Friday, September 11, 2009

He offered me a hankie, but he had ulterior motives.

I must have been doing something right - or very wrong - yesterday, because the tissue-pushers accosted me.
Not those tissue pushers. Not the innocent ones who want you to buy life insurance or change your mobile phone carrier or eat grilled meat for dinner tonight and every night.
One of the major mobile phone companies, au.

Please mind your manners when riding the Yokohama Subway.

No, the ones that I speak of target a certain kind of girl - youngish, fashion-y, wearing heels and with lots of make-up and hair product. The pushers are always men, and their usual method of attack is to zero in on a girl and walk with her, talk to her, trying to get her to take the tissues, sometimes for half a block. The girls usually stick their noses in the air and ignore them.

They never seem to target (visible) foreigners (especially in this part of town, I reckon) and they loiter around 109 and sometimes near the station entrance.
I approached their gauntlet with no sense of trepidation because they never bother me; I'm not what they're looking for. Except I must have looked a little less foreign, or perhaps a little more ho-ish, yesterday, because they jumped me.

The first one stepped in front of me and proffered his pack, and I was so shocked that I took it. The second one was right behind him, less than a second later, and into my hands it went. As the third one approached I had started to gain my composure and told him no, but he shoved it into my hand, already full with the others, and backed away. Flustered, I dumped them all in a shopping bag I was carrying, at which point a fourth ventured up. He politely offered me his colorful pink-printed pack and I just as politely declined. Dame? (No go?) he said. I affirmed that indeed, it was a no go. Too bad, because the last one was an ikemen (hottie) wearing a cute fedora.

The tissues are ad-packs soliciting hostesses for clubs and there even seems to be one up there for a maid café. Perhaps not the best thing to pull out of one's bag on a date or to wipe the snot of an errant preschooler? I guess not. Still, free snotrags are free snotrags.

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