Sorry, we’re all tapped out…

June 6, 2011

I love it when real news stories are goofier than anything I could make up. It makes my job so much easier.

There is a United Nations ban on the sale of luxury goods to North Korea, see, and we’ve learned that Italy has foiled an attempt to violate that ban.

And what luxury goods were the North Koreans tying to buy? Lamborghini cars? Remy Martin cognac? Bulgari watches?

No, they were trying to get their mitts on “high-quality tap dancing shoes.” I am not making this up.

Our story on this said it was “not clear how the tap shoes might fit into North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s lavish lifestyle, which includes grandiose stage performances by North Korean performers.”

That’s not the only thing that isn’t clear. Here’s a country that has a nuclear weapons program, but it doesn’t have the technology to make its own tap dance shoes? Excuse me? You’ve got leather, you’ve got metal, you’ve got ball-peen hammers, right? What’s stopping you?

I think this was a missed opportunity. Why not flood the country with tap dance shoes and DVDs of “Singin’ in the Rain,” and let the populace tap dance across the DMZ to freedom?

Gosh, I just wish I had been there when they came out onstage to tell Kim Jong-il that due to wardrobe problems, tonight’s presentation of “42nd Street” would be performed in flip-flops. That must have been a grand moment in musical theater.

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Top: Brothers John (L) and Leo Manzari tap dance during a kickoff concert for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of late U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, at the Kennedy Center concert hall in Washington, January 20, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Right: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (L) visits the reconstructed Pyongyang University of Dance in this undated picture released by the North’s official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang November 26, 2010. REUTERS/KCNA

Left: Poster for “42nd Street”

18 comments

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Yes nothing says ‘We love Dear Leader’ more than musical theater. Dance away those hunger pangs to famous routines like:
Lullaby of Pyongyang
Singin’ while you reign
They CAN take that away from Me

And of course the ever popular:
For me and my thermonuclear device of undisclosed yeild.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

I understand your point, BG… I tried to make sense of the article when I first read it, but ofcourse, the blog has numbed all my sensory nerves… not even doughnuts helped… :D

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Well, BG, they do have leather, ball-peen hammers and the metal… what they dont have, is la finezza!!
Give some credit to the Italians… :P

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

@Nosmo: That was good…

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

This apparently means that North Korea is an untapped market.

I can see Billy Flynn singing, “Give ‘em the old Razz-Il Dazz-Il…”

Sorry, it’s Monday morning, and that’s the best I can cobble together.

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

Skeres, I initially read that as “unzapped market,” and was going to offer to send Shra…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

You think you are gonna get rid of me by sending me to Pyongyang, BG?

Well, I dont want to zap those poor folks.. one of these days, their nuclear weapons would do just that..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

42nd Street! My FAVORITE musical! But it’s difficult to imagine the North Korean version…with great song and dance numbers like “Shadow Taepyeongmu,” “Go into your DMZ” and of course the show stopper, “Shuffle off to Pyongyang.” I hear the road show is going to Iraq next, where everyone’s favorite will no doubt be, “There’s a Suni side to everything.”

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

A haiku to commemorate Comrade Kim’s latest attempt to steal some culture:

North Korea: Give
my regards to Pyongyang, but
no tap shoes for you!

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

Ha ha flip-flops! Can you imagine that? That one slayed me Mr. B.! :D

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

AARRrgghh! Hoist by me own petard!

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

RB: Love the flip flop dancing! Thwapitty, thwapitty, thwap, thwap, thwap! Imagine the excitement when someone steps on the back of another flop dancer’s flip flop and they flip into the orchestra pit!

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

LOL! That was brilliant, One! Thanks for my morning dose of laugh-out-loud-and-make-colleagues-look- at-you-weirdly chuckles.. :)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

@Shra…and that’s exactly why I close my office door before I check the OE Blog.

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

I know, Spin!
I sit with my back to my colleagues when I am reading the blog.. so, I can actually hide my face if I chuckle loudly… :D

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

are u wearing brogues, Spin?

I looooove brogues!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I’m with you, Shra. Nothing like a nice Irish brogue…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I prefer the Scottish brogue, BG, for obvious reasons…
ooooo!! Mary Janes, I love those shoes too..
Like I always say, nothing like retail therapy to brighten a dark day..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive