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New Yorkers Desperate to Drop Trou

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BUN FUN Contributing fetishists (Photos: Hailey Eber)

On Saturday, we learned something: There are more New Yorkers who really, really want to take off their pants in public than we ever imagined.

Some 900 people gathered downtown at Foley Square to embark on Improv Everywhere's 7th Annual No Pants Subway Ride: a contrived-quirky amalgam of state-school college prank, '60s happening, and, yeah, the vaguely subversive—if they had been wearing pants, there would have been a tattered copy of the Anarchist Handbook in their back pocket. Kee-razy citizens in seven other cities round the world showed solidarity, also riding pantless on Saturday. We really are the world.

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The wonders of the Internet had told us to meet at 3 p.m. by the "black sculpture fountain"—how ominous. Media, we were told, were to take off their pants as well. Okay, sure, why not? We'd had a recent, rare Brazilian done for the holidays, and we had our journalistic integrity to preserve (or lose). Unfortunately, we'd gotten our gal pal who was to accompany us too drunk the night before, which meant we'd be doing this one both solo and sans pants.

Pantless subway riding requires far more organization than you could ever imagine. Complications quickly arose, and the crowd was ultimately divided into three groups for the three subway lines we'd prank. Finally, we followed the masses, covertly joining the group assigned to the 6 train, the more likely to see baffled tourists. Along the way, we met our favorite participant: G. Smith, 57, a retired construction manager and total sweetie-pie who admitted he was going through a bit of a midlife crisis. "It's too expensive to buy a Maserati," he quipped, saying this was the next best thing.

Where's my camera?!

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