I know what you’re thinking: She’s out of line. There should be no stripping here. But, here’s the sitch. I just learned about a crew, Improv Everywhere, from the podcast that I listen to, This American Life. They’re a crew of actors/comedians based in New York City (where I’ll soon visit for the first time) who create unique forms of public entertainment from time to time.
Their event scheduled for tomorrow afternoon is an annual pantsless subway ride. This is what Ira Glass told me about on the podcast yesterday. During the first year of this prank, people would continuously board the subway in New York without any pants on. After a while, a pants vendor came through the train car, selling all sizes and styles of pants – these folks’ actual pants! Ha! I laughed out loud. I was sold. It was brilliant.
As I sifted through comments on the troupe’s website earlier today, I came across many naysayers. Haters thought it was a waste of time, a disconnect from reality, a denial of the truly meaningful things that this world should be paying attention to. Really? Yet we record The Office on our Tivo, play video games until the sun comes up, and sit on our leather sectionals for hours on Sunday watching football game after football game and all of that is okay and “American”. How is walking around on the train wearing only your underwear in January for a couple hours so much worse?
Don’t be fooled. It’s far better.
All to say, I’m so “on board” with the troupe, that I’d take my pants off for the prank. It’s a little more liberal than is typical for my kind, but I like what they do. I support their vision for art and its accessibility. Their spirit for freedom and fun is endearing; maybe the rest of us should adopt a little bit of this looseness when it comes to certain things.
So take your pants off. And laugh when you see people on the train in their underwear, twenty-seven degrees in the heart of New York City tomorrow. Let’s do this, Chicago.
Update: Apparently, Chicago IS doing this, but only at one location and waaaay up north of any part of the city where I might consider hanging. Buggers.