like. read. laugh. love.
For Matt and I, a work day does not start right unless we see South London‘s iconic Dancing Tube Guy. He stands out the front of our tube station dressed immaculately, smoking a cigarette with his headphones in, dancing. So naturally we call him Dancing Tube Guy or The DTG and routinely message and email each other to discuss his latest outfit.
The most exciting thing about the Dancing Tube Guy is the clothing he wears. He chooses a single colour and then dresses head to toe in that colour, no matter what the consequences may be. Some days he’s dressed in all beige, like a gigantic bread roll. Other days it’s all bright green with marijuana print, fluoro yellow, blue or orange and of course my personal favourite, and today’s featured colour, baby pink.
The second exciting thing about him is that he isn’t always there, so you don’t know if you’ll get to see him that day or not. I like to think he’s just keeping us on our toes with the old ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ trick. What’s puzzling about that though, is that anybody who has enough time to get up, coordinate an entirely purple outfit and stand outside the tube station for six hours dancing clearly doesn’t have a job.
So where is he on the days he isn’t there? What other pressing social engagement does he have that he can’t spare the time to dance outside the tube that day? “Oh geez Gavin, I was going to dance outside the tube again today but I guess I can come to your cat’s Bah mitzvah” Who has a cat’s Bah mitzvah at 8am on a Wednesday anyway?! Gavin. That’s who.
It seemed in the beginning that both Matt and I had spotted him, but neither of us had raised it with each other and were each silently enjoying his rainbow wardrobe and dance techniques.
Then one day, our thoughts intersected. “Have you seen that guy at the tube. You know, the one that dances and wears an outfit in all one colour” I say to Matt. “Ummm yes! Of course I’ve seen him, the guy that wears all red on Fridays. He’s always there!” he replies. “I like him”, I say “I wonder if his wardrobe looks like a pack of skittles. I’m going to smile at him tomorrow and say hi”.
This last comment is met with silence as we both quickly realise that maybe the person wearing fluorescent green socks and gloves at 7:45am isn’t quite stable.
The next night we report back, having both seen him wearing bright orange that morning. Matt explains that he had seen DTG in his usual spot at the underground and as he approached him, caught his eye briefly. The DTG, however, was not in the mood for pleasantries and immediately started bellowing incoherent ramblings in a loud, agitated voice toward Matt and the other early morning commuters. Naturally, Matt bolted for the tube without pausing to look back.
Without the courtesy of a ‘steer clear of him’ warning text message from Matt, I had skipped down to the tube ready to build the foundations of a new-found friendship. As I neared his spot I drew a big smile across my face, ready to give him my best ‘Hi! I like you and your clothes!’ look and, maybe even a head nod.
A girl walking ahead of me paused briefly to retrieve her travel card from her pocket. For an unknown reason, the DTG found this action terribly offensive and immediately started dancing harder than usual and screaming angrily at her, then turned his head toward me. My friendly smile ripped off my face and I put my head down and scurried quickly into the safety of the tube station.
Dejected, Matt and I resigned ourselves to admiring his well-constructed outfits from afar and heeding the warning our mother’s had issued us years earlier… don’t talk to strangers.