Evidently, people have differing opinions of the subway in New York City.
However, wherever on the spectrum you may find yourself, if you spend enough time down in those tunnels with the rats, one thing you can never say is that the subway is nothing if not entertaining.
Just the other day, I was on the train going to Brooklyn, of all places. Now when it comes to Brooklyn, there really is no such thing as a dull subway ride and it actually only gets more entertaining the deeper in you go.
As we all know, there is no shortage of people vying for our attention on the subways. By vying for our attention, I mean vying for our dollars.
Whether it’s telling jokes, singing, telling a heartbreaking story or just straight up asking, “Can I get a dollar?” you usually see it all on the subway.
Now I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of people who I would actually rather give a couple bucks to NOT hear sing, but then there are a lot of really talented people riding our subways.
My personal favorites are the kids who do the dance moves and use the carriage as their personal jungle gym all while the train is flying through the tunnels at 60 miles per hour.
Now as with anything else, sometimes you watch people doing things that they are really good at and have spent hundreds of hours practicing and they make it look so easy.
They almost make you think that you could do the same thing with just a little bit of effort, until you stand up and try to simply balance while the train is moving. Then you realize how insanely difficult it is to do back flips on a speeding train.
I mean let’s be real, no one just wakes up and gets good at doing tunnel gymnastics. It actually takes a lot of work.
So on this particular ride, a couple of kids, who I affectionately nicknamed The Dancing Machines, hopped on and put on quite a show with their routine. They easily had everyone’s attention, especially the tourists who live for these types of moments (the ones they can tell all their friends back in Iowa about).
Anyway, as we made a stop at the next station, they took a break but at the same time another guy came on the train selling candy. Now of all the different ways people seek to make money on the subway, the candy salesman is probably the least inspiring.
I don’t get why anyone would ever want to buy Welch’s Fruit Snacks in that setting (not that there is an appropriate setting to ever buy Welch’s Fruit Snacks, but that’s another discussion.)
So once Candy Man came on the train and was confronted with his “competition,” things got kind of awkward for a split second. Here we had these two kids in the middle of an amazing dance routine, and then this guy with a box of candy boards.
While there was clearly no competition as to who was going to get any money people wanted to hand out, it didn’t make it any less weird, even if just for a little bit while everyone wondered how this was going to play out.
Was there some unwritten law which took precedent in these kinds of situations? Well in the end, I guess Candy Man realized what we all already knew: that he was just no match for the Dancing Machines. He finally just sat back like everyone else and enjoyed the show as the Dancing Machines got back to wowing the crowd.
At the end of the train ride, our dancing duo walked away with a reasonable haul for their efforts and Candy Man walked away with…well, a box of Welch’s Fruit Snacks. I walked away with questions.
Fortunately, in this instance there was no confrontation because the two groups had such different offerings, but imagine if this had happened with the Dancing Machines and The Mexican Mariachi band. Those guys don’t take a backseat to anyone.
They would definitely have gone head-to-head with the dancers, and who knows how that would have ended. Either there would have been a huge brawl in the train, or the two distinct art forms would have fused and given birth to some kind of Hip-Hop Mariachi Train Dance.
You just never know these days; anything is possible.
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