It's a given, I think, that everything's better without pants. I just didn't realize how true that was until today. Not really.
Imagine you're riding the subway. Toronto's in particular, but it could just have easily been any other in the world. The normal routine drudges on until somebody, all of a sudden, walks onto the subway car without pants.
Generally a little disconcerting, I'd guess. Until at the next stop, a few more pants-less people nonchalantly stroll onto your subway car.
And then it really starts to get wierd. People keep trickling in from platforms all along the subway line - missing their pants - until your subway car is full of dozens of people going about their afternoon commute partially nude.
You ask one of them what the hell is going on. He tells you he forgot his pants at home; hell of a coincidence about the others, eh?
And as you ride North on the Yonge line, more and more people keep coming onto the subway car wearing nothing but their skivvies from the waist-down. The tan-less tide reaches a blinding crescendo of bare legs at Davisville station, and the next thing you know, they've all gotten off the train at Eglinton. You keep going along your route. They've turned around for the return trip downtown.
So what the hell was that?
Improv in Toronto. More specifically, the Toronto chapter of Improv Everywhere, the people responsible for the notorious Grand Central Freeze: hundreds of undercover IE "agents" froze in spot, forming a two-minute tableau that just generally confused the shit out of everyone.
The No Pants Subway Ride started in Improv Everwhere's city of birth, New York, in 2002. It grew over subsequent years, spreading across the world's metropolises like a bad strain of the clap at a good Catholic school.
Today was Toronto's second year of the NPSR, and hundreds of people gathered in Queen's Park to take part. We were divided into groups, and began our march to the Queen's Park subway stop.
En route to our pre-determined platforms, we took off our pants.
I got off at Wellesley with my pants in my bag, and waited for the second train that was to collect all the participants. Whereas the first train was witness to a few dozen people spontaneously taking off their pants in the subway car, the second saw only a successive tide of half-nude commuters piling on at each stop.
When we got to Eglinton Station, we turned around and went straight back downtown.
[I'm in this photo. Find me if you can!]
A bunch of us went to the College Street Golden Griddle afterward for pancakes to celebrate our victory. Then we went to the pub next door to celebrate the fact that we still weren't wearing pants.
And it was magical.
Of course, the photos are on Facebook.