Ted Wilson Reviews the World: The Tap Dancer in the Subway

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing the tap dancer in the subway.

★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Tap dancing is the art of dancing mainly with your feet while the rest of your body just sort of stands there with nothing else to do. It seems like it would be a good time to read a book or make some phone calls, but no tap dancer I’ve ever seen has done that.

You can tell a good tap dancer by the speed of the tap dancing or if the tap dancer is Gregory Hines. Those are the two greatest indicators of quality. Another indicator is if smoke begins billowing out from the shoes. I’ve never seen that outside of cartoons, but I’m not a physicist so who am I to say if that can happen.

The tap dancer in the subway was none of these things, but what she was was confident. It didn’t matter that people were actively avoiding her, or that tap dancing does not have broad appeal. This woman just kept on dancing.

One thing that set this woman apart from most tap dancers is that she was singing. Her voice wasn’t very good at all but I liked the lyrics to her song. It went like this.

Help me
Won’t you help me please
The ants
Get them off me
Where did all these ants come from
Oh god oh god
This is a nightmare
Why won’t anyone help

It’s not a song I’m familiar with but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I’m always excited to learn new songs and this one got stuck in my head the whole day.

No one was giving this woman any money, so I decided to be the first just to get the ball rolling. I wrote her a check for 86 cents (the amount of change I had in my pocket but needed for the bus) and placed it near her while trying to stay out of the way.

As I boarded my train this woman was still at it — dancing and singing like her life depended on it. She must have really worked up a sweat because she started tearing off layers of clothing. She even kicked off her shoes which seemed really counterintuitive to me.

BEST FEATURE: Her vim and vigor!
WORST FEATURE: She was wearing sneakers which made it pretty hard to hear the tap dancing.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing a goose.


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