Keeping Your Pants Off
My daughter regularly sends me photos she’s taken of various events, sights, and special spottings she finds particular. Monday she sent me shots she’d taken on the New York subway of a lot of relatively normal looking people pantsless, participating in what’s knowns as “No Pants Day.”
My first reaction, after laughing ‘my pants off’ was to post a couple of images on Facebook with the comment: “Can you imagine pantsless people running around Paris!??? Only in NY!”
That’s when I discovered that it not only does it not happen only in New York, but it happens in Paris, too, plus a slew of other cities!
The “No Pants Subway Ride” in New York is an annual event organized by “Improv Everywhere” and is “erroneously referred to as ‘No Pants Day.'” The first ride took place in 2002 when seven members of the organization entered the subway cars at consecutive stops in the middle of winter — pantsless — pretending they didn’t know one another and claiming that they simply ‘forgot their pants.’
This year, over 4,000 people in New York along with tens of thousands in 60 other cities in 25 countries left their pants at home to take a ride on their subways. This is turning into an epidemic, led by Improv Everywhere which announces the exact date one month ahead of time.
Improv Everywhere didn’t invent the event, however. It turns out that the Knighthood of BUH at the University of Texas at Austin started it in 1997 on the first Friday in May. This is certainly more sensible, when the weather is a bit more conducive to exposing your legs. There are ‘rules’ believe it or not — loose ones, at least — that state that one is “to wear a normal outfit, simply without pants, as if the participant simply forgot to put them on, and to look ridiculous in the process.” From the looks of the photos around the world, participants take the ‘looseness’ of the ‘rules’ seriously and do just about whatever they want!
Still, I couldn’t imagine Parisians engaging in such scandalously hilarious activity, until many people commented on my Facebook posting and taught me something I didn’t know: Parisians go pantsless, too! This year it took place this past Sunday, January 13th, in spite of the freezing cold weather — here in Paris and in Toulouse, too. I missed it — taking buses and being too busy standing in a line waiting a very long time to enter the exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay, “Impressionisme et la Mode” which ends this coming Sunday, and was worthwhile enough to have missed No Pants Day.
If you would have participated and if you had known (and I’m not one of those, however), the date for the next No Pants Subway Ride in 2014 will be announced in early December 2013. You can join their mailing list to be notified of participation details at Improv Everywhere.
And if you do participate, promise me you’ll send me a pic or two?!!
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
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