To Do: Shed Your Bothersome Pants


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Riding the train sans pants. Photo:

If you’re looking for an adventurous, albeit chilly start to the year, the 11th Annual No Pants Subway Ride is this Sunday. What began as a prank by a handful of men riding the NYC subway without pants has turned into a massive event. Organized by NYC-based prank collective Improv Everywhere, the event is held simultaneously in cities all over the world, including Barcelona, Sydney, and Jerusalem.

More than 3,000 people are expected to participate in New York alone, turning the event into more of a pantless parade than a prank. However, founder of Improv Everywhere, Charlie Todd, assures us the spirit of the original prank is very much alive. Participants will be divided into train cars and then train stops per car. Just like the first No Pants Subway Ride, each car will start with one pantless passenger with one additional passenger boarding at the second stop, and more boarding at every stop after that till the end of the line, thus adding to the absurdity.

For those looking to shed their pants take heed, this isn’t a nudist free-for-all and there is a proper etiquette, like the “no thong” rule. According to Charlie, the aim of the event is to make people laugh, rather than to offend. Participants are encouraged to behave normally because it further exaggerates the funniness of the lack of pants. If you’re questioned on your missing pants, Charlie advises that you say “you forgot them” or that they were “simply too uncomfortable.” The event ends when participants exit the subway system, but people often stay “pants free” for the rest of the night. This year there is the added benefit of the official No Pants Subway Ride 2012 Afterparty with a pantless dress code. More details can be found on Facebook.

With temperatures hovering in the 20s, we understand if you’re still unsure about heading out in your tighty whities. Take a clue from Charlie who ventures out pantless every year. “I’ve worn boxer shorts with a pair of briefs hidden beneath them for 10 years in a row, and I’ve never had any issues!”

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