What’s the Time? It’s Show Time!

If you’ve ever been on the NYC subway system, you’re well familiar with “hitters.” Do you know what I’m talking about? Perhaps this banter will jog your memory:

“What’s the time? It’s show time! What’s the time? It’s show time!”

The next thing you know, a group of teenagers perform gravity-defying dance routines – utilizing the bars on the subway in stripper pole fashion –  and you sit and pray that you don’t get accidentally kicked in the face.

“What’s the time? It’s show time! What’s the time? It’s show time!”

The second reaction from seeing “hitters” on your subway car is, “Oh my God, that old lady almost got kicked in the face!”

“What’s the time? It’s show time! What’s the time? It’s show time!”

New York Times writer Joshua Z. Weinstein described the annoying antics of hitters as “transforming the subway car into a remarkable sort of public theater.” (Probably theater along the lines of Broadway’s Spiderman rather than Ibsen’s Per Gynt.)

My question: Was this the very first time Joshua Z. Weinstein ever rode a New York subway? Read with me this piece of prose:

I focused my lens on their hands seizing poles and feet fluttering in the air. As I zoomed in, I noticed that these self-taught artists are not just part of an underground subculture; their graceful moves also evoke a classical ballet. 

Needless to say, New Yorkers gave the Times piece almost 300 negative comments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting the arts (I happen to like art), but I truly believe that the animosity streams from, simply, not wanting to get accidently kicked in the face or seeing other getting accidentally kicked in the face (especially the elderly).

“What’s the time? It’s show time! What’s the time? It’s show time!”

Also, the act could benefit by changing up the banter or elaborate costumes. (I’d love to see a swinging pirate or Peter Pan.)

What does it all look like from a hitter’s POV? New York magazine equipped a member of WAFFLE (short for We Are Family for Life Entertainment) with a Go Pro camera mounted on his head. Here’s what it looks like from these Q-train regulars’ perspective: 

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