track, smoothly and efficiently redirect the carriage wheels off the rails without causing excessive damage either to them or the sleepers. Disruption is further augmented by attendant emergency services, ambulances, media, police presence, etc. Deployment of these devices is problematic due to their weighty nature – thus, the individual is encouraged to enlist the help of a similarly-minded helper during deployment. The individual's presence on the forbidden territory of the tracks will require the donning of network livery and symbols of valid authority such as a high visibility jacket and hard-hat. Such items will aid the preservation of anonymity. The chosen position of derailment is an optional consideration. It is important to recognise that the devices, when placed on the tracks may be visible to the driver, giving he or she time to slow down or stop before derailment occurs. Therefore, it is important to consider the desired magnitude of effect. A fast moving train will likely derail with greater kinetic release which will produce greater disruption.

 

 

 

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