No Trousers Tube Ride 2014


Warning: contains scenes of an explicit nature

Man in tighty whiteys This was my view on the Northern Line this afternoon.

At first I thought it was for a stag do, but the man sitting next to me in a snowboarding jacket and a pair of cotton boxers didn’t seem to be part of the same crew as the one standing near the doors. This ostentatious nakedness from unconnected individuals seemed like too much of a coincidence.

Getting off the carriage at Tottenham Court Road, I was joined by 3 new cliques of unconcernedly half-naked Londoners disembarking the train and making their way down the platform towards the exit. This IS too much of a coincidence I thought, and decided to investigate.

‘Why are you in just your pants?’ I asked.

But no one wanted to answer: it was all cryptic references to the restrictive nature of trousers and the freedom of living without them.

No worries, I thought. The internet will have an answer.

Today was the day for the 5th annual No Trousers Tube Ride. The concept originated in America as the ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ when, back in 2002, 7 men travelled the underground on a cold winter’s day for 7 stops claiming they had “forgotten their trousers”. Eight years later, this “international celebration of silliness” organised by Improv Everywhere had to be renamed for its British inception, for obvious reasons. Otherwise these photos would be too explicit even for my eyes.

Several pants on the tubeOnce I realised this was part of an organised movement, I was tempted to join in, in much the same way I am compelled to join queues without knowing the destination. Unfortunately I had the wrong kind of underwear on for something that has, by its nature, a Universal-certificate audience.

I wonder how many parents had ‘the talk’ fast-tracked by these sights on display. I wonder if anyone did join in without first signing up to the concept.

Either way, I like its silliness. And I like the idea of it being revisited on a weekday, if only for the joy it would bring to the rest of the working day.


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