Keep Your Pants on While Riding the MBTA, Please

Enough with the 'No Pants Subway Ride.' Grow (and button) up.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

Scores of people will ride the MBTA this Sunday without wearing pants, which will probably be the fifth or sixth most unpleasant thing about your trip on the Orange Line. You will not know who sat where come Monday, and no amount of Purell can save you.

The local chapter of the New York-born “No Pants Subway Ride,” organized by BostonSOS, is nine years old, yet still marketed as a prank. Pranks aren’t pranks if they’re scheduled, publicized, and expected. They’re just well-coordinated annoyances.

And who are these people who spend an hourlong chunk of their weekend pantless on public transportation? This is how you choose to spend your time away from your soul-sucking job in finance? Of all the places to be in various stages of undress, the MBTA ranks somewhere between the Registry of Motor Vehicles and in front of a skillet while bacon is frying. If we are to assume there’s no exhibitionist sexual thrill here and it’s merely for the laughs, then whatever humor at play here appeals to the same audience who still giggles at 5318008 on a calculator.

I say all this as a staunch proponent of pantlessness. A few months back, I did naked yoga in Cambridge for a story. But that was private—inside, with other naked, consenting adults, with the curtains drawn. If I had shown off my bucknaked child’s pose in, say, the middle of Downtown Crossing, I’d be writing this from Walpole. Likewise, any grown adult who strips down to their underwear on the T on any other day would be subject to a hearty tazing.

Remember when flash-mobs were cool? Nope. Neither do I.

If you desperately need a gust of cold air blowing through your nether-parts, stand in front of your fridge, close your eyes, and whisper, We are experiencing moderate delays due to a disabled train at Park Street.