The world is full of meaningless activities but I have always thought No Pants Day held on the London Underground on last Sunday 7th January is in a pointless class all of its own.
Londoners joined daring commuters across the world in stripping off and hopping on the Tube. The 17th annual No Pants Subway Ride saw passengers in some of the world’s biggest cities drop their trousers in chilly winter temperatures. The tradition was instigated by comedy group Improv Everywhere – and has since been adopted around the world. Well as a one off it might have been funny but 17 years is a long time to play the one joke?
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) January 7, 2018
This event – said to be a “celebration of silliness” by organisers – is, needless to say, an American gift to the world. Indeed, given that it is named after one of the more irksome American deviations from the English language, the only reassuring thing that can be said about it is that it does not proscribe the wearing of undergarments. Beginning in 2002, “no pants day” originated with a prank in which seven jolly young men entered a New York subway train sans pantaloons at seven consecutive stations, each studiously ignoring the other while telling anyone who asked that they had simply forgotten to slip on their trousers.
This year’s event saw passengers from up to 60 cities, from New York to Beijing, strip down to their briefs. London’s usually unflappable commuters shared a rare chuckle together as the capital showed it is not too stuffy to join in the fun. Organisers insist that underwear must be warn, but otherwise prefer passengers to look as if they are going about their daily business as usual. To that end, they are encouraged to read newspapers or books – to reflect how they may behave during the course of a normal journey.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 8, 2018
Hundreds of Londoners rode the tube for an hour and a half, unnecessarily exposing their legs and briefs to their unsuspecting fellow travellers. Those involved (I hesitate to say participants for obvious reasons) were told: “Don’t wear a thong or anything else that might offend people”. Let us be grateful for this small consideration.
In New York, even thick snow and temperatures hovering around minus 7C were not enough to put people off. But at least they have the excuse that they will never look as daft without trousers as their President does even when fully suited.
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) January 7, 2018
This activity on The Tube is not endorsed by London Underground and certainly not by the current Mayor Sadiq Khan but his predecessor the part-time Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, well that could be another story as he had some form in dropping his pants, or trousers as we call them here in civilisation.
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