The international phenomenon which is No Pants Day continues to grow exponentially in popularity.
Knobbly knees, pale-as-sunrise calves, cheeky buttocks and bizarre underwear. There was no shame for the thousands of commuters around the world who travelled sans trousers for the 14th No Pants Subway Ride and all its variants on Sunday.
What began as a small stunt by seven New York subway riders in 2002 has turned into a global event. The original pranksters, who formed the group Improv Everywhere, said pants were dropped and legs bared in 60 cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. On the Gold Coast, the privately-owned tram operator G:link shut it down just seconds before it was about to begin, but then that’s Queensland, where as all Aussies know the clocks are stopped at eight minutes to eight in the evening, or as we like to call it, 1952.
“It’s a celebration of silliness,” said Larry Piche, the organiser of Calgary’s No Pants Skytrain Ride. “There’s no real reason, just come out and play.”
And fair enough too. The world needs more silliness.
The premise is simple: don’t wear pants, ride the set route, and keep a straight face. But there are rules, such as being “tasteful and hygienic”, wearing “everyday” clothes from the waist up, and carrying a valid ticket.
“If questioned, you do not know any of the other pants-less riders. Tell folks that you ‘forgot to wear pants’,” organisers said on Facebook ahead of the Sydney event.
We have just one major concern.
Have all those discarding their skirts and trousers actually looked at a subway seat recently?
You know, the vomit-and-urine-soaked, chewing-gum-infested, coffee-and-coca-cola-stained subway seats we are all so used to?
As you can see from this charming video from TimeOut via YouTube, clean they ain’t.
If you can bear to watch it, the video shows clouds of dust billowing up from seats on London Underground lines as they are bashed with a rubber hammer. Testers looked at the Piccadilly, Victoria, Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee, Central, District, Circle, Hammersmith and City, and Metropolitan lines.
Even brand new ‘S’ stock trains on the District line, rolled out over the last year, contained significant quantities of the brown dust, which is thought to be a charming concoction of dead human skin and dirt from people’s shoes. Presumably even more skin particles, now.
We really don’t think you have to have a hygiene phobia to want that extra comfort of another layer of clothing between one’s fundament and the seat. Do you?
Anyhow, honestly, we have other concerns.
To look at the press coverage, one would think that everyone who cheerfully dropped their daks were buffed and shaped into swoon-worthy well-muscled buttness and thighness that was crying out to be freed for world view.
Whereas we are reasonably sure that a goodly proportion of the delightfully silly people that took part are boasting hidden bits that should, at the very least, stay hidden in public.
We assure you, Dear Reader, we will not be going bare-legged (or bare anythinged) on the train anytime soon.
Mind you. What other opportunities are there for bare-leggedness that might offer an opportunity for a good laugh without the concomitant possibilities for rampant yeast infections?
#nopantshopping. We’d like to see that.