Sunday, March 6, 2016

K.O. Outtake #1: The Slippery Slope

The following is an outtake from You Can't Spell Tokyo Without K.O.: A photo-essay dissecting the Japanese epidemic of passing out in public. This text was ultimately edited out of the final version for one reason or another (redundant, or didn't fit the book's tone, or distracted from the book's main themes, etc.), but I'm including it here because at least one beta reader mentioned that he or she found it worth reading.

In this context, the term "K.O." (or knockout) refers to losing consciousness in public.

The Slippery Slope

This gentleman's tangled mess of limbs serves as a prime example of the unforeseen sucker punch K.O., where the victim probably had no intention of snoozing but rather ended up sliding down the slippery slope of sleepiness, perhaps beginning with the innocent notion of resting one's eyes or leaning against a handrail.

Because the sucker punch K.O. strikes without warning, it often results in unpredictable, improbable postures as exhibited here: his left hand gently cupping his bosom while with his right hand he appears to be throwing out a limp-fingered attempt at a Bloods gang sign. Perhaps the train car would have echoed with soft, mumbled gang calls of "su-wu" and "wes' side" if not for the victim's shoulder strap partially asphyxiating him. And if not for his arm fortuitously lodging inside the handrail, he likely would have found himself pretzeled up on the floor.

The tiny splotches of red wine on his shirt perhaps offer a clue as to the origin of where it all started to go downhill.

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